Monday, March 04, 2013

"After Aaron": Late Activist’s Campaign for Open Internet Continues at Freedom to Connect Conference" (with video)

Democracy Now! with video:
We broadcast live from the Freedom to Connect conference, a national gathering to promote Internet freedom and universal connectivity. It comes as the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act has been reintroduced in the House, calling for a "cybersecurity" exception to existing privacy law that would give immunity to companies that hand over troves of confidential customer records and communications to the National Security Agency, FBI and Department of Homeland Security. Last year at this same conference, Aaron Swartz, the late cyber activist, computer programmer, social justice activist and writer who committed suicide earlier this year, gave the keynote address, in which he described the battle to defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA. Swartz took his own life at the age of 26 just weeks before he was to go on trial for using computers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to download millions of copyrighted academic articles from JSTOR, a subscription database of scholarly papers. JSTOR declined to press charges, but prosecutors moved the case forward. Swartz faced up to 35 years in prison and a million dollars in fines for allegedly violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. After his death, federal prosecutors dropped the charges. We are joined by Darcy Burner, who opens today’s conference with her "After Aaron" address. She worked with him on several projects, including, which she formerly directed, as well as the Progressive Congress Action Fund. She is also one of the biggest self-described geeks to run for U.S. Congress, having run for office three times in Washington State. [includes rush transcript]

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