If the good that men do is oft interred with their bones, so be it, but in the meantime I feel a responsibility to correct some of the erroneous information being posted as comments to otherwise informative discussions at Reddit, Hacker News and Boing Boing. Apparently some people feel the need to self-aggrandize by opining on the guilt of the recently departed, and I wanted to take this chance to speak on behalf of a man who can no longer defend himself. I had hoped to ask Aaron to discuss these issues on the Defcon stage once he was acquitted, but now that he has passed it is important that his memory not be besmirched by the ignorant and uninformed. I have confirmed with Aaron’s attorneys that I am free to discuss these issues now that the criminal case is moot.
I was the expert witness on Aaron’s side of US vs Swartz, engaged by his attorneys last year to help prepare a defense for his April trial. Until Keker Van Nest called iSEC Partners I had very little knowledge of Aaron’s plight, and although we have spoken at or attended many of the same events we had never once met.
This posting is well worth reading by everyone! Thanks so much for this posting. I think we all need to hear this.
It is so sad to see another young talented hacker gone now under this type of sad situation. The loss to the world I think will be great in the long run.
My deepest condolences to Aaron’s family and friends. I couldn’t believe it when I read about this and we did discuss it during our show last night over at CNIRadio.com (JimmyLee and Bambi Show).
It is so frustrating when lies and half truths are what seem to get out to the general public. Thankfully I had read several accounts about it at DemandProgress Support Aaron Swartz Petition (which I signed when it came out), and postings and articles after his death on Slashdot, Reddit and at Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow so it was clearer what was doing on. Cory’s posting was very helpful.
And of course this posting on Unhandled.com. Thank you for posting it Alex Stamos.
Rest in peace, Aaron Swartz. A man of many talents and one who just wanted to see the injustices of the world resolved in the best possible way.
When there’s a problem, you shouldn’t get angry with the gears—you should fix the machine.
~ Aaron Swartz (via Aaron Greenspan)
Aaron is dead. Wanderers in this crazy world, we have lost a mentor, a wise elder. Hackers for right, we are one down, we have lost one of our own. Nurtures, careers, listeners, feeders, parents all, we have lost a child. Let us all weep. timbl
EDIT: Added links –
Freedom to Connect: Aaron Swartz (1986-2013) on Victory to Save Open Internet, Fight Online Censors – DemocracyNow! (includes Aaron’s speech about Saving Open Internet, Freedom To Connect, SOPA, PIPA)
Remember Aaron Swartz – RememberAaronSW.com - In memory of Aaron, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. (includes Official statement from family and partner of Aaron Swartz)