“With enough of us, around the world, we’ll not send a strong message of opposition the privatization of knowledge – we’ll make it a thing of the past.”
– Aaron Swartz (Guerilla Open Access Manifesto, July 2008)
Jack Andraka had an amazing road paved for him by Aaron Swartz. With the freedom of information he would not have been able to do the research leading to finding a cure for pancreatic cancer. If it was not for Aaron fighting so hard, could that have happened. Jack was only 14 years old.
Yesterday, November 8th Aaron Swartz would have turned the great age of 28. Instead he is resting peacefully – why because he committed suicide on January 11, 2013 due to stress from his emotional changes after being used as a deterrent by the Federal Court System. He was labeled a hacker and they wanted him to take on the label of a felon. Aaron fought for information to be available to all people. He fought against (and won) against such Congressional Bills like S.O.P.A/P.I.P.A. Do you not remember the day when the internet was made unavailable to us. Not because the wifi was out or your cable bill was not paid – but because there was a need to understand what laws like S.O.P.A would do. Aaron wanted us to understand us. Yet, he was treated as though he hacked in to NSA passed on the classified information from cables to any and everyone. He wanted to make information that would make us more knowledgable available.
Walter O’Brien who actually hacked into governmental systems to prove that there were faults was not treated as harshly as Swartz was. He was to be a show to all those who wanted to follow in his footsteps. Well as we can all see it did not work. The death of Aaron almost two years ago, made people stronger, more angry and wanting to fight harder.
I want to say thank you to Aaron Swartz for what he helped make sure did not happen. I would also like to wish him a Happy Birthday.