All posts by lisa

“State of Privacy” Website – Courtesy of the Los Angeles Aaron Swartz Day Hackathon

stateofprivacyMade by Sterling Crispin and Joe Cuanan during the 2014 Los Angeles Aaron Swartz Hackathon.

The State of Privacy.com

From Los Angeles Hackathon Organizer Sterling Crispin:

Here’s what we built. Hopefully people will share it and it will have some impact.

It’s a website campaign designed to educate people about their personal data privacy and smart phones, which concludes with some direct action items suggesting people at least password lock and encrypt their phones.

When it comes to app privileges, use your common sense:

  1. When not using features like GPS, bluetooth, WiFi, you should disable them.
  2. When installing a new app, ask yourself “why does this app need these permissions?”
  3. Disable any app permissions and location services that you feel are unnecessary.

 

Lisa Rein’s Opening Remarks At Aaron Swartz Day at the Internet Archive

Link to video herelisarein.

Thank you everyone for coming. We have a lot of material to cover tonight, and then a whole movie to watch afterwards, so I will keep my opening remarks brief and to the point.

This year’s event’s theme is “setting the record straight” so that we can move forward. To me, this means providing a better understanding of Aaron’s actions, and how the entire situation became a misunderstanding of epic proportions that pretty much spiraled out of control.

There are a few initiatives underway designed to prevent this from ever happening again, and aimed at protecting innovators, such as Aaron, from relentless prosecution by third parties that don’t understand the nuances of the parties involved. We’ll hear from the EFF’s April Glaser, who will tell us about the upcoming Freedom to Innovate conference, which is designed to protect future student innovators from legal prosecution that victimized Aaron.

Through a combination of learning more about Aaron’s case, which we are going to do tonight, and having access to things like Aaron’s FBI and Secret Service files, which we are beginning to be released to us little by little, thanks to Kevin Poulsen’s Freedom of Information Act requests – can we begin the process of fully understanding what happened to Aaron, so that we can be sure to try to stop it from happening to anyone else.

Cindy Cohn, soon to be the EFF’s new Executive Director, will explain to us why CFAA reform is firmly stalled in both houses. (Probably now more than ever.) Finally, Dan Purcell, from what was Aaron’s new legal team, is here tonight to help us understand what their strategy was going to be for clearing his name at trial.

2013 and 2014 were big year’s for many of Aaron’s projects and ideas. He received a posthumous EFF Pioneer Award in 2013, and was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame as well that year, on the same night as Vint Cerf and John Perry Barlow. Aaron surely would have been pleased to be in such distinguished company.

I think he would also be pleased to see his DeadDrop prototype blossom into the SecureDrop whistleblowing submission platform that now has 15 instances in full swing, protecting leakers from our government’s spying eyes, and enabling submissions to prestigious news organizations such as The Guardian, The Washington Post, the New Yorker, and Forbes. I also think he would’ve been proud to see his mentor Lawrence Lessig and his MAYDAY PAC team raise over 10 million dollars to fund congressional candidates committed to fundamental campaign finance reform. Remember, Aaron is the one who challenged Lessig to set out on his new course, way back in 2007.

So join us tonight, along with hackathoners in 12 16 cities around the world, as we celebrate Aaron, set the record straight about not only what he did not do, but about what was done to him, and try to find a way to move forward together, and continue to make the world a better place. Thank you.

‘Inspiration for people, threat to US govt’ – Aaron Swartz film director to RT

Aaron RT2‘Inspiration for people, threat to US govt’ – Aaron Swartz film director to RT

November 9, 2014   for RT

Download link to video piece that goes with this article.

From the interview:

RT: Aaron Swartz was basically driven to suicide for standing up to the government for what he believes in. Do you think his fate will put others off following in his footsteps?

Brian Knappenberger: No. I mean I think that treatment of Aaron Swartz was awful and it was outrageous. But I actually think that if it was meant to be a kind of persecution to put people off of this kind of behavior, I think it backfired. If it was meant as deterrence, or it was meant to make an example, as the prosecution said to Aaron’s dad and to Aaron’s council, I think that effort, probably, backfired.

People are inspired, looked at what he did and are inspired by it. I don’t think that the legal efforts against him actually would put off future Aarons. And if anything they’ll inspire them.

Video From Aaron Swartz Day at the Internet Archive

lisareinVideo of Speakers:

Lisa Rein (Coordinator, Aaron Swartz Day)                                                                         April Glaser (EFF, Freedom to Innovate Summit)
Yan Zhu (Yahoo, SF Hackathon Organizer)
Brewster Kahle (Digital Librarian, Internet Archive)
Cindy Cohn (EFF Legal Director – CFAA Reform)
Kevin Poulsen (Journalist – FOIA case that MIT intervened in)
Garrett Robinson (SecureDrop)
Daniel Purcell (Keker & Van Nest, one of Aaron’s lawyers)

Q and A after the movie:  with Brian Knappenberger, Director, “The Internet’s Own Boy,” Trevor Timm (executive director and co-founder, Freedom of the Press Foundation), John Perry Barlow (co-founder, EFF, Freedom of the Press Foundation), and Lisa Rein (Coordinator, Aaron Swartz Day).

RT: Internet hacktivists hold global ‘hackathon’ in honor of Aaron Swartz’s birthday

Aaron RTInternet hacktivists hold global ‘hackathon’ in honor of Aaron Swartz’s birthday

November 8, 2014 for RT

From the article:

Online hacktivists are holding a “hackathon” spanning two days to honor the would-have-been birthday of dead computer programmer and hacktivist Aaron Swartz.

The hackathon will be a global phenomenon, spanning 11 cities including Berlin, Boston, New York, Buenos Aires and Oxford, according to its affiliated website. However, its main location will be in San Francisco where programmers, developers, artists, researchers, and activists gather together, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

URL For Live Webcast of Saturday Night’s Event

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/internet-archive-presents

We will be streaming the movie from 8:05 pm till 9:50 – then live       Q & A will kick back in :-)

Eddie Codel is shooting the video webcast. Tune in promptly at 7pm, November 8th! The Q & A with Director Brian Knappenberger, Trevor Timm (Freedom of the Press Foundation) and John Perry Barlow (EFF, Freedom of the Press Foundation) will be webcast too, at approximately 9:50 pm.

Mobile Phone peeps: you will need to download the UStream application after clicking on the link. (You should be prompted at the bottom of your screen when you hit the UStream website.)

 

Creative Commons Licenses Are An Elegant “Hack”

lisareinHow to Celebrate Aaron Swartz’s Legacy? Go to a Hackathon This Weekend

By Lisa Rein, Coordinator of Aaron Swartz Day, for Takepart.com

Remember to RSVP for tonight’s event if you want a spot. I’ve also printed a small amount of limited edition posters. (Many thanks to artist
Ryan Junell!) They will be given away to at least the first 150 people who arrive.

It’s been really hard to watch this story unfold over this last year. At first it seemed like perhaps Aaron’s actions had crossed some kind of legal or ethical boundry. However, now, after more than a year of careful analysis, the evidence suggests that Aaron most likely was not breaking any laws at all. He was just doing something innovative and unexpected. This is one of the main reasons we need to protect young innovators like Aaron from misguided government prosecution in the future.

I was Creative Commons’ first technical architect, a job I got upon meeting law school professor Lawrence Lessig at a conference in Washington D.C. in 2001. When I told him that I was an XML geek who’s obsessed with copyright law, he closed his laptop and said that he had a job for me. When he explained what that entailed—expressing licenses in RSS, a simple XML format usually used for news feed syndication—I said that it couldn’t be done, that it was too simple of a format and copyright law was too complex.

Aaron showed me a way to do it. I knew him from his online activity, so I was sure he was the right person to help me—even when I found out that he was only 15.

His viewpoint towards simplicity influenced our entire online model. We decided to create a simple deed, in non-legalese, saying what a license meant. (Our lawyers still created lengthy legal documents for each license, using existing copyright law, to cover all the legal protections we wished each license to afford.)

Our team created a web site where a person could answer a series of yes or no questions to pick a license. At last, our dance of simplicity was complete. With Aaron’s help, Creative Commons licenses have become a truly elegant hack.

EFF: Join Us This Weekend in Honoring Aaron Swartz’s Legacy by Hacking for a Better World

Join Us This Weekend in Honoring Aaron Swartz’s Legacy…by Hacking for a Better World

by April Glaser for the EFF.

April will be presenting Saturday night on the Freedom to Innovate Summit, a collaboration between EFF and the Center for Civic Media at MIT that calls upon Universities to protect students who innovate at the boundaries of the law.

From the article:

Perhaps more than anything, Aaron Swartz believed that everyone should be able to participate in the political processes that determine the laws we have to live under everyday…

But one thing that sets the Aaron Swartz Day hackathons off from the rest is that all of the projects being hacked on further Aaron’s dream of a free and open Internet and a more just world…

If you’re inspired, we encourage you to host your own hackathon or host a screening of the Internet’s Own Boy, the deeply informative film on Aaron’s work and the movement for a free and open Internet.

Together, we will continue for fight to ensure our rights go with us when we go online. We invite you, in Aaron’s honor, to join us this weekend. Hope to see you there.

 

Daily Dot: Aaron Swartz Day Aims To Right Legal Wrongs

Aaron Swartz Day Aims To Right Legal Wrongs

dailydotaaronby Kate Conger for the Daily Dot

From the article:

Swartz was a bright young programmer who committed suicide while facing prosecution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Since his death came in the midst of his prosecution, it eliminated the possibility of clearing his name in court. But, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s newly-appointed executive director Cindy Cohn notes in The Internet’s Own Boy, the case against Swartz was “a poor use of prosecutorial discretion.” Aaron Swartz Day aims to raise awareness about the facts of Swartz’s case and demonstrate that the criminality of his actions—using software to download millions of academic documents from JSTOR—was questionable at best.

“Aaron doesn’t deserve to go down in history as some malicious hacker out to steal and make money from his loot somehow,” Rein said in an email to the Daily Dot. “Since there are projects like SecureDrop going strong, and policy movements aimed at protecting innovative students on college campuses, and more updates on the ongoing fight to have Aaron’s government documents released to the public, and so many people willing to do amazing projects in his honor, I decided to just try to include everything I could, and see how large it became.”

 

Just Added: Trevor Timm for Q & A with Brian Knappenberger After Saturday’s Event and Screening

trevor_FPFJust when I think that things couldn’t be any more exciting for Saturday Night’s event!

Trevor Timm, Freedom of the Press Foundation’s co-founder and Executive Director, has just agreed to appear with Brian Knappenberger, Director of “The Internet’s Own Boy” for  Q & A after the screening at the Internet Archive Saturday night. (Host Lisa Rein will moderate.)

Trevor writes a weekly column for The Guardian and has also contributed to The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, Harvard Law and Policy Review, PBS MediaShift, and Politico.  In 2013, he received the Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award for journalism.