In May 2006, Aaron Swartz wrote a blog post titled "The Book That Changed My Life". The book in question, Understanding Power, is a series of transcribed discussions with the MIT linguist Noam Chomsky in which Chomsky analyses and explains the ways in which political power is wielded, acquired and guarded. "Reading the book, I felt as if my mind was rocked by explosions. At times the ideas were too much that I literally had to lie down," Swartz wrote. "Ever since then," he continued, "I've realised that I need to spend my life working to fix the shocking brokenness I'd discovered."
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Last time Anonymous plunged into MIT's servers, it was to set up a small memorial for Aaron Swartz. Today the whole homepage is defaced, and it's really just incoherent. UPDATE: Hackers speak.
While activists rally in an attempt to rewrite the law, the US Attorney's office in Massachusetts has issued a public statement which defends the prosecution of Aaron Swartz.
There's been a pretty big outpouring of grief following Aaron Swartz's suicide, even from those who didn't actually know him. And the trend is continuing. Many researchers and academics are now tweeting links to PDF files of their papers as a tribute.
The Internet is dealing with the suicide of gifted programmer and activist Aaron Swartz in a variety of ways — but Anonymous is responding with what it does best. Two of MIT's sites have been hacked into memorials.
It's no secret that a factor in Aaron Swartz's recent suicide was likely the charges being pressed against him by in part by MIT over the whole JSTOR incident. While JSTOR backed off, MIT tacitly backed the U.S. attorneys who continued to push, hard. Now, after being criticized in a statement by Swartz's friends and family, MIT has announced its intention to go back and investigate the legal action internally.