Tuesday, 15th January 2013
THE PERSECUTION OF AARON SWARTZ BY THE US JUSTICE DEPARTMENT – In a recent article we published the sad news that Aarron Swartz, one of the Internets brightest stars and advocates for the flow of free information, tragically took his on life on Friday11th January 2013.
Aarron Swartz was not just any internet guru, he was a genius, developing RSS 1.0 at just the tender age of 13 and went on to Co-Found Reddit.com and the Creative Commons Licence.
As with any tragedy rumour are abound as to why Aaron, at such a young age, would take his own life, and the finger appears to be pointing directly at the US Justice Department over its relentless pursuit over the copyright theft of millions of MIT Journals, which Aaron downloaded and made freely available to the public domain.
The US Justice Department states that a clear case of an indictable offense had occurred and that punishment could consist of up to 10 years in prison and a US$1 million fine.
I for one truly believed in what Aaron was trying to achieve, and I am not alone. Millions of web users are mourning Aaron’s passing as a true pioneer for the freedom of information – after all that is exactly why the web was developed by its users and the flow of information is seen by us as an important social development so that we may learn new things and maybe understand one another better. The free flow of information is an idea that hopefully bring about more harmony in the world. On Friday 11th January 2013 that dream was severely affected by Aaron’s demise.
Considering all the crimes that the US Justice Department brings to court can it really justify its relentless persecution of Aaron Swartz? We recently witnessed Google getting off unfair trade practices that put at risk millions of website, with their owners facing ruin. It appears that the US Justice System is either inept, highly corrupt or indeed both. While Aaron may have be technically guilty of a crime surely what Google did was far worse and yet the Justice System certainly didn’t go after Google with the same ferocity.
Why should the internet be controlled by nothing more than a minority of control freaks? Is there something that they so desperately need to hide that drives them to continuously come up with new laws to restrict access of information?
When I set Meebal.com up it was with the intention of delivering news and other topical information untainted. It is about my perceptions and those of anyone who wishes to write. We have already been told that we tread on contentious ground as our open and honest views are not appreciated in some quarters.
I like million of other internet users feel it is my God given right to freedom of speech and to express myself in an open and honest way. Without the freedom to access information, perceptions and ideology how does this effect the internet and its users? The answer is simple, the internet will become, through masses of legislation a controlled government environment where the people will be silenced through the restrictive practices on the flow of information.
Meebal.com, regardless that it is a start up, will grow and it will continue to advocated for the free flow of information, the freedom of speech and the freedom of expression.