Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/750/16052

From The Socialist newspaper, 30 January 2013

Aaron Swartz: a fight to free information

Adam Hemsley

The suicide of Aaron Swartz, aged 26, exposes the hypocrisy of the US justice system and highlights attacks on freedom of information.

Swartz, co-founder of the social news website Reddit, was facing over 50 years imprisonment and fines up to $1 million on 13 felony counts for downloading four million academic journals with the intention of opening them up to the public.

JSTOR, the digital library from which the journals were downloaded, didn't pursue charges.

But despite being allegedly guilty only of copyright infringement and breaking a terms of service agreement, the US government brought felony charges of wire and computer fraud against Swartz that could have seen a prison sentence of over half a century.

Swartz was involved in groups such as Change Congress and Demand Progress which campaigned against the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) and the Protect IP Act (Pipa), US government attempts to censor the internet under the guise of fighting online piracy.

A statement by the Swartz family said that the tragedy of his death was not just personal but the "product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach."

Swartz's belief that information should be free and open to all people contradicted the restrictive and secretive nature of capitalism.

After the banking crash of 2008, the bankers and speculators who committed history's largest act of fraud walked away without even a slap on the wrist.

But an activist who challenged the system was hounded by an unjust legal system and took his own life.

Aaron Swartz's death raises the importance of the campaign to keep the internet and all forms of information free from censorship.

SOPA in the US and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Act (Acta) in Europe have been defeated but could return in different forms.

Socialists must raise awareness of control of the internet by big business and capitalist governments.

To ensure that free information is provided on the internet, control over it should be taken from big corporations and run by elected representatives of the community.

We should fight to replace capitalism with socialism, a system that has nothing to hide from people because it is built around their direct running of it. Then, truly free access to information can be achieved.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 30 January 2013:


Socialist Party NHS news & campaigning

NHS workers resist cuts

Privatisation: Bleeding the NHS dry

Heatherwood hospital campaign shows determination

East Midlands: Campaign forces retreat on ambulance station closure

Life as an NHS worker: bullying and stress


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cameron takes a gamble by threatening EU referendum

Austerity's utter failure

Taxing words from Cameron?

Aaron Swartz: a fight to free information

Them & Us


Fighting the cuts

Southampton councillors have a choice ... Don't vote for cuts!

Hull councillors ready to vote No

Brighton's Greens vote for cuts in workers' allowances

Labour meltdown in Stoke-on-Trent continues; and Unison withholds funding

Stop Sheffield children's centre closures


Workplace news and events

Twelfth day of strike action by Tyne and Wear metro cleaners

DfE strike ballot

London teachers call for strike action against Performance Related Pay

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party review

Fired up by Fire in the Blood - a story of big business cruelty and neglect


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Jumping through hoops for a job

Shrewsbury 24: What is the government hiding?

Wales conference - confidence in socialist ideas

Server appeal: Members provide a huge boost to our resources

Socialist Party National Congress 2013


 

Home   |   The Socialist 30 January 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Internet:

triangleHow 'Prevent' training fosters racist paranoia

triangleHyperNormalisation: Arbitrary selection of ideas to confirm feelings of powerlessness

triangleManchester Socialist Party: Technology, the internet and freedom of speech

triangleWill robots end capitalism?

triangleStop the "elites fortifying their power"

US:

triangleImperialist tensions escalate as world economy teeters

triangleProbation hostel rest room win

triangleMass movement topples governor of Puerto Rico

triangle50 years since Apollo 11 - 'One giant leap': how political conflict launched the moon landing

Government:

triangleStand firm against the pro-capitalist politicians

trianglePCS strike at BEIS: "The life we live is not liveable"

Capitalism:

triangleLondon Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis

triangle20 September climate action day: Strike to save the planet!

International

International

18/9/19

South Africa

Violence against women in South Africa: how should organised workers respond?

11/9/19

London

West Papuans demand self-determination in London

11/9/19

South Africa

South Africa: Xenophobic violence - a product of failed capitalist policies

11/9/19

Far right

Far right makes gains in Germany

4/9/19

Hong Kong

Hong Kong protests: No let-up in trial of strength

28/8/19

Italy

Italy: Governing coalition fractures as Salvini looks to capitalise on crisis

14/8/19

Hong Kong

Pro-democracy protests continue to rage

14/8/19

Kashmir

Kashmir crisis: Stop the attack on democratic rights

31/7/19

Puerto Rico

Mass movement topples governor of Puerto Rico

31/7/19

Hong Kong

Hong Kong: the struggle for democratic rights escalates

17/7/19

Greece

Greece elections: Syriza ousted amid voter disillusionment

17/7/19

Israel

Interview: protests over killing in Israel

17/7/19

Sudan

Sudan masses mobilise against state repression

3/7/19

Ireland

Irish health workers' anger boils over into strike action

3/7/19

Turkey

New opportunity to build working-class fightback after voters punish Erdogan

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999