Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/750/16052

From The Socialist newspaper, 30 January 2013

Aaron Swartz: a fight to free information

Adam Hemsley

The suicide of Aaron Swartz, aged 26, exposes the hypocrisy of the US justice system and highlights attacks on freedom of information.

Swartz, co-founder of the social news website Reddit, was facing over 50 years imprisonment and fines up to $1 million on 13 felony counts for downloading four million academic journals with the intention of opening them up to the public.

JSTOR, the digital library from which the journals were downloaded, didn't pursue charges.

But despite being allegedly guilty only of copyright infringement and breaking a terms of service agreement, the US government brought felony charges of wire and computer fraud against Swartz that could have seen a prison sentence of over half a century.

Swartz was involved in groups such as Change Congress and Demand Progress which campaigned against the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) and the Protect IP Act (Pipa), US government attempts to censor the internet under the guise of fighting online piracy.

A statement by the Swartz family said that the tragedy of his death was not just personal but the "product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach."

Swartz's belief that information should be free and open to all people contradicted the restrictive and secretive nature of capitalism.

After the banking crash of 2008, the bankers and speculators who committed history's largest act of fraud walked away without even a slap on the wrist.

But an activist who challenged the system was hounded by an unjust legal system and took his own life.

Aaron Swartz's death raises the importance of the campaign to keep the internet and all forms of information free from censorship.

SOPA in the US and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Act (Acta) in Europe have been defeated but could return in different forms.

Socialists must raise awareness of control of the internet by big business and capitalist governments.

To ensure that free information is provided on the internet, control over it should be taken from big corporations and run by elected representatives of the community.

We should fight to replace capitalism with socialism, a system that has nothing to hide from people because it is built around their direct running of it. Then, truly free access to information can be achieved.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 30 January 2013:


Socialist Party NHS news & campaigning

NHS workers resist cuts

Privatisation: Bleeding the NHS dry

Heatherwood hospital campaign shows determination

East Midlands: Campaign forces retreat on ambulance station closure

Life as an NHS worker: bullying and stress


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cameron takes a gamble by threatening EU referendum

Austerity's utter failure

Taxing words from Cameron?

Aaron Swartz: a fight to free information

Them & Us


Fighting the cuts

Southampton councillors have a choice ... Don't vote for cuts!

Hull councillors ready to vote No

Brighton's Greens vote for cuts in workers' allowances

Labour meltdown in Stoke-on-Trent continues; and Unison withholds funding

Stop Sheffield children's centre closures


Workplace news and events

Twelfth day of strike action by Tyne and Wear metro cleaners

DfE strike ballot

London teachers call for strike action against Performance Related Pay

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party review

Fired up by Fire in the Blood - a story of big business cruelty and neglect


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Jumping through hoops for a job

Shrewsbury 24: What is the government hiding?

Wales conference - confidence in socialist ideas

Server appeal: Members provide a huge boost to our resources

Socialist Party National Congress 2013


 

Home   |   The Socialist 30 January 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Internet:

triangleHyperNormalisation: Arbitrary selection of ideas to confirm feelings of powerlessness

triangleManchester Socialist Party: Technology, the internet and freedom of speech

triangleWill robots end capitalism?

triangleStop the "elites fortifying their power"

triangleUK governments approved secret mass surveillance

US:

triangleTrump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

triangleThem & Us

triangleRetail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

Government:

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

triangleMovement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangleTwo in five 'right to buy' homes now for let

Capitalism:

triangleBrexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

triangleFighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

International

International

13/12/17

Israel

Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

13/12/17

CWI

A world in crisis, ripe for revolution

6/12/17

US

Trump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

6/12/17

Ireland

Irish capitalist state: rotten to the core

6/12/17

Women

Fighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

22/11/17

US

Trump's tax attacks

22/11/17

Australia

Australia: massive yes vote for marriage equality

21/11/17

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power

15/11/17

Minneapolis

USA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

10/11/17

Minneapolis

US: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

8/11/17

Sweden

Sweden: 'Revolution2017' success

8/11/17

Spain

Spain: Madrid rally celebrates October revolution

8/11/17

Minneapolis

US: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters

8/11/17

Ireland

Ireland: rail workers demand share of 'recovery'

8/11/17

Ireland

Ireland: dangerous ideas for the ruling class

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Dec Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

More ...

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2