spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All Campaigns subcategories:

Anti-capitalism

Anti-fascist

Anti-racism

Anti-war

Asylum

Black and Asian

Children

CNWP

Corporate crime

Disability

Education

Election campaigns

Environment

EU

Finance

Food

Gender Recognition Act

Health and safety

Health and welfare

Housing

* Human Rights

LGBT Pride

Local government

Local services

Low pay

Migration

Nationalisation

New workers party

NHS

Pensions

Post Office

Poverty

Privatisation

Public Services

Socialism

Socialist

Sport

Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Students

The state

Transport

TUSC

Welfare rights

Women

Workplace and TU campaigns

Youth


Human Rights keywords:

Conspiracy (11)

Democratic rights (142)

Detention (39)

Freedom of Information Act (5)

Genes (3)

Genocide (8)

Guantanamo (13)

Human rights (101)

ID cards (10)

Internet (15)

Jean Charles de Menezes (17)

Jobstown (8)

Jury (12)

Legal aid (27)

Liberties (19)

M25 Three (3)

Rendition (5)

Slave trade (7)

Stop and search (14)

Torture (24)

Trial (43)

Internet


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 750, 30 January 2013: NHS workers resist cuts

Search site for keywords: Internet - US - Government - Capitalism

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.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 







Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999