19 votes

Lawrence Lessig on DOJ Bullying Aaron Swartz to Death

Excellent essay from Lawrence Lessig, friend and colleague of Aaron Swartz:

Aaron had literally done nothing in his life "to make money." He was fortunate Reddit turned out as it did, but from his work building the RSS standard, to his work architecting Creative Commons, to his work liberating public records, to his work building a free public library, to his work supporting Change Congress/FixCongressFirst/Rootstrikers, and then Demand Progress, Aaron was always and only working for (at least his conception of) the public good. He was brilliant, and funny. A kid genius. A soul, a conscience, the source of a question I have asked myself a million times: What would Aaron think? That person is gone today, driven to the edge by what a decent society would only call bullying. I get wrong. But I also get proportionality. And if you don't get both, you don't deserve to have the power of the United States government behind you.

For remember, we live in a world where the architects of the financial crisis regularly dine at the White House -- and where even those brought to "justice" never even have to admit any wrongdoing, let alone be labeled "felons."


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Whats weird to me about the

Whats weird to me about the MIT part of it is that MIT opened up all their online classes to the world for free. Why did they get in such a snit over this other stuff?

This is what all governments

This is what all governments do, bully! It doesn't matter if it is federal, state or local, they ALL bully because they can. I dream of the day when anarcho-capitalists can freely fly their black and gold flag and everyone pledges allegiance to it, not the crap we have today.


"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere".

It's hard not to be a menace to society when half the population is happy on their knees. - unknown

Michael Nystrom's picture

I just lost a lot of respect for MIT as an institution

BTW, it is eclipsing Harvard because of its focus on biotech and life sciences.