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by Internet's Own Boy category: Politics
When Aaron Swartz accessed MIT's computer
network to download a large number of publicly accessed research documents from
JSTOR, a non-profit that hosts academic journal articles, US prosecutors charged
him with crimes punishable by up to 50+ years in prison and fines of almost $4
million. His two-year legal nightmare ended with the taking of his own life at
the age of 26.
Aaron's life is an example of why we must have greater accountability when there are allegations of attorney misconduct. The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) was created to investigate allegations of misconduct by federal lawyers, but because the OPR reports to the Attorney General, there are inherent conflicts of interest in the oversight of such cases.
In order to achieve more transparency and a shift in oversight, we believe the OPR should report to the Inspector General instead of the Attorney General. Help us send a message to Attorney General Eric Holder on July 14th (the anniversary of Aaron's initial indictment) in an effort to bring back public accountability to the OPR.
Internet's Own Boy
"The Internet's Own Boy" is a documentary following the story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. Swartz helped in the development of the basic Internet protocol RSS, co-founded the online community Reddit and was a groundbreaking force in social justice. His passion for free knowledge and ability to organize the masses combined with his aggressive approach ensnared him in a two-year legal nightmare. The battle ended when he took his own life at the age of 26.
Aaron's story touched people far beyond the online communities where he was celebrated. The film is a personal story about what we lose when we are blind to technology and its relationship to our civil liberties.