The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Justin Beach Headshot

Was Wikileaks the Root of Aaron Swartz's Problems?

Posted: Updated:

According to Mashable, Aaron Swartz may have been a source for Wikileaks:

"In a series of tweets, Wikileaks claimed Saturday that late Internet activist and hacker Aaron Swartz was an ally and possible source for the organization.

It also disclosed that Swartz, who committed suicide last week, was "in communication" with founder Julian Assange during 2010 and 2011."

Add to that the revelation that, in the course of the investigation into Swartz's activities MIT handed documents not to the Justice Department or the FBI but to the Secret Service.

So we have a young man who used a computer network, at a school he did not attend, to download academic papers which he was accused of planning to distribute. In response the Secret Service gets involved and federal prosecutors seek up to 35 years in prison? Even the most conservative individual, who considered what Swartz did reprehensible, would have to call that a overreaching and disproportional response. That is unless there was more to the story.

The US Government's response to Wikileaks has been nothing less than rabid. They have gone so far as to classify the organization as an enemy of the United States (for the crime of spreading information about government in a free society.) The UN has called the treatment of (confirmed leaker) Bradley Manning "cruel and inhumane." There is little doubt that they will pursue Julian Assange until the day he dies and there was a massive international effort involving governments and private corporations toprevent donations to Wikileaks.

If looked at in light of the US vendetta against Wikileaks their extreme overreaction to Aaron Swartz 'copyright violations' involving academic journals suddenly makes sense. It is, in fact, the only way it makes any sense.

Remembering Aaron Swartz
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide