back to article Anger grows over the death of Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz's death has sent shockwaves through the internet community, but among the mourning and tributes there's a growing undercurrent of anger that an enormously gifted young man may have been hounded to his death. Aaron Swartz Swartz speaking against SOPA/PIPA last year Swartz, who helped write the RSS standard at …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Turing

    Swartz

    if only we could get rid of the psychopaths and control freaks in authority, what a world we could build.

    1. koolholio
      Thumb Up

      Whilst I whole heartedly agree with that, it would need some sort of 'structure'... maybe built around a little bit of common sense?

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Stop

      Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

      In Turing's case, he was a brilliant man that served his country, made massive advances in computing, yet was punished for what was then illegal homosexual activities. I fully support the idea of a posthumous pardon for Turing and think he should be awarded for his work. I'm sorry, but Swartz does not compare, if only because he was not persecuted for his sexual activities (if anything he seems to have been bi-confused). Even his work on RSS was based on that of others, particularly Apple and Netscape, IIRC, and in no way compare to Turing's achievements. Schwartz gets brownie points with the LOIC fodder for claiming to have killed SOPA - big deal. Again, not his work alone. This drive to venerate him and at the same time "punish those responsible" for his committing suicide is missing the glaringly obvious - Swartz had been depressed for a long time and had talked of suicide long, long before the JSTOR incident.

      I have known people that have been extremely depressed to the point of suicide, and it does not have to be something major that eventually triggers the act. A very old friend that had lived with depression for over twenty years one day went upstairs and hung himself, having accidentally broken a family heirloom. For him it was the last straw of guilt, having beaten himelf up for years thinking what a burden he had become to his family, that finally broke the camel's back. Aaron Swartz could have gone to trial, won, and still hung himself afterwards. His family will want to blame someone, it is only natural to do so as if you can't blame an outsider then the guilt will eat at you, but at some point they're going to have to face the fact that Aaron Swartz killed Aaron Swartz because Aaron Swartz decided he did not want to go on living.

      Let the down votes roll in, those without experience of friends or family going through depression or suicide will shriek as they are told to.

      1. Naughtyhorse
        Facepalm

        Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

        i got about 2 sentences in before looking at the by line

        All Realy Stupid Ejaculations Have One Logical Explaination....

        matt bryant said it

        final thought

        what have _you_ ever accomplished, and who will miss you when you are gone?

        0 for 2

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

          And there's the cheerleader of the LOIC fodder!

          "i got about 2 sentences in before looking at the by line...." I'm impressed you managed that much alone, you are a shining example of what remedial reading can achieve.

          "......All Realy Stupid Ejaculations Have One Logical Explaination...." And what great and eloquent arguments you bring - not! I'm betting it's not even your original work.

          "......matt bryant said it......" And you have failed in this opportunity to state some counter thought or provide any insight, but that would appear to be beyond you. Usual fail!

          "....final thought...." I would suggest you and thought are such rare coincidentals that even one original thought would be too much for you.

          ".....what have _you_ ever accomplished....." You'll never know, but it's probably going to really wind you up to say I don't think I'll be ending my days by hanging myself.

          "......and who will miss you when you are gone?" Well, seeing as I shall be past caring why should I worry? I already have years of "positive feedback" from friends, family and colleagues. But I'm not the self-centered type that wants dozens of people crying at my graveside, I'd rather they were happily getting on with their lives.

          Enjoy!

        2. Zolko
          Pint

          Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

          @ Naughtyhorse : "I got about 2 sentences in before looking at the by line ... Matt Bryant"

          yup. Interesting how predictable some writers are. It's the same with Tim Worstal or Lewis Page articles (although Lewis Page's are at least funny)

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Zolko Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

            ".....Interesting how predictable some writers are...." Also laughable how predictable some of the frothing posts are in response.

          2. JimC Silver badge

            Re: how predictable some writers are

            I'd submit that most opinionated writers are reasonably predictable. In the unlikely event that anyone thinks what I have to say is interesting enough to monitor my opinions they'd be able to predict that I am pro creators rights and individual responsibility, cynical about my employers, and exasperated by unthinking acceptance of the spirit of the age. Oh, and very musch against big advertising in general and G*****e in particular.

            Couldn't it be argued that the only type of writer who is truly unpredictable is the Troll who has no interest in the rights and wrongs of anything, but is only intent on provoking a reaction from the folk they exasperate? Even then though most trolls seem to have particular favourite target subjects... I suppose its hardly suprising they lack the imagination to be able to troll from utterly different points of view in order to target very different victims.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Naughtyhorse

          "what have _you_ ever accomplished"

          He seems to have accomplished enough to understand that contributing to the development of RSS in no way compares either in difficulty or importance to decrypting German military codes in World War II; and that's an understanding, by the way, which seems to be far beyond -you-.

          1. SYNTAX__ERROR
            Mushroom

            Matt Bryant

            Today you deserve commendations for thoroughly removing any respect I had for your opinions and contributions to this site.

            You are a horrible, self-important, opinionated and bigoted individual.

            I hope that one day you should find yourself in need of the support of others, and maybe you will see the error of your ways.

            1. asdf Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: Matt Bryant

              >one day you should find yourself in need of the support of others

              Based on what an unapologetic HP shill he is, that time might be coming sooner than he realizes.

            2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Matt Bryant

              ".....any respect I had for your opinions...." Get in line, there are a dozen frothing freetards already not adding anything to the thread ahead of you.

              ".....You are a horrible...." Hmmm, debateable. "..... self-important...." Well, you could argue that one man's self-importance is another man's self-confidence, but that would require the ability to reason, and frothing insults appears to be your limits. ".... opinionated....." Do you mean as in opinions that disagree with your own but you cannot formulate a suitable counter-argument? Exactly which one of us is the "loser" if it is you that can only bandy insults? "..... and bigoted individual....." Exactly how is it bigoted to simply state Aaron Swartz's own opinion that he did not want to be classified "gay"? Are you calling Swartz a bigot too? Careful, the Anons will be DDoSing you any minute if you criticise One of The Martyrs!

              ".....I hope that one day you should find yourself in need of the support of others...." Ah, how twee, he's cursing me like some wannabe Gypsy Rose! I won't do the same as it's unlikely you'll ever wander far enough from your keyboard to discover the real World.

            3. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Andrew Moore Silver badge

        Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

        Still, suicide is an incredibly selfish act that leaves a lot of family and friends utterly bereft.

        1. Steven Raith
          Stop

          Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

          Andrew Moore - having been there, and come close enough on a couple of occasions, in hindsight, yes it is a selfish act. Took a full blown nervous breakdown, and two years of psychotherapy and having some good friends who were prepared to stick with me through some truly horrific times (hint - depressed and suicidal people are not generally sociable beyond a surface level) to get me clear of that state of mind and realise that.

          I don't feel guilty about it - my head was a complete mess through stress, anxiety, and various other contributing factors in my life history that made me conclude that I was the biggest see-you-next-tuesday (phonetecise it yourself, I'd rather not risk this post getting moderated out due to swearing) walking on the earth, and that I deserved to die, and everyone would be better off without me. I don't see why I should feign guilt or shame because I was messed up in the head. Not much I could do about it at the time. Might as well say someone should feel guilty because they got cancer from doing, according to the tabloid press, anything. Stuff that.

          Back to the depression itself and suicide specifically, unless you have been to that point, it's impossible to describe the utter, gut wrenching, mind numbing pain, fear, guilt and self-hatred that leads to that. It is about as close to a genuine living hell as an average person could get to. Even worse, quite often it can be wholly irrational. The closest I can describe is imagining yourself holding on the inside rim of a volcano, trying to scrabble up as the lava rises to meet you and you're being burned by the heat, and never being able to get a handhold. Get the concept of that sort of raw, rabid panic, the inevitability of it, that nothing you can do can stop what's about to happen.

          I'm still generally depressed, and have major low points a couple of times a year (and I'm not talking about feeling a bit down in the dumps - I'm talking about days where I literally dread leaving the house, or even getting out of bed) but not as bad as I used to be. If you've never been to the stage where suicide genuinely seems like the only way out, I'll swear on my mothers grave that I genuinely hope you (the collective you, rather than you specifically) never do.

          Steven R

          PS: If you have been affected by the contents of this post (sounds like an after school special, eh?) then dip into some psychology books - start with the soft-core 'dealing with anxiety/depression' types, and then move up to more scholarly stuff. Learning how your own brain works is A: fascinating and B: very useful in terms of devising coping strategies, recognising mental loops and culdesacs leading to circular paths of doom and how to break out of them, etc. I still refer back to them these days, very helpful stuff.

          And if you are definitely feeling proper shitty, go see your GP. Sounds like a copout, but at least if you do something untoward, there's a record of it somewhere, and you're more likely to get some kind of treatment. NHS Psychology wards are surprisingly good, and no, they don't section you on sight, and if they do, it's almost certainly for a good reason. Because think about it, if you're so rubbish, why would they want you hanging around? (that's a little joke to my depressive cohorts, ho ho :-) )

          PPS: Ironically, I work in customer service and am generally seen a terribly jovial chap. Fifteen years of depression makes you an amazing actor....

          1. Nanki Poo
            Thumb Up

            Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

            @Steven Raith

            You wrote my post for me. Thanks. And with you there.

            @Matt Bryant

            I think you have obviously encountered a particular type of suicidal person. They actually have different triggers, different reasons, different troughs.

            You have the 'permanently depressed' the swings and those who can go most of their lives then suddenly start suffering. They're all very different and often have different origins. From your last rsponse I feel surprised at you declaration of experience, no offence.

            And incidentally, does it make it right if the authorities heavy-handed him when he apparently had a history of suicidal tendencies? In my book that would make it a lot worse . . .

            nK

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: @ Hanki Poo Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

              ".....does it make it right if the authorities heavy-handed him....." The law needs to be applied to all. For all the authorities knew, he could have been faking, you need to get to the stage of actual legal proceedings and court before you can produce evidence of mitigating circumstances such as psychiatric records. Swartz seems to have taken the exit before that could happen. What is alarming is that his family and friends do not seem to have caught on to the self-destructive nature of his actions and the possible cry for help therein. With hindsight (admitedly always 20-20), it is not hard to realise that Swartz was looking for a confrontation over the JSTOR affair. The awful possibility is those around him didn't see the signs but instead patted him on the back and said "Great idea, that's one for the poor/freetards/revolution!", rather than saying "Dude, what's driving you to do this?"

            2. Aitor 1 Silver badge

              Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

              They decided to have a heavy hand becasue he was threatening the system.

              Remember Sony rooting ppls computers? It seems you han hack 100.000s of computers and get a fine, but hack a university and get 50 years... suspicious...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Steven Raith

            Brilliant post! I also found http://anxietynomore.co.uk helpful when i was going through my own episodes...

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

            @ Stephen Raith

            For me it came courtesy of the missus... then took career, financial security (obviously), "future", swathe of friends (It's surprising how much outstandingly embarrassing & alienating self-destructive shit you can get under your belt along with the mundane mechanically dangerous self-destructive shit), etc. The usual stuff probably.

            Also, my particular "the utter, gut wrenching, mind numbing pain, fear, guilt and self-hatred" would have said hopelessness in place of fear. The fear came later for me... I had to begin to care again to find that.

            Other than those two little differences though, quite. Word perfect. I suspect it's always slightly different yet always basically the same. Those who've never experienced it don't seem to have much understanding. Reasonably enough.

            Thank you for your post.

          4. EyeCU

            Re: Steven Raith

            Thank you. Sometimes just hearing someone else saying exactly what you think/feel is enough to keep you going.

          5. Steven Raith

            Holy shit

            72 upvotes at the last count - that helps offset the RAGE I got after misinterpreting the locked bootloader affair a few months ago, eh?

            I'm guessing other than getting general agreement from people, I appear to have, for want of a better phrase, touched a few people. Good stuff. I was (genuinely) expecting a more negative response, or possibly even to be moderated out given how blunt and personal I was about it all.

            Mental illness - painful, vicious, fascinating stuff.

            Cheers all. That's made my day.

            Steven R

            PS: I've seen a couple of people elsewhere mention that Swartz 'chose' to commit suicide.

            Trust me, it's not a choice - it's a last resort.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Holy shit

              You are not alone

            2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: Holy shit

              "...... I've seen a couple of people elsewhere mention that Swartz 'chose' to commit suicide. Trust me, it's not a choice - it's a last resort." Whilst it may be a last resort, Aaron Swartz still chose to take that last resort. He put the noose round his own neck and hung himself. it is far from reality to state that the prosecutor "murdered" Swartz, which is what the more frothing ranters have claimed here and on other forums on the Web.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Meh

          Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

          "Still, suicide is an incredibly selfish act that leaves a lot of family and friends utterly bereft."

          That's certainly one point of view.

          But let me suggest that for those who do it is is a) A form of communication b) The last move they can make.

          They feel that their is no effective way to express themselves even to those closest to them. For some even having a twin sibling is not a close enough person to know or trust to confide in.

          For others they feel their life has not not worked out (no that has nothing to do with objective reality) and they cannot see a way forward, only a way out.

          BTW for those of you thinking "I'm too tough/smart/successful/rich" to ever feel this way perhaps you should also add lucky. Some people have never had a bad patch and it's under those kinds of stress they find out if they will stay afloat or go under. That's when Mr "I'm the master of the universe, everyone loves me" gets found in their million dollar apartment having added some aircon to their skull.

          So please tell me that you can't understand this behavior and they're all selfish cowards with no balls and you'd never do such a thing.

          But tell me it when it's 3am in your place and you've been fired from your job, you long term partner has walked out on you, the cops are closing in with a maximum jail term measured in centuries and the person you feel closest to you in the whole world just died.

          I'd suggest your understanding may have improved somewhat although you'll wish it hadn't.

        4. squigbobble
          Meh

          Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

          In case Ste Raith's treatise was too long for you to digest, here's the short version: Suicidal people think they're doing everyone a favour by eliminating themselves from the world so that they're not inflicting their selves/habits/needs/whatever on those around them. From their perspective, it's a generous act.

          It's a mental illness, y'know, people tend to think differently when they have one. Clinical depression causes people to be hyperintrospective so they're stuck in a loop thinking about is how shitty they are, this is why they appear selfish 'cos they tend to go on about I/me/myself a lot. Abnormally prevalent use of I/me/myself is a clinical symptom of depression.

          For anyone that hasn't been there I found a fairly accessible, if horribly cheesy example of what the inside of your head can sound like when you're depressed; skip to 1:15 in this vid- http://youtu.be/zTmChp7fBkw

          That sort of shit goes off when you're tired, stressed, your concentration wanders, somet' bad happens and at other random times. Whacking your head with a sword would stop it and be tempting, too.

          1. The First Dave
            Unhappy

            Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

            @squigbobble

            From experience, suicidal tendancies are entirely selfish, those afflicted believe that it is the only way out, the only way for them to end whatever personal pain they are in. Generous may apply to those considering euthanasia, but that is entirely different.

            1. squigbobble
              Meh

              Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

              That can be true too, I generalised too much. Everyone's experience of mental illness is framed by their own mindset and whatever else is floating around in there so people will arrive at different rationalisations for the same impulse. I thought that, on the whole, people would be happier that I wasn't around to annoy them and clutter their lives but, in time, I decided that it would be more fitting to go on living with my suffering in order to punish myself for existing. That's mentalist* logic for you.

              Eventually I worked out that, as a thinking disease, thinking about being depressed and depressing shit in general made it worse. Waffling about this is fucking depressing :|

              *Not the high-concept cop drama

              This might be off-topic but at least it's not an argument about pistol calibres.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

          Steven Raith said it all. Though I would have sworn a lot more at you in general.

          Having been there and done that (though only attempted)

          America, land of the free... My ar$e.

        6. supermoore
          Stop

          Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

          Just for those who come on this site and know me, this ^^^ isn't me by the way.

        7. sisk Silver badge

          Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

          Still, suicide is an incredibly selfish act that leaves a lot of family and friends utterly bereft.

          Suicide is a symptom of the disease that is severe depression. Many suicidal people honestly believe that their family and friends will be better off without them and so think that they are doing the world a favor by offing themselves. There's nothing selfish about that mindset. It's merely misguided.

          And yes, I'm well aware that there are many people who don't consider depression a disease. Having been far too up close to the end result of the refusal to think of depression as a disease for comfort I have to disagree with those people.

      3. seraphim
        Facepalm

        Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

        Turing: A brilliant man, facing unjust punishments from a ludicrous law, took his own life.

        Swartz: A brilliant man, facing unjust punishments from a ludicrous law, took his own life.

        Yes, utterly ridiculous to compare the two cases, isn't it?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

          I'm not convinced intellect is necessarily applicable or relevant here but something else is... and the disturbing similarity of the cases, together with the *universal* nature of this new threat are perhaps more apparent without it:

          Turing: A man, facing unjust punishments from a ludicrous law criminalizing a private, victimless act, took his own life.

          Swartz: A man, facing unjust punishments from a ludicrous law criminalizing a private, victimless act, took his own life.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

          "Swartz: A brilliant man, facing unjust punishments from a ludicrous law, took his own life."

          If his "brilliance" consisted of writing the RSS spec, that's pretty trivial. But some people have rather low standards of birilliance.

          1. ishaqx

            Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

            "If his "brilliance" consisted of writing the RSS spec, that's pretty trivial. But some people have rather low standards of birilliance."

            It's not that he wrote the spec, but more at the age he wrote it. Besides, his activism and pursuits for noble causes - in particular - at such a young age lend more to his brilliance than co-authoring the RSS specs.

            1. Turtle

              Not a single "noble cause"

              "his activism and pursuits for noble causes"

              He supported no noble causes. As far as I can tell, all his "causes" played into the hands of Big Tech, and their need to avoid paying for content. Cf the picture of him and the Google shill Lessig from the Google-funded Berkman Center; his involvement with the Google-funded Creative Commons which has worked out new licenses which make it easier for tech and other companies to use people's work without having to pay for it; his involvement with the Google-organized and Google-financed campaign against SOPA and PIPA; and his general involvement with the "freedom of information" movement: if information is free, then the people who create or discover that information better enjoy working "for free" because the only income that free information is going to generate is going to be generated by Google ads on a webpage somewhere.

              Nor do I classify "Reddit" as a "noble cause". I classify it as a "cesspool". You know, "Violentacrez" and all that...

              Now if you know of Swartz' support of actual "noble causes" that offset his support and activism in campaigns organized by Big Tech and which only benefit the extremely narrow group of extremely wealthy people who own those companies to the detriment and harm of the huge numbers of individuals that create the "information" that Swartz and Big Tech think ought to be "free" then please feel "free" to enumerate those noble causes.

              Because to me, he looks like a tool of Big Tech. And judging by some of the comments on this (and other threads) and highly inflated eulogies elsewhere, he is about to become an even bigger tool of Big Tech.

              1. JimC Silver badge

                Re: Not a single "noble cause"

                Oh no, I wouldn't accuse Lessig of being a shill, merely a useful idiot. A sort of George Bernard Shaw of intellectual property. If one is naive enough one may be funded by the bad guys and still retain one's innocence.

        3. ja

          Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

          Turing did (arguably) save civilization from Hitler.

      4. croc

        Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

        Sometimes you do tend to come off as a complete ass. This is one of those times. You should have just stayed in bed this morning, done us all a favor. Speaking of favors...

        Where's my middle finger icon when it is needed?

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Comparing Turing to Swartz? Complete FAIL!

          "Sometimes you do tend to come off as a complete ass....." We're all entitled to an opinion. If you actually added to the debate then I might even be able to formulate an opinion of you higher than a disparaging "pffft". Of course, it is highly probable you're just another of those that had never even heard of Aaron Swartz before today but are happilly signing his greatness now. If you want a favour, try joining in the debate.

    3. Johan Bastiaansen
      Devil

      A solution

      Name and shame the bastards and their minions. If that doesn't help, eliminated physically.

      We outnumber them, if a few decent men take down a rat each, they'll soon be hiding in the sewers where they belong.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Good God...

      The audacity of the man! Who did he think he was: Attempting to bulk download copies of scientific papers he was entitled to download, without first obtaining the correct docket from The Ministry of Information. Miniluv must despatch The Thought Police immediately to round up his friends, family and passing acquaintances. They could well have been contaminated with his dangerous doublethink. They must be all be sent extraordinarily rendered to room 101 Gitmo immediately for essential correction. This subversion must not be tolerated. We are at war with paedophilia Eurasia terrorism Eastasia copyright infringement piracy. We have always been at war with copyright infringement terrorism Eastasia paedophilia Eurasia piracy.

      On a slightly less sarcastic note... I can't help thinking that sticking something along the lines of "sleep 5" into his loop could have saved him a lot of hassle.

      Oh and FUCKWITTED hack: At the prices JSTOR was charging for the research papers, technically Swartz stole millions of dollars-worth of goods, although had he downloaded each one individually no laws would have been broken. JSTOR itself declined to press charges, indeed it opened its archives up for free on Wednesday in an unrelated move.

      STOP! Before you get too engrossed in your self-righteous defaming of the dead: Swartz allegedly stole millions of dollars-worth of goods, although had he downloaded each one individually no laws would have been broken. JSTOR itself declined to press charges, indeed it opened its archives up for free on Wednesday in an unrelated move.

      He:

      1. Hadn't stolen anything

      2. Had been charged with thoughtcrimes but not (yet) convicted.

      I realise that with the involvement of Miniluv, Point 2 becomes a mere formality (and point 1 becomes irrelevant) but nevertheless, perhaps it's a formality you might consider observing in respect of the dead?

      You are not a lawyer. Stick some "allegedly"s and "accused of"s into your newspeak or you could suddenly find yourself on the wrong side of Miniluv. You wouldn't want that, would you. I hope the family sue you

      Other than those two trivial doublethinks, keep up the excellent newspeak. I'm sure Big Brother has great plans for you.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Good God...

        ".....Hadn't stolen anything...." Technically, I can "borrow" the e-books in my local library ten at a time. If I help myself to as many e-books as I like, and use means to circumvent the systems designed to limit the number of e-books I take out, they will eventually call the Police as they do class it as theft. If I should computerise those means and introduce a computer into the library's network to do so, against their access rules that I have agreed to by taking out a library card, then I am also in breach of the comupter laws of this country or the US's. Simple, every day example.

        Going by the evidence publically available for comment, Swartz broke the rules of his access to JSTOR, then added illicit computer equipment to the system and used another login as well as his own, and they can apply a monetary worth to what he downloaded. So legally he was pretty much toast by his own admission. What he did may not constitute "stealing" to the freetards, but then the law is not set by freetards, in this case it was set by the US government, and what he did was "illegal". Until the freetards opinion becomes the mainstream, and it probably never will, those laws will not change. Therefore, by definition, he stole, get over it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good God...

          >What he did may not constitute "stealing" to the freetards, but then the law is not set by freetards, in this case it was set by the US government, and what he did was "illegal".

          No. The legality or otherwise of what he did was never tested in a court of law. So the ALLEGATIONS against him do not constitute stealing in ANY sense: legal, moral or logical. It is your Daily Mail condemnation that is unfounded.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Good God...

            ".....The legality or otherwise of what he did was never tested in a court of law....." The fact that it had gone to trail suggests there was a very clear case of it being judged illegal activity. Mr Swartz may haven chosen to avoid that possibility as he saw it as inevitable. I'll tell you what - you collect the evidenec as publically available (or just outlined in the article), then you construct a legal defence against teh charges as listed. Sorry, but posting "It wasn't illegal because I say it wasn't illegal because I want to be able to download as many grumble flicks and Morrisey tracks as I like without paying SO THERE!" is not going to cut it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Good God...

              ".....The legality or otherwise of what he did was never tested in a court of law....." The fact that it had gone to trail suggests there was a very clear case of it being judged illegal activity. Mr Swartz may haven chosen to avoid that possibility as he saw it as inevitable. I'll tell you what - you collect the evidenec as publically available (or just outlined in the article), then you construct a legal defence against teh charges as listed. Sorry, but posting "It wasn't illegal because I say it wasn't illegal because I want to be able to download as many grumble flicks and Morrisey tracks as I like without paying SO THERE!" is not going to cut it.

              I'm afraid you're missing the point. He was innocent because he was innocent. That's innocent in law - not by decree of any commentard. An allegation does not confer guilt. Not on this side of Orwell's Oceania anyway. In the civilised world, an accusation must be proven. Guilt must be found. The concept is known as habeas-corpus and is quite well known. You may have heard of it. It protects YOU from inconveniences like "summary justice" and lynching... such as you appear to be advocating, posthumously, for Mr Swartz.

              Perhaps you should stop for a breather and a coffee. You're coming across as an exceptionally stupid raving psychopath today.

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: Re: Good God...

                ".....He was innocent because he was innocent ....The concept is known as habeas-corpus and is quite well known....." Sorry, but that bit of semantics is pointless apologism. The evidence is available for public scrutiny, as is legal argument of his actions. For you to claim Swarz cannot be considered a thief is like saying Adam Lanza can't be considered a child murderer simply because he blew his own brains out before he could be arrested and tried. Please do try and argue by the same merit that Lanza was innocent, if only so I can laugh at the knee-jerk posters spinning like tops at the idea whilst wanting it to apply to Swarz!

                "....such as you appear to be advocating, posthumously, for Mr Swartz...." Nothing of the kind. I originally objected to the fawning comparison with Alan Turing. I never called for a lynching of Swarz, only that his (alleged) crimes not be swept under the carpet because he has suddenly become the Great Martyr of the Anonyputzs. I also pointed out Swartz's own denial of being labelled "gay". I would have been happier if he hadn't commited suicide, and even happy with due process if he'd been tried and acquitted (even though I would personally disagree with his actions). But the lynching bit is just a product of your frothing imagination.

                ".....Perhaps you should stop for a breather and a coffee. You're coming across as an exceptionally stupid raving psychopath today." I would suggest it is you that is ranting and frothing at imaginary lynchings and the like, and would benefit from a long breather, less you assault everyone that doesn't mindlessly shriek at the same volume as you do.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Good God...

                "An allegation does not confer guilt. Not on this side of Orwell's Oceania anyway. In the civilised world, an accusation must be proven."

                That'd be tabloid UK then, where an accusation can be printed in a newspaper, and the usual 'no smoke without fire' mob decide that the person in question is guilty.

              3. JimC Silver badge

                Re: Habeas Corpus

                Err, that's not what habeas corpus actually means, and you rather miss the point of the essentially unrelated concept of presumption of innocence, which is the assumption that someone is treated as if they may be found innocent until such time they are proved guilty.

                I am guilty in moral terms as soon as I commit the crime. However the legal system is not allowed to treat me as a convicted criminal until they have actually convicted me. Its merely a device for ensuring a more equitable legal system.

                A study of history shows the problems that arise if prisoners are not considered innocent before trial...

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