Adam Swartz is DED
Well, the hacker on trial is on trial no more. I heard that he was facing a year or so for just downloading scholarly files from MIT. Meanwhile, Carmen Ortiz, his prosecutor, allowed a ballot-stuffer to plead guilty to a misdemeanor. I see. Ballot-stuffing isn't as deadly as software download. Wow. But don't take my word for it:
Read all about it!
And then tell me, did he really need to kill himself? Was that a stretch? Or was the prosecution stretching when they pursued him?
If you'll hear my opinion, then read the following:
I think he should not have commit suicide. Now, he's some friggin internet/media martyr who will go down as the Osama bin Laden of hackers: followers love him, governments hate him. That being said, he had agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor, so that could have ended it there. Unfortunately, the law went a bit too far in saying no to this offer. I think that while the law is the law (that is, he should be prosecuted), they should have met in the middle, avoided the death, and avoid me making this thread. Tell me if you agree.
I heard about this, but I haven't done much independent reading on it. From what I understand, there are claims that he was suffering from depression before all this. But if he committed suicide solely out of fear of serving a huge sentence, I feel like he pussed out big-time --- from what I understand, the trial wasn't even over, so it wasn't even certain that he would serve the sentence. If he was going to kill himself, the *least* he could've done is wait and see if he got out of those charges first. Also, now we'll probably never know exactly what the case against him was/what evidence the prosecution was going to bring.
Anyway, I heard MIT (or whoever it was he "stole" from) wasn't even pressing civil or criminal charges against him, and said his "offense" wasn't worth making a big stink about. So it seems odd that the prosecuting attorney would continue the case against him in light of that. Definitely makes this seem political/strategic.
Jstor was who he stole from, but MIT was the one going after him. JSTOR had said the offense wasn't worth prosecuting, but MIT was really biting down. He probably had other issues, but it seems pretty clear that the way MIT and the federal government was going after him that he viewed his life as over, anyway. The charges were extreme.
Originally Posted by Static_Martyr
The way they were going after him, compared to how they totally let HSBC off the hook, really sickens me. Freedom of information (even before he actually DID anything - the guy hadn't actually committed an offense yet) is horrible, but drug laundering is a-okay.
I believe you may mean money laundering, Llamas.
Static_Martyr, I'm surprised you don't read Boing Boing. He was also facing federal charges for 'liberating' court documents from PACER.