You say suicide, they say murder
A famous internet guy—as much as you can be a famous internet guy—Aaron Swartz, has committed suicide. Sad.
However, Swartz’s family blames others for his death. Those blamed are institutions, MIT and the US government. It all reminds me of the well-known saying, “We’re from the government-academic-legal complex—we’re glad to see you and we’re here to help.”
“Aaron’s death is not simply a personal tragedy,” his family wrote in a statement. “It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office and at MIT contributed to his death.”
Will Rodney Holder find it in his heart to charge MIT and/or government prosecutors with accessory to murder/manslaughter charges? I wouldn’t count on it.
And why did Swartz kill himself/was helped to die by MIT and the government? Without having access to his thoughts, it’s impossible to know but the aforementioned family says it was tied to crimes he’d been charged with.
Swartz was indicted on federal charges of gaining illegal access to JSTOR, a subscription-only service for distributing scientific and literary journals, and downloading most of the library [about 4.8 million articles and documents].
And the New York Times, without irony or comment, has this observation:
Mr. Swartz… [was/had been] a fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.
Center for Ethics, eh? Is Swartz one man’s informational freedom fighter or another man’s copyright terrorist?
As another saying goes, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. May God comfort Mr. Swartz’s family.