Brian Knappenberger's The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz is available to watch for free in its entirety thanks to the Internet Archive. [more inside]
The inside story of MIT and Aaron Swartz. The Boston Globe reviews over 7,000 pages of discovery documents in the Aaron Swartz case (previously): Most vividly, the e-mails underscore the dissonant instincts the university grappled with. There was the eagerness of some MIT employees to help investigators and prosecutors with the case, and then there was, by contrast, the glacial pace of the institution’s early reaction to the intruder’s provocation.... MIT never encouraged Swartz’s prosecution, and once told his prosecutor they had no interest in jail time. However, e-mails illustrate how MIT energetically assisted authorities in capturing him and gathering evidence — even prodding JSTOR to get answers for prosecutors more quickly — before a subpoena had been issued.... Yet if MIT eventually adopted a relatively hard line on Swartz, the university had also helped to make his misdeeds possible, the Globe review found. Numerous e-mails make it clear that the unusually easy access to the campus computer network, which Swartz took advantage of, had long been a concern to some of the university’s information technology staff.
Losing Aaron. "After his son was arrested for downloading files at MIT, Bob Swartz did everything in his power to save him. He couldn’t. Now he wants the institute to own up to its part in Aaron’s death." [Via]
The U.S. Secret Service has begun releasing their roughly 14,500 pages on Aaron Swartz in response to a FOIA lawsuit against the DHS by Kevin Poulsen (DHS filing, groklaw). Poulsen's FIOA was delayed by MIT and maybe JSTOR fighting against the release. [more inside]
Today The New Yorker unveiled Strongbox, a service that allows sources to share information with TNY journalists securely and anonymously. As explained in this infographic, Strongbox relies on the Tor network, a dedicated server, PGP encryption, VPNs, and multiple laptops and thumb drives to prevent files from being intercepted or traced. The codebase, which is open source, was designed by the late Aaron Swartz (Previously). Kevin Poulsen, one of the organizers of the project, chronicles how Swartz developed the code and how the project managed to carry on after his death. TNY hopes that Strongbox will help the magazine continue its long tradition of investigative journalism.
Steven Reich told the House that Aaron Swartz’s Guerilla Open Access Manifesto played an important role in the DOJ's decision to prosecute him. (previously) [more inside]
NY Times reports that Aaron Swartz, co-founder of Reddit, co-author of the RSS 1.0 spec, founder of Demand Progress, former fellow at Harvard's Center for Ethics, and founder of theinfo.org, a site "for people with large data sets" was indicted today on charges of stealing a large data set from MIT: JSTOR, an archive of academic papers. He faces up to 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines. [more inside]
Boy Genius. I'm incredibly impressed by Aaron. I sat behind him today at a meeting about RDF technology and I was floored with his level of understanding. Far beyond what I was grasping. The catch? He's a 9th grader at the North Shore Country Day School. jesus.