Aaron Swartz

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Aaron Swartz
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{{short description|Computer programmer and internet/political activist}}{{Other people5|Aaron Swartz (actor)|Aaron Schwartz (disambiguation){{!}}Aaron Schwartz (disambiguation)}}

Highland Park, Illinois,HTTP://PATCH.COM/ILLINOIS/EVANSTON/AARON-SWARTZ-REMEMBERED-AS-INTERNET-ACTIVIST-WHO-CHANF229B36E26 >TITLE=AARON SWARTZ REMEMBERED AS INTERNET ACTIVIST WHO CHANGED THE WORLD FIRST1=PAULA WEBSITE=, Patch, U.S.}}20131111|8}}Brooklyn, New York City}}| death_cause = Suicide by hanging| occupation = Software developer, writer, internet activistCreative Commons (development), Reddit (co-founder),, Open Library, SecureDrop>DeadDrop, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Demand Progress (co-founder), ThoughtWorks, Tor2web| title = Fellow, Harvard University Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics| awards = ArsDigita Prize (2000)American Library Association's James Madison Award (posthumously)EFF Pioneer Award 2013 (posthumously)Internet Hall of Fame 2013 (posthumously)| website =| alma_mater = Stanford University}}Aaron Hillel Swartz (November 8, 1986{{spaced ndash}}January 11, 2013) was an American computer programmer, entrepreneur, writer, political organizer, and Internet hacktivist. He was involved in the development of the web feed format RSSJOURNAL, RSS creator Aaron Swartz dead at 26,weblink Harvard Magazine, January 14, 2013, Swartz helped create RSS—a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works (blog entries, news headlines, ...) in a standardized format—at the age of 14., and the Markdown publishing format,WEB,weblink Markdown, March 19, 2004, Aaron Swartz: The Weblog, the organization Creative Commons,WEB,weblink Remembering Aaron Swartz, Lessig, Lawrence, January 12, 2013, Creative Commons, Aaron was one of the early architects of Creative Commons. As a teenager, he helped design the code layer to our licenses..., and the website framework,WEB,weblink Pillars of Python: Web framework, Grehan, Rick, August 10, 2011, InfoWorld,, the brainchild of Aaron Swartz, who developed it while working at, describes itself as a 'minimalist's framework.' ... Test Center Scorecard: Capability 7; Ease of Development 9; Documentation 7; ...; Overall Score 7.6, Good., and was a co-founder of the social news site Reddit. He was given the title of co-founder by Y Combinator owner Paul Graham after the formation of Not a Bug, Inc. (a merger of Swartz's project Infogami and a company run by Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman).Swartz's work also focused on civic awareness and activism.WEB, Swartz, Aaron,weblink Sociology or Anthropology, Raw Thought, January 16, 2013, WEB, Swartz, Aaron,weblink Simplistic Sociological Functionalism, Raw Thought, May 13, 2008, January 16, 2013, He helped launch the Progressive Change Campaign Committee in 2009 to learn more about effective online activism. In 2010, he became a research fellow at Harvard University's Safra Research Lab on Institutional Corruption, directed by Lawrence Lessig.WEB,weblink Internet activist charged with hacking into MIT network, Bianca, Seidman, July 22, 2011, Public Broadcasting Service, Arlington, Va., [Swartz] was in the middle of a fellowship at Harvard's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, in its Lab on Institutional Corruption, WEB,weblink Lab Fellows 2010–2011: Aaron Swartz, 2010, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University,weblink" title="">weblink May 29, 2013, yes, During the fellowship year, he will conduct experimental and ethnographic studies of the political system to prepare a monograph on the mechanisms of political corruption., He founded the online group Demand Progress, known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act.In 2011, Swartz was arrested by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) police on state breaking-and-entering charges, after connecting a computer to the MIT network in an unmarked and unlocked closet, and setting it to download academic journal articles systematically from JSTOR using a guest user account issued to him by MIT.WEB,weblink MIT also pressing charges against hacking suspect, Josh, Gerstein, July 22, 2011, Politico, [Swartz's] alleged use of MIT facilities and Web connections to access the JSTOR database ... resulted in two state felony charges for breaking into a 'depository' and breaking & entering in the daytime, according to local prosecutors., COURT, Commonwealth v. Swartz, 11-52CR73 & 11-52CR75, MIT Police Incident Report 11-351, Massachusetts District Court, Mass. Dist. Ct., nolle prosequi December 16, 2011,weblink Captain Albert P[...] and Special Agent Pickett were able to apprehend the suspect at 24 Lee Street.... He was arrested for two counts of Breaking and Entering in the daytime with the intent to commit a felony...., Federal prosecutors later charged him with two counts of wire fraud and eleven violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, carrying a cumulative maximum penalty of $1 million in fines, 35 years in prison, asset forfeiture, restitution, and supervised release.Swartz declined a plea bargain under which he would have served six months in federal prison. Two days after the prosecution rejected a counter-offer by Swartz, he was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment, where he had hanged himself.NEWS, Aaron Swartz, Tech Prodigy and Internet Activist, Is Dead at 26,weblink Time, January 13, 2013, January 13, 2013, NEWS,weblink Aaron Swartz, internet freedom activist, dies aged 26, BBC News, January 13, 2013, January 13, 2013, In 2013, Swartz was inducted posthumously into the Internet Hall of Fame.WEB,weblink Internet Hall of Fame Announces 2013 Inductees, June 26, 2013, Internet Hall of Fame, August 3, 2013,

Early life

File:Aaron Swartz and Lawrence Lessig.jpg|thumbnail|right|upright|Swartz in 2002 with Lawrence Lessig at the launch party for Creative CommonsCreative Commons(File:Aaron Swartz - The Network Transformation.webm|thumb|Swartz describes the nature of the shift from centralized one-to-many systems to the decentralized many-to-many topology of network communication. San Francisco, April 2007 (9:29))Swartz was born in Highland Park, IllinoisWEB,weblink The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Aaron Swartz, Rolling Stone, (a suburb of Chicago), the eldest son of Jewish parents Susan and Robert Swartz and brother of Noah and Benjamin.NEWS, Yearwood, Pauline, Brilliant life, tragic death, Chicago Jewish News, 1, February 22, 2013,weblink Aaron Hillel Swartz was not depressed or suicidal ... a rabbi's wife who has known him since he was a child says.... At age 13 he won the ArsDigita Prize, a competition for young people who create noncommercial websites....,weblink" title="">weblink October 17, 2013, yes, NEWS, Aaron Swartz dies at 26; Internet folk hero founded Reddit,weblink Los Angeles Times, January 12, 2013, Valerie J., Nelson, His father had founded the software firm Mark Williams Company. Swartz immersed himself in the study of computers, programming, the Internet, and Internet culture.WEB, Swartz, Aaron, How to get a job like mine, (blog), Aaron Swartz, September 27, 2007,weblink We negotiated for months.... I started going crazy from having to think so much about money.... The company almost fell apart before the deal went through., He attended North Shore Country Day School, a small private school near Chicago, until 9th grade.NEWS, Reddit co-creator Aaron Swartz dies from suicide,weblink Chicago Tribune, January 13, 2013, Swartz left high school in the 10th grade, and enrolled in courses at a Chicago area college.NEWS, Skaggs, Paula, Internet activist Aaron Swartz's teachers remember 'brilliant' student, Patch, Northbrook, Ill., January 15, 2013,weblink Swartz ... attended North Shore Country Day School through 9th grade., WEB, Swartz, Aaron, It's always cool to run..., Weblog, Aaron Swartz, January 14, 2002,weblink I would have been in 10th grade this year.... Now I'm taking a couple classes at a local college., In 1999, when he was 13 years old he created the website, a collaborative online library.WEB, Introducing,weblink Aaron Swartz, June 11, 2019, made Swartz the winner of the ArsDigita Prize, given to young people who create "useful, educational, and collaborative" noncommercial websites.WEB,weblink Second ArsDigita Prize 2000 Finalists and Winners, December 1, 2001, March 6, 2016, yes,weblink" title="">weblink December 1, 2001, NEWS, Schofield, Jack, Aaron Swartz obituary, The Guardian, London, January 13, 2013,weblink At 13 [he] won an ArsDigita prize for creating The Info Network., At age 14, he became a member of the working group that authored the RSS 1.0 web syndication specification.Swartz attended Stanford University, but dropped out after his first year.WEB,weblink Aaron Swartz, prodigy and drop-out, takes own life, Sekhri, Aaron, January 14, 2013, The Stanford Daily, March 20, 2019,


During Swartz's first year at Stanford, he applied to Y Combinator's very first Summer Founders Program, proposing to work on a startup called Infogami, designed as a flexible content management system to allow the creation of rich and visually interesting websitesNEWS, Ryan, Singel, Stars Rise at Startup Summer Camp, Wired, December 19, 2014, September 13, 2005,weblink or a form of wiki for structured data. After working on Infogami with co-founder Simon Carstensen over the summer of 2005, Aaron opted not to return to Stanford, choosing instead to continue to develop and seek funding for Infogami.As part of his work on Infogami, Swartz created the web application framework because he was unhappy with other available systems in the Python programming language. In early fall of 2005, Swartz worked with his fellow co-founders of another nascent Y-Combinator firm Reddit, to rewrite Reddit's Lisp codebase using Python and Although Infogami's platform was abandoned after Not a Bug was acquired, Infogami's software was used to support the Internet Archive's Open Library project and the web framework was used as basis for many other projects by Swartz and many others.When Infogami failed to find further funding, Y-Combinator organizers suggested that Infogami merge with Reddit,WEB, Swartz, Aaron, Introducing Infogami, Infogami, CondeNet, 2007,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink December 24, 2007, WEB, A passion for your users brings good karma: (Interview with) Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of, StartupStories, November 11, 2006,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink August 23, 2007, which it did in November 2005, resulting in the formation of a new firm, Not a Bug, devoted to promoting both products. As a result of this merger, Swartz was given the title of co-founder of Reddit. Although both projects initially struggled to gain traction, Reddit began to make large gains in popularity in 2005 and 2006.In October 2006, based largely on the success of Reddit, Not a Bug was acquired by Condé Nast Publications, the owner of Wired magazine.WEB, Breaking News: Condé Nast/Wired Acquires Reddit, Techcrunch, October 31, 2006,weblink Swartz moved with his company to San Francisco to work on Wired. Swartz found office life uncongenial, and he ultimately left the company. In September 2007, Swartz joined with Infogami co-founder Simon Carstensen to launch a new firm, Jottit, in another attempt to create another markdown driven content management system in Python.WEB,weblink Aaron Swartz's Jottit has been officially released, 2007, Reddit, October 20, 2015,


In 2008, Swartz founded, "the good government site with teeth," to aggregate and visualize data about politicians.WEB,weblink Aaron Swartz vs. United States, Klein, Sam, July 24, 2011, The Longest Now, Weblogs at Harvard Law School, He founded to aggregate ... data about politicians – including where their money comes from., WEB,weblink The team,,weblink" title="">weblink December 23, 2008, yes, Founder Aaron Swartz ... We're funded by a grant from the Sunlight Network and the Sunlight Foundation., In the same year, he wrote a widely circulated Guerilla Open Access Manifesto.NEWS,weblink Life inside the Aaron Swartz investigation, Norton, Quinn, March 3, 2013, The Atlantic, March 8, 2013, D.C., Quinn_Norton, NEWS,weblink 'Guerilla activist' releases 18,000 scientific papers, Murphy, Samantha, July 22, 2011, MIT Technology Review, In a 2008 'Guerilla Open Access Manifesto,' Swartz called for activists to 'fight back' against services that held academic papers hostage behind paywalls., On December 27, 2010, Swartz filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to learn about the treatment of Chelsea Manning, alleged source for WikiLeaks.WEB,weblink Aaron Swartz's FOIA Requests Shed Light on His Struggle, Leopold, Jason, January 18, 2013, The Public Record (newspaper), The Public Record, January 23, 2013, WEB,weblink FOI Request: Records related to Bradley Manning, Muckrock, January 23, 2013,


In 2008, Swartz downloaded about 2.7 million federal court documents stored in the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) database managed by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.Lee, Timothy B.,The inside story of Aaron Swartz's campaign to liberate court filings, Ars Technica, February 8, 2013. Retrieved March 8, 2013.The Huffington Post characterized his actions this way: "Swartz downloaded public court documents from the PACER system in an effort to make them available outside of the expensive service. The move drew the attention of the FBI, which ultimately decided not to press charges as the documents were, in fact, public."NEWS,weblink Darrell Issa Praises Aaron Swartz, Internet Freedom at Memorial, Will Wrigley, February 7, 2013, February 21, 2013, HuffPost, PACER was charging 8 cents per page for information that Carl Malamud, who founded the nonprofit group Public.Resource.Org, contended should be free, because federal documents are not covered by copyright. The fees were "plowed back to the courts to finance technology, but the system [ran] a budget surplus of some $150 million, according to court reports," reported The New York Times. PACER used technology that was "designed in the bygone days of screechy telephone modems ... putting the nation's legal system behind a wall of cash and kludge." Malamud appealed to fellow activists, urging them to visit one of 17 libraries conducting a free trial of the PACER system, download court documents, and send them to him for public distribution.After reading Malamud's call for action, Swartz used a Perl computer script running on Amazon cloud servers to download the documents, using credentials belonging to a Sacramento library. From September 4 to 20, 2008, it accessed documents and uploaded them to a cloud computing service. He released the documents to Malamud's organization.On September 29, 2008, the GPO suspended the free trial, "pending an evaluation" of the program. Swartz's actions were subsequently investigated by the FBI. The case was closed after two months with no charges filed. Swartz learned the details of the investigation as a result of filing a FOIA request with the FBI and described their response as the "usual mess of confusions that shows the FBI's lack of sense of humor." PACER still charges per page, but customers using Firefox have the option of saving the documents for free public access with a plug-in called RECAP.NEWS,weblink Recap: Cracking open US courtrooms, Johnson, Bobbie, November 11, 2009, The Guardian, London, At a 2013 memorial for Swartz, Malamud recalled their work with PACER. They brought millions of U.S. District Court records out from behind PACER's "pay wall", he said, and found them full of privacy violations, including medical records and the names of minor children and confidential informants.}}Malamud penned a more detailed account of his collaboration with Swartz on the Pacer project in an essay that appears on his website.WEB,weblink On Crime and Access to Knowledge: An Unpublished Essay, Malamud, Carl, March 30, 2013, Writing in Ars Technica, Timothy Lee,WEB,weblink Timothy Lee (Bio), May 6, 2016, who later made use of the documents obtained by Swartz as a co-creator of RECAP, offered some insight into discrepancies in reporting on just how much data Swartz had downloaded: "In a back-of-the-envelope calculation a few days before the offsite crawl was shut down, Swartz guessed he got around 25 percent of the documents in PACER. The New York Times similarly reported Swartz had downloaded "an estimated 20 percent of the entire database". Based on the facts that Swartz downloaded 2.7 million documents while PACER, at the time, contained 500 million, Lee concluded that Swartz downloaded less than one percent of the database.

Progressive Change Campaign Committee

In 2009, wanting to learn about effective activism, Swartz helped launch the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.WEB,weblink Progressive Change Campaign Committee Statement on the Passing of Aaron Swartz, November 19, 2014, He wrote on his blog, "I spend my days experimenting with new ways to get progressive policies enacted and progressive politicians elected."WEB,weblink How to Get a Job Like Mine (Aaron Swartz's Raw Thought),, Swartz led the first activism event of his career with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, delivering thousands of "Honor Kennedy" petition signatures to Massachusetts legislators asking them to fulfill former Senator Ted Kennedy's last wish by appointing a senator to vote for health care reform.WEB,weblink Victory!, BoldProgressives, September 23, 2009, YouTube,

Demand Progress

In 2010,WEB,weblink Farewell to Aaron Swartz, an Extraordinary Hacker and activist, Eckersley, Peter, January 12, 2013, Deeplinks Blog, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Swartz co-founded Demand Progress, a political advocacy group that organizes people online to "take action by contacting Congress and other leaders, funding pressure tactics, and spreading the word" about civil liberties, government reform, and other issues.WEB,weblink Our Mission, Demand Progress, blog, May 30, 2015, During academic year 2010–11, Swartz conducted research studies on political corruption as a Lab Fellow in Harvard University's Edmond J. Safra Research Lab on Institutional Corruption.Author Cory Doctorow, in his novel Homeland, "drew on advice from Swartz in setting out how his protagonist could use the information now available about voters to create a grass-roots anti-establishment political campaign."NEWS,weblink 'Homeland,' by Cory Doctorow, Sleight, Graham, February 1, 2013, The Washington Post, As Doctorow made clear in his eloquent obituary, he drew on advice from Swartz in setting out how his protagonist could use the information now available about voters to create a grass-roots anti-establishment political campaign. ... One of the book's two afterwords is by Swartz., In an afterword to the novel, Swartz wrote, "these political hacktivist tools can be used by anyone motivated and talented enough.... Now it's up to you to change the system. ... Let me know if I can help."

Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

File:AaronSwartzPIPA.jpg|thumb|right|Swartz in 2012 protesting against the Stop Online Piracy ActStop Online Piracy ActSwartz was involved in the campaign to prevent passage of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which sought to combat Internet copyright violations but was criticized on the basis that it would have made it easier for the U.S. government to shut down web sites accused of violating copyright and would have placed intolerable burdens on Internet providers. Following the defeat of the bill, Swartz was the keynote speaker at the F2C:Freedom to Connect 2012 event in Washington, D.C., on May 21, 2012. His speech was titled "How We Stopped SOPA" and he informed the audience:AV MEDIA, Aaron Swartz (interviewee) & Amy Goodman, Freedom to Connect: Aaron Swartz (1986–2013) on victory to save open Internet, fight online censors, Video, Democracy Now, N.Y.C., May 21, 2012,weblink yes,weblink" title="">weblink January 20, 2013, }}He added, "We won this fight because everyone made themselves the hero of their own story. Everyone took it as their job to save this crucial freedom." He was referring to a series of protests against the bill by numerous websites that was described by the Electronic Frontier Foundation as the biggest in Internet history, with over 115,000 sites altering their webpages.{{Citation |url= |title=Bill Killed: SOPA death celebrated as Congress recalls anti-piracy acts |newspaper=Russian Times |date=January 19, 2012}} Swartz also presented on this topic at an event organized by ThoughtWorks.WEB,weblink How we stopped SOPA, Aaron, Swartz, August 16, 2012, Speech at ThoughtWorks New York, Yahoo!, video,


(File:Aaron Swartz at Boston Wikipedia Meetup, 2009-08-18.jpg|thumb|Swartz at 2009 Boston Wikipedia Meetup)Swartz participated in Wikipedia from August 2003.WEB,weblink Remembering Aaron Swartz The Wikipedian,, January 15, 2013, In 2006, he ran unsuccessfully for the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees.WEB,weblink Wikimedia Foundation elections/Board elections/2006/Results/en, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees Election, September 24, 2006, 6th – 423 (18%) – AaronSw (Aaron Swartz), In 2006, Swartz wrote an analysis of how Wikipedia articles are written, and concluded that the bulk of the actual content comes from tens of thousands of occasional contributors, or "outsiders", each of whom may not make many other contributions to the site, while a core group of 500 to 1,000 regular editors tend to correct spelling and other formatting errors.WEB,weblink Who Writes Wikipedia?, Raw Thought, Aaron, Swartz, September 4, 2006, January 12, 2013, yes,weblink" title="">weblink August 3, 2014, According to Swartz: "the formatters aid the contributors, not the other way around."NEWS, Henry Blodget,weblink Who The Hell Writes Wikipedia, Anyway?, Business Insider, January 3, 2009, January 12, 2013, Blodget, Henry, His conclusions, based on the analysis of edit histories of several randomly selected articles, contradicted the opinion of Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, who believed the core group of regular editors were providing most of the content while thousands of others contributed to formatting issues. Swartz came to his conclusions by counting the total number of characters added by an editor to a particular article, while Wales counted the total number of edits.

United States v. Aaron Swartz case

{{see also|#Open Access|JSTOR}}Aaron Swartz noted that the knowledge produced at public universities and financed by US government and graduate students was not released free to the public. Instead, it was being copyrighted and benefits were not given to the authors but was being privatized and locked by for-profit corporations that did not invest in these public works. They instead earned billions of US dollars each year for private publishers, since these publications were repackaged in academic databases that university libraries pay thousands of dollars to subscribe to so that their students can access the content. Swartz used a full text scholarly online databases, JSTOR, which he accessed through the MIT network in order to download books, journals, etc. produced thanks to public funds and paid by money collected by taxpayers.According to state and federal authorities, Swartz used JSTOR, a digital repository,WEB,weblink Terms and Conditions of Use, January 15, 2013, JSTOR, ITHAKA, New York, JSTOR's integrated digital platform is a trusted digital repository providing for long-term preservation and access to ... scholarly materials: journal issues ...; manuscripts and monographs; ...; spatial/geographic information systems data; plant specimens; ..., to download a large number{{ref label|quantity_downloaded|ii|}} of academic journal articles through MIT's computer network over the course of a few weeks in late 2010 and early 2011. At the time, Swartz was a research fellow at Harvard University, which provided him with a JSTOR account. Visitors to MIT's "open campus" were authorized to access JSTOR through its network.The authorities said Swartz downloaded the documents through a laptop connected to a networking switch in a controlled-access wiring closet at MIT.NEWS, Feds: Harvard fellow hacked millions of papers, Jay, Lindsay,weblink Associated Press, Boston, July 19, 2011, January 15, 2013, WEB, JSTOR Statement: Misuse Incident and Criminal Case,weblink JSTOR, January 12, 2013, NEWS, Cohen, Noam, How M.I.T. ensnared a hacker, bucking a freewheeling culture, A1, The New York Times, January 20, 2013,weblink 'Suspect is seen on camera entering network closet' [in an unlocked building] ... Within a mile of MIT ... he was stopped by an MIT police captain and [U.S. Secret Service agent] Pickett., registration, The door to the closet was kept unlocked, according to press reports.NEWS, Larissa MacFarquhar, Requiem for a dream: The tragedy of Aaron Swartz, The New Yorker, March 11, 2013,weblink [Swartz] wrote a script that instructed his computer to download articles continuously, something that was forbidden by JSTOR's terms of service.... He spoofed the computer's address.... This happened several times. MIT traced the requests to his laptop, which he had hidden in an unlocked closet., NEWS, The Idealist: Aaron Swartz wanted to save the world. Why couldn't he save himself?, Justin, Peters,weblink Slate, N.Y.C., February 7, 2013, 6, The superseding indictment ... claimed that Swartz had 'contrived to break into a restricted-access wiring closet at MIT.' But the closet door had been unlocked—and remained unlocked even after the university and authorities were aware that someone had been in there trying to access the school's network., February 10, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink February 10, 2013, yes, WEB,weblink MIT to conduct internal probe on its role in Aaron Swartz case, Merritt, Jeralyn, January 14, 2013, TalkLeft (blog), Att'y Jeralyn Merritt, The wiring closet was not locked and was accessible to the public. If you look at the pictures supplied by the Government, you can see graffiti on one wall., When discovered, a video camera was placed in the room to film Swartz and Swartz's computer was left untouched. Once video was captured of Swartz, the download was stopped and Swartz was identified. Rather than pursue a civil lawsuit against him, in June 2011 they reached a settlement wherein he surrendered the downloaded data.WEB,weblink JSTOR Statement: Misuse Incident and Criminal Case, July 19, 2011, JSTOR, NEWS,weblink HuffPost, Aaron Swartz, Internet Pioneer, Found Dead Amid Prosecutor 'Bullying' In Unconventional Case, January 12, 2013,

Response from JSTOR

On September 25, 2010, the IP address, part of the MIT network, began sending hundreds of PDF download requests per minute, and was affecting the performance of the entire JSTOR site.WEB,weblink JSTOR Evidence in United States vs. Aaron Swartz. Page 136., JSTOR, July 30, 2013, PDF-1.6,weblink March 1, 2017, evidence,, This prompted a block of the IP address. In the morning, another IP address, also from within the MIT network, began sending JSTOR more PDF download requests, resulting in a temporary full block on the firewall level of all MIT servers in the entire range. An email was then sent to MIT, describing the situation:From an email sent on September 29, 2010, one JSTOR employee wrote to MIT:
On July 30, 2013, JSTOR released 300 partially redacted documents, which had been provided as incriminating evidence against Aaron Swartz. These documents were originally sent to the United States Attorney's Office in response to subpoenas in the case United States v. Aaron Swartz.WEB,weblink JSTOR Evidence in United States vs. Aaron Swartz., JSTOR, July 30, 2013, PDF-1.6,weblink March 1, 2017, evidence,, (The following images are all excerpts from the 3,461-page PDF document.)File:Swartz-jstor-evidence-pdf-page-3142.png|"Root Cause Analysis" Report (side 1), showing a descriptive timeline of events from September 25, 2010, until December 26, 2010.WEB,weblink JSTOR Evidence in United States vs. Aaron Swartz. Page 3142., JSTOR, July 30, 2013, PDF-1.6,weblink March 1, 2017, evidence,, File:Swartz-jstor-evidence-pdf-page-3143.png|"Root Cause Analysis" Report (side 2), showing JSTOR response and incident resolution procedures.WEB,weblink JSTOR Evidence in United States vs. Aaron Swartz. Page 3143., JSTOR, July 30, 2013, PDF-1.6,weblink March 1, 2017, evidence,, File:Swartz-jstor-evidence-pdf-page-3127.png|Email sent from JSTOR to Stephan, Heymann (USAMA), estimating 3.5 million PDF files had been downloaded.WEB,weblink JSTOR Evidence in United States vs. Aaron Swartz. Page 3127., JSTOR, July 30, 2013, PDF-1.6,weblink March 1, 2017, evidence,, File:Swartz-jstor-evidence-pdf-page-3128.png|Email describing PDF download activity snapshots (see next images in gallery)WEB,weblink JSTOR Evidence in United States vs. Aaron Swartz. Page 3128., JSTOR, July 30, 2013, PDF-1.6,weblink March 1, 2017, evidence,, File:Swartz-jstor-evidence-pdf-page-3129.png|Describes PDF download activity, from JSTOR's databases to MIT servers, between November 1 and December 27.WEB,weblink JSTOR Evidence in United States vs. Aaron Swartz. Page 3129., JSTOR, July 30, 2013, PDF-1.6,weblink March 1, 2017, evidence,, File:Swartz-jstor-evidence-pdf-page-3136.png|PDF activity, from JSTOR to MIT, between January 1 to 15.WEB,weblink JSTOR Evidence in United States vs. Aaron Swartz. Page 3136., JSTOR, July 30, 2013, PDF-1.6,weblink March 1, 2017, evidence,,

Arrest and prosecution

On the night of January 6, 2011, Swartz was arrested near the Harvard campus by MIT police and a United States Secret Service agent. He was arraigned in Cambridge District Court on two state charges of breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony.NEWS, Hak, Susana, Paz, Gabriella, Compilation of December 15, 2010 – January 20, 2011, Hak–De Paz Police Log Compilations, 6, MIT Crime Club, January 26, 2011,weblink January 6, 2:20 pm, Aaron Swartz, was arrested at 24 Lee Street as a suspect for breaking and entering...., NEWS, Singel, Ryan, Rogue academic downloader busted by MIT webcam stakeout, arrest report says, Wired, N.Y.C., February 27, 2011,weblink Swartz is accused ... of stealing the articles by attaching a laptop directly to a network switch in ... a 'restricted' room, though neither the police report nor the indictment [mentions] a door lock or signage indicating the room is off-limits., On July 11, 2011, Swartz was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer.NEWS, Bilton, Nick,weblink Internet Activist Charged in Data Theft, Boston, Bits Blog, The New York Times Company, July 19, 2011, July 19, 2011, registration, On November 17, 2011, Swartz was indicted by a Middlesex County Superior Court grand jury on state charges of breaking and entering with intent, grand larceny, and unauthorized access to a computer network.NEWS, Hawkinson, John, Swartz indicted for breaking and entering, The Tech, MIT, 11, November 18, 2011,weblink Swartz ... was indicted ... in Middlesex Superior Court ... for breaking and entering, larceny over $250, and unauthorized access to a computer network., PRESS RELEASE, Cambridge man indicted on breaking & entering charges, larceny charges in connection with data theft, Middlesex District Attorney, November 17, 2011,weblink Swartz ... was indicted today on charges of Breaking and Entering with Intent to Commit a Felony, Larceny over $250, and Unauthorized Access to a Computer Network by a Middlesex Superior Grand Jury., May 30, 2015,weblink" title="">weblink June 16, 2018, yes, On December 16, 2011, state prosecutors filed a notice that they were dropping the two original charges; the charges listed in the November 17, 2011, indictment were dropped on March 8, 2012.Hawkinson, John State drops charges against Swartz; federal charges remain The Tech, March 16, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2013. According to a spokesperson for the Middlesex County prosecutor, the state charges were dropped to permit a federal prosecution headed by Stephen P. Heymann and supported by evidence provided by Secret Service agent Michael S. PickettNEWS, Bombardieri, Marcella, The inside story of MIT and Aaron Swartz,weblink November 19, 2015, Boston Globe, March 30, 2014, to proceed unimpeded.On September 12, 2012, federal prosecutors filed a superseding indictment adding nine more felony counts, which increased Swartz's maximum criminal exposure to 50 years of imprisonment and $1 million in fines.WEB, US Government Ups Felony Count in JSTOR/Aaron Swartz Case From Four To Thirteen,weblink September 17, 2012, Tech dirt, January 12, 2013, During plea negotiations with Swartz's attorneys, the prosecutors offered to recommend a sentence of six months in a low-security prison, if Swartz would plead guilty to 13 federal crimes. Swartz and his lead attorney rejected that deal, opting instead for a trial in which prosecutors would have been forced to justify their pursuit of Swartz.NEWS, Smith-Spark, Laura, Prosecutor defends case against Aaron Swartz,weblink CNN, June 13, 2014, NEWS, Cullen, Kevin, Ellement, John, MIT hacking case lawyer says Aaron Swartz was offered plea deal of six months behind bars,weblink Boston Globe, Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC, June 13, 2014, The federal prosecution involved what was characterized by numerous critics (such as former Nixon White House counsel John Dean) as an "overcharging" 13-count indictment and "overzealous" prosecution for alleged computer crimes, brought by former U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz.WEB, Dean, John, Dealing With Aaron Swartz in the Nixonian Tradition: Overzealous Overcharging Leads to a Tragic Result,weblink Verdict from Justia, May 28, 2016, Swartz died of suicide on January 11, 2013.WEB, Boeri, David,weblink Ortiz Under Fire: Critics Say Swartz Tragedy Is Evidence Of Troublesome Pattern, WBUR, February 20, 2013, May 16, 2014, After his death, federal prosecutors dropped the charges.NEWS, Landergan, Katherine,weblink US District Court drops charges against Aaron Swartz â€“ MIT – Your Campus, Boston Globe, January 14, 2013, January 23, 2013, COURT,weblink United States v. Swartz, 1:11-cr-10260, 106, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, D. Mass., filed January 14, 2013, On December 4, 2013, due to a Freedom of Information Act suit by the investigations editor of Wired magazine, several documents related to the case were released by the Secret Service, including a video of Swartz entering the MIT network closet.NEWS, Poulsen, Kevin, Kevin_Poulsen,weblink This Is the MIT Surveillance Video That Undid Aaron Swartz, Wired, December 4, 2013, December 7, 2013,

Death, funeral, and memorial gatherings


On the evening of January 11, 2013, Swartz was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment by his partner,WEB,weblink Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman is Aaron Swartz's Girlfriend who found him,, February 5, 2013, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman.NEWS, Co-founder of Reddit Aaron Swartz found dead,weblink News, CBS, January 12, 2013, January 13, 2013, A spokeswoman for New York's Medical Examiner reported that he had hanged himself.NEWS,weblink Aaron Swartz, co-founder of Reddit and online activist, hangs himself in Brooklyn apartment, authorities say, Daily News (New York), Daily News, New York, January 12, 2013, Joe, Trapasso, Clare, Larry, Kemp, Mcshane, Swartz ... left no note before his Friday morning death in the seventh-floor apartment at a luxury Sullivan Place building, police sources said., NEWS, John, Schwartz, Internet Activist, a Creator of RSS, Is Dead at 26, Apparently a Suicide,weblink The New York Times, January 12, 2013, January 13, 2013, registration, No suicide note was found.NEWS,weblink January 14, 2013, January 16, 2013, MIT orders review of Aaron Swartz suicide as soul searching begins, Time, Sam, Gustin, Swartz's family and his partner created a memorial website on which they issued a statement, saying: "He used his prodigious skills as a programmer and technologist not to enrich himself but to make the Internet and the world a fairer, better place."Days before Swartz's funeral, Lawrence Lessig eulogized his friend and sometime-client in an essay, Prosecutor as Bully. He decried the disproportionality of Swartz's prosecution and said, "The question this government needs to answer is why it was so necessary that Aaron Swartz be labeled a 'felon'. For in the 18 months of negotiations, that was what he was not willing to accept."WEB,weblink Prosecutor as bully, Lawrence, Lessig, Lawrence_Lessig, January 12, 2013, Lessig Blog, v2, Aaron consulted me as a friend and lawyer.... [M]y obligations to Harvard created a conflict that made it impossible for me to continue as a lawyer.... I get wrong. But I also get proportionality., Cory Doctorow wrote, "Aaron had an unbeatable combination of political insight, technical skill, and intelligence about people and issues. I think he could have revolutionized American (and worldwide) politics. His legacy may still yet do so."{{Citation |first=Cory |last=Doctorow |url= |title=RIP, Aaron Swartz |work=Boing Boing |date=January 12, 2013}}

Funeral and memorial gatherings

Swartz's funeral services were held on January 15, 2013, at Central Avenue Synagogue in Highland Park, Illinois. Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, delivered a eulogy.WEB, Gallardo, Michelle, January 15, 2013,weblink Aaron Swartz, Reddit co-founder, remembered at funeral, ABC News, January 15, 2013, WEB,weblink Aaron Swartz Memorial Ice Cream Social Hour – Free Software Foundation – working together for free software,, January 18, 2013, NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink November 9, 2014, yes, Aaron Swartz Tribute: Hundreds Honor Information Activist, HuffPost, January 19, 2013, January 20, 2013, The same day, The Wall Street Journal published a story based in part on an interview with Stinebrickner-Kauffman.NEWS, Legal case strained troubled activist, Spencer, Ante, Anjali Athavaley, Joe Palazzolo,weblink The Wall Street Journal, January 14, 2013, B1, With the government's position hardening, Mr. Swartz realized that he would have to face a costly public trial.... He would need to ask for help financing his defense...., She told the Journal that Swartz lacked the money to pay for a trial and "it was too hard for him to ... make that part of his life go public" by asking for help. He was also distressed, she said, because two of his friends had just been subpoenaed and because he no longer believed that MIT would try to stop the prosecution.Several memorials followed soon afterward. On January 19, hundreds attended a memorial at the Cooper Union, speakers at which included Stinebrickner-Kauffman, open source advocate Doc Searls, Creative Commons' Glenn Otis Brown, journalist Quinn Norton, Roy Singham of ThoughtWorks, and David Segal of Demand Progress.Hsieh, Steven, Why Did the Justice System Target Aaron Swartz?, Rolling Stone, January 23, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2013.NEWS,weblink Peltz, Jennifer, Aaron Swartz Tribute: Hundreds Honor Information Activist, Associated Press, January 19, 2013, February 8, 2013, WEB,weblink Fishman, Rob, Grief And Anger at Aaron Swartz's Memorial, BuzzFeed, January 19, 2013, January 26, 2013, On January 24, there was a memorial at the Internet Archive with speakers including Stinebrickner-Kauffman, Alex Stamos, Brewster Kahle, and Carl Malamud.WEB,weblink Memorial for Aaron Swartz | Internet Archive Blogs, January 18, 2013, On February 4, a memorial was held in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill;WEB,weblink Aaron Swartz DC Memorial,, February 1, 2013, WEB, Henry,weblink Aaron Swartz Memorial in Washington DC,, February 1, 2013, Gross, Grant, Lawmakers pledge to change hacking law during Swartz memorial, InfoWorld, February 5, 2013. Retrieved February 5, 2013.NEWS,weblink Carter, Zach, Aaron Swartz Memorial on Capitol Hill Draws Darrell Issa, Elizabeth Warren, HuffPost, February 5, 2013, February 5, 2013, speakers at this memorial included Senator Ron Wyden and Representatives Darrell Issa, Alan Grayson, and Jared Polis, and other lawmakers in attendance included Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representatives Zoe Lofgren and Jan Schakowsky. A memorial also took place on March 12 at the MIT Media Lab.WEB,weblink TarenSK: MIT Memorial Service, March 15, 2013, March 13, 2013, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, including links to video of the ceremony/speeches.Swartz's family recommended GiveWell for donations in his memory, an organization that Swartz admired, had collaborated with and was the sole beneficiary of his will.WEB,weblink Grief And Anger at Aaron Swartz's Memorial, July 16, 2014, January 19, 2013, Rob Fishman, WEB,weblink In memory of Aaron Swartz, July 16, 2014, January 16, 2013, Holden Karnofsky,


Family response

|width= 20%;|align= right}}On January 12, 2013, Swartz's family and partner issued a statement criticizing the prosecutors and MIT. Speaking at his son's funeral on January 15, Robert Swartz said, "Aaron was killed by the government, and MIT betrayed all of its basic principles."NEWS, Aaron Swartz was 'killed by government,' father says at funeral, Sandra, Guy,weblink Chicago Sun-Times, January 15, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink August 24, 2014, yes, Swartz's father ... said that at a school event, 3-year-old Aaron read to his parents while all of the other parents read to their children., Tom Dolan, husband of U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz, whose office prosecuted Swartz's case, replied with criticism of the Swartz family: "Truly incredible that in their own son's obit they blame others for his death and make no mention of the 6-month offer."Murphey, Shelly, US attorney's husband stirs Twitter storm on Swartz case, Boston Globe, January 16, 2013.. Retrieved January 17, 2013. This comment triggered some criticism; Esquire writer Charlie Pierce replied, "the glibness with which her husband and her defenders toss off a 'mere' six months in federal prison, low-security or not, is a further indication that something is seriously out of whack with the way our prosecutors think these days."Pierce, Charles P. (January 17, 2013). "Still More About The Death Of Aaron Swartz", Esquire. Retrieved January 18, 2013.


MIT maintains an open-campus policy along with an "open network."NEWS,weblink Swartz' death fuels debate over computer crime, January 14, 2013, USA Today, January 29, 2013, Two days after Swartz's death, MIT President L. Rafael Reif commissioned professor Hal Abelson to lead an analysis of MIT's options and decisions relating to Swartz's "legal struggles."NEWS,weblink Aaron Swartz case 'snowballed out of MIT's hands,' source says, Smith, Gerry, January 15, 2013, HuffPost, January 16, 2013, PRESS RELEASE, President Reif writes to MIT community regarding Aaron Swartz, MIT, January 13, 2013,weblink I have asked ... Abelson to lead a thorough analysis of MIT's involvement from the time that we first perceived unusual activity on our network in fall 2010...., To help guide the fact-finding stage of the review, MIT created a website where community members could suggest questions and issues for the review to address.WEB,weblink homepage, January 23, 2013, Swartz Review, MIT,weblink" title="">weblink February 6, 2013, no, IS&T has created this web site so [community members] can suggest questions and issues to guide the review... What questions should MIT be asking at this stage of the Aaron Swartz review?, WEB,weblink MIT prof announces plans for Swartz review: A website is launched allowing for discussion of how his case was handled, Nanos, Janelle, January 24, 2013, Boston Magazine, Swartz's attorneys requested that all pretrial discovery documents be made public, a move which MIT opposed.WEB,weblink MIT and Aaron Swartz's lawyers argue over releasing evidence, March 20, 2013, Techdirt, March 24, 2013, Swartz allies have criticized MIT for its opposition to releasing the evidence without redactions.WEB,weblink MIT's peace offering of Aaron Swartz documents still won't be enough, Rebecca Greenfield, March 19, 2013, The Atlantic Wire, March 24, 2013, On July 26, 2013, the Abelson panel submitted a 182-page report to MIT president, L. Rafael Reif, who authorized its public release on July 30.WEB,weblink Report Details MIT's Involvement in the Aaron Swartz Case, August 2013,,weblink" title="">weblink August 29, 2013, yes, September 7, 2016, NEWS,weblink M.I.T. Releases Report on Its Role in the Case of Aaron Swartz, Schwartz, John, July 30, 2013, The New York Times, July 30, 2013, registration, NEWS,weblink MIT releases report on its actions in the Aaron Swartz case, July 30, 2013, MIT news, July 30, 2013, MIT News Office, The panel reported that MIT had not supported charges against Swartz and cleared the institution of wrongdoing. However, its report also noted that despite MIT's advocacy for open access culture at the institutional level and beyond, the university never extended that support to Swartz. The report revealed, for example, that while MIT considered the possibility of issuing a public statement about its position on the case, such a statement never materialized.WEB,weblink Report to the President: MIT and the Prosecution of Aaron Swartz, 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, July 30, 2013,


File:RIP Aaron Swartz.jpg|thumbnail|right|upright|Aaron Swartz mural by Brooklyn graffiti artgraffiti artThe Huffington Post reported that "Ortiz has faced significant backlash for pursuing the case against Swartz, including a petition to the White House to have her fired."{{Citation |title=Tom Dolan, Husband of Aaron Swartz's Prosecutor |accessdate=January 16, 2013 |url= |work=HuffPost |date=January 15, 2013 |first=Dino |last=Grandoni}} Other news outlets reported similarly.McCullagh, Declan, "Prosecutor in Aaron Swartz 'hacking' case comes under fire", CNET, January 15, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2013.Stout, Matt. "Ortiz: We never intended full penalty for Swartz", Boston Herald, January 17, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2013.Barnes, James. "Hacker's suicide linked to 'overzealous' prosecutors", The Global Legal Post, January 15, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2013.Reuters news agency called Swartz "an online icon" who "help[ed] to make a virtual mountain of information freely available to the public, including an estimated 19 million pages of federal court documents."NEWS, Internet activist, programmer Aaron Swartz dead at 26, Alex, Dobuzinskis, P.J. Huffstutter,weblink Reuters, January 13, 2013, That belief – that information should be shared and available for the good of society – prompted Swartz to found the nonprofit group Demand Progress., The Associated Press (AP) reported that Swartz's case "highlights society's uncertain, evolving view of how to treat people who break into computer systems and share data not to enrich themselves, but to make it available to others,"NEWS, Swartz' death fuels debate over computer crime, Daniel, Wagner, Verena Dobnik,weblink Associated Press, January 13, 2013, JSTOR's attorney, Mary Jo White – formerly the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan – had called the lead Boston prosecutor in the case and asked him to drop it, said Peters., and that JSTOR's lawyer, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Mary Jo White, had asked the lead prosecutor to drop the charges.As discussed by editor Hrag Vartanian in Hyperallergic, Brooklyn, New York, muralist BAMN ("By Any Means Necessary") created a mural of Swartz.WEB,weblink A roller tribute to two digital anarchist heroes, Hrag, Vartanian, February 7, 2013, Hyperallergic, Brooklyn, NY, June 1, 2013, "Swartz was an amazing human being who fought tirelessly for our right to a free and open Internet," the artist explained. "He was much more than just the 'Reddit guy'."Speaking on April 17, 2013, Yuval Noah Harari described Swartz as "the first martyr of the Freedom of Information movement."WEB, Yuval Noah Harari, Data Processing – Part 1,weblink September 27, 2018, Video, April 18, 2013, Aaron Swartz's legacy has been reported as strengthening the open access to scholarship movement. In Illinois, his home state, Swartz's influence led state university faculties to adopt policies in favor of open access.NEWS,weblink Legacy of open access activist still growing, Chicago Tribune, January 18, 2016, Keilman, John, Section 1, Page 3,



On January 13, 2013, members of Anonymous hacked two websites on the MIT domain, replacing them with tributes to Swartz that called on members of the Internet community to use his death as a rallying point for the open access movement. The banner included a list of demands for improvements in the U.S. copyright system, along with Swartz's Guerilla Open Access Manifesto.NEWS,weblink Anonymous hacks MIT Web sites to post Aaron Swartz tribute, call to arms, The Washington Post, January 13, 2013, On the night of January 18, 2013, MIT's e-mail system was taken offline for ten hours.NEWS,weblink MIT email was down for 10 hours last night, Mystery Hunt temporarily affected, Kao, Joanna, January 19, 2013, Tech Blogs,weblink" title="">weblink February 17, 2013, yes, MIT, A mail loop caused by a series of malformed email messages led to an exhaustion of system resources...., On January 22, e-mail sent to MIT was redirected by hackers Aush0k and TibitXimer to the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology. All other traffic to MIT was redirected to a computer at Harvard University that was publishing a statement headed "R.I.P Aaron Swartz,"WEB,weblink R.I.P Aaron Swartz, Aush0k, TibitXimer, January 22, 2013, [],weblink" title="">weblink June 27, 2017, yes, hacked by aush0k and tibitximer, with text from a 2009 posting by Swartz,WEB,weblink Life in a world of pervasive immorality: The ethics of being alive, Swartz, Aaron, August 2, 2009, Raw Thought: Aaron Swartz's Weblog, Is there sense in following [the] rules or are they just another example of the world's pervasive immorality?, accompanied by a chiptunes version of "The Star-Spangled Banner". MIT regained full control after about seven hours.NEWS,weblink MIT DNS hacked; traffic redirected, Kao, Joanna, January 23, 2013, The Tech, MIT, 1, From 11:58 a.m. to 1:05 pm, MIT's DNS was redirected ... to CloudFlare, where the hackers had configured servers to return a Harvard IP address.... By 7:15 pm, CloudFlare removed the '' record, which referred to the machine ... at KAIST., In the early hours of January 26, 2013, the U.S. Sentencing Commission website,, was hacked by Anonymous.WEB,weblink United States Sentencing Commission( hacked and defaced by Anonymous | Security updates, Reported by Sabari Selvan,, January 29, 2013, NEWS,weblink Hackers take over sentencing commission website, January 26, 2013, Associated Press, 'Two weeks ago today, a line was crossed,' the statement said., The home page was replaced with an embedded YouTube video, Anonymous Operation Last Resort. The video statement said Swartz "faced an impossible choice".WEB,weblink Anonymous Operation Last Resort: Anonymous hacked USSC.GOV, Aarons ArkAngel, January 26, 2013, Flash video, YouTube, NEWS,weblink Anonymous hackers target US agency site, January 26, 2013, BBC News, The hackers ... said the site was chosen for symbolic reasons. 'The federal sentencing guidelines ... enable prosecutors to cheat citizens of their constitutionally guaranteed right to a fair trial ...,' the video statement said., A hacker downloaded "hundreds of thousands" of scientific-journal articles from a Swiss publisher's website and republished them on the open Web in Swartz's honor a week before the first anniversary of his death.PRESS RELEASE, Stanza, Arrow, January 6, 2014, Springer Link hacked in honor of Aaron Swartz,weblink Slashdot, The material is published in honor of Aaron Swartz in, January 14, 2014,weblink" title="">weblink January 14, 2014, yes, . [Author's pseudonym is an anagram of "aaron swartz".]

Petition to the White House

{{See also|Carmen Ortiz|Stephen Heymann}}After Swartz's death, more than 50,000 people signed an online petitionWEB,weblink Petition: "Remove United States District Attorney Carmen Ortiz from office for overreach in the case of Aaron Swartz.", January 12, 2013,,weblink February 18, 2013, yes, January 20, 2013, {{cbignore}} to the White House calling for the removal of Ortiz, "for overreach in the case of Aaron Swartz."NEWS,weblink Were The Charges Against Internet Activist Aaron Swartz Too Severe?, Smith, Gerry, January 13, 2013, HuffPost, A similar petitionWEB,weblink Fire Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Heymann, January 12, 2013, White House,weblink" title="">weblink October 19, 2013, yes, January 29, 2013, was submitted calling for prosecutor Stephen Heymann's firing.NEWS,weblink Carmen Ortiz and Stephen Heymann: accountability for prosecutorial abuse |, Glenn Greenwald, January 16, 2013, The Guardian, January 29, 2013, London, WEB,weblink Convicted hacker Stephen Watt on Aaron Swartz: 'It's just not justice', January 25, 2013, VentureBeat, January 29, 2013, In January 2015, two years after Swartz's death, the White House declined both petitions.NEWS,weblink After long delay, Obama declines to rule on petition calling for firing of DOJ officials over Aaron Swartz's suicide, Fung, Brian, January 8, 2015, The Washington Post, March 13, 2015, Peterson, Andrea,


{{external media|video1={{Youtube|vy9tSaZFlPI|IHoF Induction Ceremony – Aaron Swartz}}}}On August 3, 2013, Swartz was posthumously inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. There was a hackathon held in Swartz' memory around the date of his birthday in 2013.NEWS,weblink Call to action kicks off second Aaron Swartz hackathon, Rosenblatt, Seth, November 9, 2013, CNET News, November 10, 2013, WEB,weblink Tonight begins the second annual Aaron Swartz hackathon, Guthrie Weissman, Cale, November 8, 2013, Pando Daily, November 10, 2013, Over the weekend of November 8–10, 2013, inspired by Swartz's work and life, a second annual hackathon was held in at least 16 cities around the world.WEB,weblink Aaron Swartz Hackathon,weblink" title="">weblink March 29, 2014, yes, November 9, 2013, WEB,weblink Aaron Swartz Hackathons This Weekend to Continue his Work, Higgins, Parker, November 6, 2001, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), November 10, 2013, NEWS,weblink In Aaron Swartz' memory, hackathons to be held across globe, including at MIT, next month, Rocheleau, Matt, October 21, 2013, Boston, November 10, 2013, Preliminary topics worked on at the 2013 Aaron Swartz HackathonWEB,weblink Worldwide Aaron Swartz Memorial Hackathon Series, Noisebridge, November 9, 2013, were privacy and software tools, transparency, activism, access, legal fixes, and a low-cost book scanner.WEB,weblink Aaron projects, Noisebridge, November 9, 2013, In January 2014, Lawrence Lessig led a walk across New Hampshire in honor of Swartz, rallying for campaign finance reform.NEWS,weblink Aaron's Walk: The New Hampshire Rebellion, Lessig, Lawrence, January 10, 2014, HuffPost, September 5, 2014, Lawrence_Lessig, WEB,weblink It Begins. Thank you., Boyko, Brian, January 11, 2014, September 5, 2014, In 2017 the Turkish-Dutch artist Ahmet Öğüt commemorated Swartz through a work entitled "Information Power to The People" and depicting his bust.WEB,weblink Information Power to The People, Ahmet Öğüt's website, March 31, 2019, (File:Aaron Swartz by Ahmet Ogut 1.jpg|thumb|A sculpture of Aaron Swartz entitled "Information Power to The People" created by Ahmet Öğüt)


Open Access

{{see also|#JSTOR}}A long-time supporter of open access, Swartz wrote in his Guerilla Open Access Manifesto:WEB,weblink Guerilla Open Access Manifesto, Aaron, Swartz, July 2008, Internet Archive, We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks., Supporters of Swartz responded to news of his death with an effort called #PDFTributeWEB,weblink PDF Tribute, January 15, 2013, yes,weblink" title="">weblink January 15, 2013, to promote Open Access.NEWS, Cutler, Kim-Mai, PDF tribute to Aaron Swartz attracts roughly 1,500 links to copyright-protected research,weblink TechCrunch, January 13, 2013, NEWS, Musil, Steven, Researchers honor Swartz's memory with PDF protest,weblink CNet News, January 13, 2013, On January 12, Eva Vivalt, a development economist at the World Bank, began posting her academic articles online using the hashtag #pdftribute as a tribute to Swartz.WEB, Vivalt, Eva, In memoriam, Aid Economics, Eva Vivalt, January 12, 2013,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink March 13, 2013, yes, WEB, Who we are,, 2012,weblink April 7, 2013, Scholars posted links to their works.WEB, Ohlheiser, Abby,weblink Aaron Swartz death: #pdftribute hashtag aggregates copyrighted articles released online in tribute to internet activist, Slate, January 14, 2013, January 16, 2013, The story of Aaron Swartz has exposed the topic of open access to scientific publications to wider audiences.NEWS,weblink Economie de la publication scientifique et libre accès: un débat relancé par la mort d'Aaron Swartz, January 21, 2013, Slate, October 8, 2018, fr-FR, BOOK, Celui qui pourrait changer le monde : Aaron Swartz, écrits 1986–2013, Swartz, Aaron, Lawrence, Lessig, Marie-Mathilde, Bortolotti, Amarante, Szidon, Éditions B42 – DL 2017, 9782917855775, 993094009, March 22, 2017, In the wake of Aaron Swartz, many institutions and personalities have campaigned for open access to scientific knowledge.NEWS,weblink La controverse en matière de publication des articles scientifiques, October 8, 2018, Swartz's death prompted calls for more open access to scholarly data (e.g., open science data).Manjoo, Farhad How MIT Can Honor Aaron Swartz Slate, January 31, 2013. Retrieved May 9, 2013.Chan, Jennifer, To honor Aaron Swartz, let knowledge go free, U.S. News & World Report, 1 February 2013.. Retrieved February 2, 2013. The Think Computer Foundation and the Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) at Princeton University announced scholarships awarded in memory of Aaron Swartz.WEB,weblink RECAP Project – Turning PACER Around, Free Law, Project,, In 2013, Swartz was posthumously awarded the American Library Association's James Madison Award for being an "outspoken advocate for public participation in government and unrestricted access to peer-reviewed scholarly articles."WEB, Kopfstein, Janus,weblink Aaron Swartz to receive posthumous 'Freedom of Information' award for open access advocacy, The Verge, March 13, 2013, March 24, 2013, WEB,weblink James Madison Award,, January 17, 2013, March 24, 2013, In March, the editor and editorial board of the Journal of Library Administration resigned en masse, citing a dispute with the journal's publisher, Routledge.WEB,weblink Entire library journal editorial board resigns, citing 'crisis of conscience' after death of Aaron Swartz, The Verge, One board member wrote of a "crisis of conscience about publishing in a journal that was not open access" after the death of Aaron Swartz.WEB,weblink Journal's Editorial Board Resigns in Protest of Publisher's Policy Toward Authors, New, Jake, March 26, 2013, The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 30, 2015, WEB,weblink It was just days after Aaron Swartz' death, and I was having a crisis of conscience about publishing in a journal that was not open access., Feral Librarian, November 19, 2014, In 2002, Swartz had stated that when he died, he wanted all the contents of his hard drives made publicly available.WEB, If I get hit by a truck...,weblink Swartz, Aaron,weblink" title="">weblink January 17, 2003, May 29, 2016, yes, NEWS,weblink Aaron Swartz, The Economist, January 19, 2013, January 20, 2013, The "cOAlition S", a consortium launched by the European Research Council continues the fight of Aaron Swartz with the will to make available to all by 2020 all the scientific publications financed by the member states of this coalition.WEB,weblink Science Europe – 'Plan S' Making Open Access a Reality by 2020,, October 14, 2018,


Several members of the U.S. House of Representatives – Republican Darrell Issa and Democrats Jared Polis and Zoe Lofgren – all on the House Judiciary Committee, have raised questions regarding the government's handling of the case. Calling the charges against him "ridiculous and trumped up," Polis said Swartz was a "martyr," whose death illustrated the need for Congress to limit the discretion of federal prosecutors. Speaking at a memorial for Swartz on Capitol Hill, Issa saidMassachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren issued a statement saying "[Aaron's] advocacy for Internet freedom, social justice, and Wall Street reform demonstrated ... the power of his ideas...." In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder,WEB,weblink United States Senator John Cornyn, Texas, United States Senator John Cornyn, Texas, Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn asked, "On what basis did the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts conclude that her office's conduct was 'appropriate'?" and "Was the prosecution of Mr. Swartz in any way retaliation for his exercise of his rights as a citizen under the Freedom of Information Act?"NEWS, Pearce, Matt,weblink Aaron Swartz suicide has U.S. lawmakers scrutinizing prosecutors, Los Angeles Times, January 18, 2013, January 20, 2013, NEWS,weblink John Cornyn Criticizes Eric Holder Over Aaron Swartz's Death, HuffPost, January 18, 2013, January 20, 2013, Zach, Carter, WEB,weblink Top senator scolds Holder over Reddit founder's suicide, The Washington Times, January 18, 2013, January 20, 2013,

Congressional investigations

Issa, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, announced that he would investigate the Justice Department's actions in prosecuting Swartz.WEB, Sasso, Brendan, Jennifer Martinez,weblink Lawmakers slam DOJ prosecution of Swartz as 'ridiculous, absurd', Hillicon Valley,, The Hill, January 15, 2013, In a statement to The Huffington Post, he praised Swartz's work toward "open government and free access to the people." Issa's investigation has garnered some bipartisan support.NEWS,weblink Darrell Issa Probing Prosecution of Aaron Swartz, Internet Pioneer Who Killed Himself, HuffPost, January 15, 2013, January 20, 2013, Ryan J., Reilly, On January 28, 2013, Issa and ranking committee member Elijah Cummings published a letter to U.S. Attorney General Holder, questioning why federal prosecutors had filed the superseding indictment.NEWS, Zetter, Kim,weblink Congress Demands Justice Department Explain Aaron Swartz Prosecution | Threat Level, Wired, January 29, 2013, February 1, 2013, WEB,weblink Issa letter to Holder on Aaron Swartz case, February 1, 2013, On February 20, WBUR reported that Ortiz was expected to testify at an upcoming Oversight Committee hearing about her office's handling of the Swartz case.Boeri, David and David Frank, Ortiz Under Fire: Critics Say Swartz Tragedy Is Evidence Of Troublesome Pattern, WBUR, February 20, 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2013. On February 22, Associate Deputy Attorney General Steven Reich conducted a briefing for congressional staffers involved in the investigation. They were told that Swartz's Guerilla Open Access Manifesto played a role in prosecutorial decision-making.McVeigh, Karen, Aaron Swartz's partner accuses US of delaying investigation into prosecution, The Guardian, March 1, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2015.Reilly, Ryan J., Aaron Swartz Prosecutors Weighed 'Guerilla' Manifesto, Justice Official Tells Congressional Committee, HuffPost, February 22, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2013.Masnick, Mike, DOJ Admits It Had To Put Aaron Swartz In Jail To Save Face Over The Arrest, techdirt, February 25, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2013. Congressional staffers left this briefing believing that prosecutors thought Swartz had to be convicted of a felony carrying at least a short prison sentence in order to justify having filed the case against him in the first place.Excoriating the Department of Justice as the "Department of Vengeance", Stinebrickner-Kauffman told the Guardian that the DOJ had erred in relying on Swartz's Guerilla Open Access Manifesto as an accurate indication of his beliefs by 2010. "He was no longer a single issue activist," she said. "He was into lots of things, from healthcare, to climate change to money in politics."On March 6, Holder testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the case was "a good use of prosecutorial discretion."WEB,weblink Holder: DOJ used discretion in bullying Swartz, press lacked discretion in quoting facts, Masnick, Mike, Techdirt, March 7, 2013, Stinebrickner-Kauffman issued a statement in reply, repeating and amplifying her claims of prosecutorial misconduct. Public documents, she wrote, reveal that prosecutor Stephen Heymann "instructed the Secret Service to seize and hold evidence without a warrant... lied to the judge about that fact in written briefs... [and] withheld exculpatory evidence... for over a year," violating his legal and ethical obligations to turn such evidence over to the defense.WEB,weblink Masnick, Mike, Aaron Swartz's partner accuses DOJ of lying, seizing evidence without a warrant & withholding exculpatory evidence, Techdirt, March 8, 2013, On March 22, Senator Al Franken wrote Holder a letter expressing concerns, writing that "charging a young man like Mr. Swartz with federal offenses punishable by over 35 years of federal imprisonment seems remarkably aggressive – particularly when it appears that one of the principal aggrieved parties ... did not support a criminal prosecution."NEWS,weblink Al Franken Sends Eric Holder Letter Over 'Remarkably Aggressive' Aaron Swartz Prosecution, HuffPost, March 22, 2013, March 24, 2013, Zach, Carter,

Amendment to Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

{{wikisource|Rep Zoe Lofgren Introduces Bipartisan Aaron's Law}}In 2013, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) introduced a bill, Aaron's Law ({{USBill|113|hr|2454}}, {{USBill|113|s|1196}}{{USBill|113|hr|2454|site=yes}}; H.R. 2454 at GovTrack; H.R. 2454 {{webarchive |url= |date=November 12, 2013 }} at OpenCongress. {{USBill|113|s|1196|site=yes}}; S. 1196 at GovTrack; S. 1196 {{webarchive |url= |date=November 12, 2013 }} at OpenCongress.) to exclude terms of service violations from the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and from the wire fraud statute.WEB, Musil, Steven,weblink New 'Aaron's Law' aims to alter controversial computer fraud law, Internet & Media News, CNET, November 30, 2011, January 16, 2013, Lawrence Lessig wrote of the bill, "this is a critically important change.... The CFAA was the hook for the government's bullying.... This law would remove that hook. In a single line: no longer would it be a felony to breach a contract."NEWS, Andrew 'Andy', Greenberg,weblink 'Aaron's Law' Suggests Reforms To Computer Fraud Act (But Not Enough To Have Protected Aaron Swartz), Forbes, January 16, 2013, January 16, 2013, Professor Orin Kerr, a specialist in the nexus between computer law and criminal law, wrote that he had been arguing for precisely this sort of reform of the Act for years.Kerr, Oren, Aaron's Law, Drafting the Best Limits of the CFAA, And A Reader Poll on A Few Examples Volokh Conspiracy, January 27, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2013. The ACLU, too, has called for reform of the CFAA to "remove the dangerously broad criminalization of online activity."WEB,weblink Help Protect The Next Aaron Swartz,, January 11, 2013, February 7, 2013, The EFF has mounted a campaign for these reforms.WEB,weblink Reform Draconian Computer Crime Law,, February 7, 2013, Lessig's inaugural Chair lecture as Furman Professor of Law and Leadership was entitled Aaron's Laws: Law and Justice in a Digital Age; he dedicated the lecture to Swartz.WEB,weblink Video of Lawrence Lessig's lecture, Aaron's Laws: Law and Justice in a Digital Age, YouTube, February 20, 2013, March 24, 2013, WEB, Lawrence Lessig,weblink the next words: A Lecture on Aaron's Law, Lessig, February 21, 2013, WEB,weblink Transcript: Lawrence Lessig on 'Aaron's Laws: Law and Justice in a Digital Age', April 20, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink November 22, 2017, yes, WEB,weblink Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review – A summary of Lawrence Lessig's Chair Lecture at Harvard Law School,, January 14, 2013, May 30, 2015, The Aaron's Law bill stalled in committee. Brian Knappenberger alleges this was due to Oracle Corporation's financial interest in maintaining the status quo.NEWS,weblink Postmedia, Jonathan, Dekel, Swartz doc director: Oracle and Larry Ellison killed Aaron's Law, May 1, 2014,

Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act

The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) is a bill that would mandate earlier public release of taxpayer-funded research. FASTR has been described as "The Other Aaron's Law."WEB, Peterson, Andrea,weblink How FASTR Will Help Americans,, February 16, 2013, March 24, 2013, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Tex.) introduced the Senate version, in 2013 and again in 2015, while the bill was introduced to the House by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Kevin Yoder (R-Kans.). Senator Wyden wrote of the bill, "the FASTR act provides that access to taxpayer funded research should never be hidden behind a paywall."WEB,weblink Wyden Bill Makes Taxpayer Funded Research Available to the Public | U.S. Senator Ron Wyden,, February 14, 2013, March 24, 2013, While the legislation has not passed {{as of|lc=y|2015|10}}, it has helped to prompt some motion toward more open access on the part of the US administration. Shortly after the bill's original introduction, the Office of Science and Technology Policy directed "each Federal agency with over $100 million in annual conduct of research and development expenditures to develop a plan to support increased public access to the results of research funded by the Federal Government."WEB,weblink White House Issues Public Access Directive, Publishers Weekly, February 22, 2013, May 28, 2013,


Swartz has been featured in and received dedications from numerous art work. In 2013, Kenneth Goldsmith dedicated his "Printing Out the Internet" exhibition to Swartz.NEWS,weblink 'Printing Out the Internet' exhibit is crowdsourced work of art, Zak, Dan, July 26, 2013, The Washington Post, August 20, 2013,weblink" title="">weblink October 17, 2013, yes, NEWS,weblink Crowdsourced art project aims to print out entire internet, July 30, 2013, CBC News, The fate of Aaron Swartz was also featured in conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza's 2014 documentary (America: Imagine the World Without Her), wherein D'Souza compares Swartz's prosecution to his own conviction for violating campaign finance laws, and alleges that both cases exemplify selective, overzealous prosecution.NEWS,weblink Heady Summer, Fateful Fall for Dinesh D'Souza, a Conservative Firebrand, Mahler, Jonathan, July 24, 2014, The New York Times, December 12, 2016, NEWS,weblink America: Imagine the World Without Her, McGovern, Joe, August 11, 2014, Entertainment Weekly, December 12, 2016, There are also dedicated biographical films for Aaron:

The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

On January 11, 2014, marking the first anniversary of his death, a preview was released of The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz,WEB,weblink Aaron Swartz documentary, TakePart, November 19, 2014, a documentary about Swartz, the NSA and SOPA.NEWS,weblink WATCH: Aaron Swartz Found NSA Scope 'Scary', Zelman, Joanna, HuffPost, "Sneak preview of The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz" – PandoDaily The film was officially released at the January 2014 Sundance Film Festival.WEB,weblink The Internet's Own Boy: The Story Of Aaron Swartz – Festival Program, Sundance Institute,weblink" title="">weblink March 25, 2014, yes, Democracy Now! covered the release of the documentary, as well as Swartz's life and legal case, in a sprawling interview with director Brian Knappenberger, Swartz's father, brother, and his attorney.NEWS,weblink The Internet's Own Boy: Film on Aaron Swartz Captures Late Activist's Struggle for Online Freedom, January 21, 2014, January 21, 2014, Democracy Now!, The documentary is released under a Creative Commons License;WEB,weblink The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, Knappenberger, Brian, Internet Archive, August 3, 2014, WEB,weblink 'The Internet's Own Boy' fights for reform after Aaron Swartz's death, it debuted in theaters and on-demand in June 2014.NEWS, Internet's Own Boy: Tech activist's legacy, Matheson, Whitney, June 28, 2014, USA Today, B8, Mashable called the documentary "a powerful homage to Aaron Swartz". Its debut at Sundance received a standing ovation. Mashable printed, "With the help of experts, The Internet's Own Boy makes a clear argument: Swartz unjustly became a victim of the rights and freedoms for which he stood."NEWS,weblink 'The Internet's Own Boy' Is a Powerful Homage to Aaron Swartz, January 23, 2014, January 23, 2014, Mashable, The Hollywood Reporter described it as a "heartbreaking" story of a "tech wunderkind persecuted by the US government", and a must-see "for anyone who knows enough to care about the way laws govern information transfer in the digital age".NEWS,weblink The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz: Sundance Review, DeFore, John, January 21, 2014, The Hollywood Reporter, January 23, 2014,


In October 2014, Killswitch, a film featuring Aaron Swartz, as well as Lawrence Lessig, Tim Wu, and Edward Snowden, received its world premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Editing. The film focuses on Swartz's role in advocating for internet freedoms.NEWS,weblink Breaking the Internet: Killswitch Screens at Cinequest, von Busack, Richard, February 25, 2015, Metro Silicon Valley, NEWS,weblink Battle for Internet Control Fuels O.C. -produced Movie, Swegles, Fred, April 16, 2015, Orange County Register, In February 2015, Killswitch was invited to screen at the Capitol Visitor's Center in Washington, D.C. by Congressman Alan Grayson. The event was held on the eve of the Federal Communications Commission's historic decision on Net Neutrality. Congressman Grayson, Lawrence Lessig, and Free Press CEO Craig Aaron spoke about Swartz and his fight on behalf of a free and open Internet at the event.NEWS,weblink Grayson Screen Award Winning "Killswitch" Documentary, Grayson, Alan, February 23, 2015,weblink" title="">weblink February 27, 2015, yes, Congressman Grayson's House of Rep Official Web Page, NEWS,weblink The Price That You Pay for Rocking The Boat, March 27, 2015, HuffPost, March 27, 2015,
Congressman Grayson states that Killswitch is "one of the most honest accounts of the battle to control the Internet – and access to information itself." Richard von Busack of the Metro Silicon Valley writes of Killswitch, "Some of the most lapidary use of found footage this side of The Atomic Café". Fred Swegles of the Orange County Register remarks, "Anyone who values unfettered access to online information is apt to be captivated by Killswitch, a gripping and fast-paced documentary." Kathy Gill of GeekWire asserts that "Killswitch is much more than a dry recitation of technical history. Director Ali Akbarzadeh, producer Jeff Horn, and writer Chris Dollar created a human-centered story. A large part of that connection comes from Lessig and his relationship with Swartz."NEWS,weblink Lawrence Lessig at 'Killswitch' Seattle Premiere: Money, Politics, and the Battle for the Internet, Gill, Kathy, June 5, 2015, GeekWire,

Other films

Patriot of the Web, an independent biographical film about Aaron Swartz, written and directed by Darius Burke, is set to be released in July 2019 on Amazon.WEB,weblink Patriot of the Web, October 13, 2018, IMDb, WEB,weblink Patriot of the Web (@aswartzmovie), Twitter, {{Primary source inline|date=April 2019}} The film had a limited video on demand release in December 2017 on ReelhouseWEB,weblink Patriot of the Web,, and in January 2018 on Pivotshare.WEB,weblink Patriot of the Web – Darius Burke – Watch Online for Just $4.99 – grandadproductions, grandadproductions, Another biographical film about Swartz, Think Aaron, is being developed by HBO Films.WEB,weblink 'Think Aaron' Movie Based on Life Of "Hacktivist' Aaron Swartz in Works at HBO Films, Andreeva, Nellie, December 4, 2017, Deadline Hollywood,



  • Markdown: Swartz was a major contributor to John Gruber's Markdown,WEB,weblink Daring Fireball: Markdown, Gruber, John, John Gruber, Daring Fireball, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 2, 2004, April 25, 2014, a lightweight markup language for generating HTML, and author of its html2text translator. The syntax for Markdown was influenced by Swartz's earlier {{visible anchor|atx}} language (2002),WEB,weblink atx, the true structured text format, which today is primarily remembered for its syntax for specifying headers, known as atx-style headers:WEB,weblink Daring Fireball – Markdown – Syntax, Gruber, John, John Gruber, Daring Fireball, Markdown itself remains in widespread use, with websites such as Reddit and GitHub using it.
  • RDF/XML at W3C: In 2001, Swartz joined the RDFCore working group at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C),WEB,weblink RDFCore Working Group Membership, December 1, 2002, W3, January 15, 2013, where he authored RFC 3870, Application/RDF+XML Media Type Registration. The document described a new media type, "RDF/XML", designed to support the Semantic Web.WEB,weblink Request for Comments No. 3870, 'application/rdf+xml' Media Type Registration, Swartz, A., September 2004, Network Working Group, The Internet Society, A media type for use with the Extensible Markup Language serialization of the Resource Description Framework.... [It] allows RDF consumers to identify RDF/XML documents....,


  • DeadDrop: In 2011–2012, Swartz, Kevin Poulsen, and James Dolan designed and implemented DeadDrop, a system that allows anonymous informants to send electronic documents without fear of disclosure. In May 2013, the first instance of the software was launched by The New Yorker under the name Strongbox.WEB,weblink Strongbox and Aaron Swartz, Poulsen, Kevin, Kevin_Poulsen, The New Yorker, May 16, 2013, WEB,weblink Introducing Strongbox, Davidson, Amy, Amy Davidson (author), May 15, 2013, The New Yorker, June 20, 2013, WEB,weblink Aaron Swartz legacy lives on with New Yorker{{', s Strongbox: How it works|last1=Kassner|first1=Michael|date=May 20, 2013|publisher=TechRepublic|accessdate=June 20, 2013}} The Freedom of the Press Foundation has since taken over development of the software, which has been renamed SecureDrop.WEB,weblink Aaron Swartz-Designed Whistleblower Tool SecureDrop Launched by Press Freedom Foundation, Charlton, Alistair, October 16, 2013, International Business Times,weblink" title="">weblink October 17, 2013, yes,
  • Tor2web: In 2008,WEB,weblink In Defense of Anonymity, Aaron, Swartz, February 4, 2014, Swartz worked with Virgil Griffith to design and implement Tor2web, an HTTP proxy for Tor-hidden services. The proxy was designed to provide easy access to Tor from a basic web browser.NEWS,weblink New Service Makes Tor Anonymized Content Available to All, Zetter, Kim, December 12, 2008, February 22, 2014, Wired, WEB,weblink tor2web brings anonymous Tor sites to the "regular" web,, February 22, 2014,


  • WEB, Swartz, Aaron, Lucchese, Adriano,weblink Raw Thought, Raw Nerve: Inside the Mind of Aaron Swartz, New York City, November 2014, Discovery Publisher, {{Open access, PDF/ePub }}
  • WEB, Swartz, Aaron, Hendler, James, James Hendler,weblink The Semantic Web: A network of content for the digital city, Proceedings of the Second Annual Digital Cities Workshop, Kyoto, Japan, JP, October 2001, Blogspace,
  • JOURNAL, Swartz, Aaron, 10.1109/5254.988466, MusicBrainz: A Semantic Web service, IEEE Intelligent Systems, 17, 1, 76–77, January–February 2002, 1541-1672, PDF,weblink,
  • WEB, John Gruber, Gruber, John, Swartz, Aaron,weblink Markdown definition, Daring Fireball, December 2004, no,weblink" title="">weblink April 2, 2004,
  • WEB, Swartz, Aaron, Guerilla Open Access Manifesto,weblink July 2008,
  • BOOK, Building programmable Web sites, Swartz, Aaron, Hendler, James, James Hendler, 2009, Morgan & Claypool, S.F., 978-1-59829-920-5,
  • AV MEDIA, Swartz, Aaron (Interviewee), We can change the world, Video, YouTube,weblink
  • AV MEDIA, Swartz, Aaron (Speaker), Keynote address at Freedom To Connect 2012: How we stopped SOPA, Video, YouTube, D.C., May 21, 2012,weblink
  • JOURNAL, Swartz, Aaron, Aaron Swartz's A Programmable Web: An Unfinished Work, Synthesis Lectures on the Semantic Web: Theory and Technology,weblink Morgan & Claypool Publishers, 3, 2, 1–64, 2009, February 2013, {{Open access, PDF |lay-url= |quote=To Dan Connolly, who not only created the Web but found time to teach it to me. |doi=10.2200/S00481ED1V01Y201302WBE005 }}
  • BOOK, Swartz, Aaron, The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz, The New Press, January 2016,weblink


{{note|merger}} Swartz has been identified as a cofounder of Reddit, but the title is a source of controversy. With the merger of Infogami and Reddit, Swartz became a co-owner and director of parent company Not A Bug, Inc., along with Reddit cofounders Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian.NEWS,weblink Not A Bug, Inc.: Private company information, October 31, 2006, Bloomberg Business, May 30, 2015, The company owns and operates portals that allow users to post contents and create Websites.... As of October 31, 2006, [it] is a subsidiary of CondéNet, Inc.... Key Executives for Not A Bug, Inc.: ... Huffman, President and Director; ... Swartz, Treasurer and Director; ... Ohanian, Secretary and Director., Swartz has been referred to as "cofounder" in the press and by investor Paul Graham (who recommended the merger); Ohanian describes him as "co-owner".{{Citation |url= |publisher=Reddit |title=Today I Learned |contribution=There was a third 'co-founder' of reddit |date=October 18, 2010 |quote=Aaron isn't a founder of reddit.}}{{note|quantity_downloaded}} The MIT network administration office told MIT police that "approximately 70 gigabytes of data had been downloaded, 98% of which was from JSTOR." The first federal indictment alleged "approximately 4.8 million articles", "1.7 million" of which "were made available by independent publishers for purchase through JSTOR's Publisher Sales Service." The subsequent DOJ press release alleged "over four million articles". The superseding indictment removed the estimates and instead characterized the amount as "a major portion of the total archive in which JSTOR had invested."


See also


External links

{{Sister project links|wikt=no|commons=Category:Aaron_Swartz|n=Aaron Swartz arrested and charged for downloading JSTOR articles|v=no|q=Aaron Swartz|s=Author:Aaron Hillel Swartz|b= no}}

Further reading

{{external media| float = right| video1 = Presentation by Justin Peters on The Idealist, June 11, 2016, C-SPAN}}


  • Brian Knappenberger (Producer and Director), The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz. Participant Media: 2014. Via The Internet Archive, Run time: 105 minutes.
  • Ali Akbarzadeh (Director), (Killswitch (film)|Killswitch: The Battle to Control the Internet), Akorn Entertainment: 2014
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