Category Archives: Announcements

A Little Note About All John Perry Stuff We’ve Been Publishing Lately

Hey you guys! We hope you know that you are not expected to read all of this John Perry Barlow Syposium content at once. On the contrary: there is so much of it because it’s not going to matter until later: when someone is researching that particular topic, about something relevant, happening in the present.

These posts are not about John Perry Barlow as much as they are discussing relevant questions about the future of our movement and our world.

Yes siree, we here at Aaron Swartz Day are into the present, and protecting the rights of living people. Not wallowing around in the shadows and sadness of the past; unless those shadows cast light on a current topic.

It was one of the requirements of Aaron’s family and friends that these events be celebrations and calls to action. (Although it’s important to continue to spread awareness about what happened to Aaron, as we keep learning.)

Why is it so important to look back on these and all events? Because, unfortunately, history tends to repeat itself. Not knowing that an idea has already been tried, and would have worked except for that one thing, is, potentially, our strength and their greatest weakness.

When they divide us, we are less likely to share this kind of information with each other. That’s why we need to share this kind of information with everybody constantly.

Our only hope is to index the truth faster than the powers that be can whitewash it.

Again, these indexes are for the future. Believe us, they will come in handy. Our archivists have learned from past experience: It’s a lot easier to index the present while you’re in it. And the inaccurate associations that historians often draw is a testament to that.

Plus how often is it that you get to index a historical time period while you are living it? That is the position that the Aaron Swartz Day team has found itself in. (That’s what our main partner, Internet Archive, tries to do on a daily basis.)

Alas, it would appear we have to fight many of the battles over again that we worked so hard on in the past. Net Neutrality, the First Amendment, and having control of our own bodies, just to name a few.

So, hang in there, as the content starts flying out, over these next few weeks and months.  It might not seem like everything is connected at first, but it is.

Big Weekend At The Internet Archive – John Perry Barlow Symposium and AGI & Corporations Seminar

We wanted to make sure that everyone knew about two important events happening this weekend at the Internet Archive.

The first is a John Perry Barlow Symposium from 2pm-6pm – which we think might actually be better than an old fashioned memorial :-)

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT, BUT YOU CAN WATCH THE LIVESTREAM HERE: https://eff.org/ArchiveYouTube

Much like Aaron Swartz Day, rather than simply mourn the loss of our friend, the Internet Archive is taking this opportunity to discuss and promote many of the ideals that John Perry stood for, with some speakers that knew him well, so that we can carry on working in his name:

Edward Snowden, noted whistleblower and President of Freedom of the Press Foundation

Cindy Cohn, Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Cory Doctorow, celebrated scifi author and Editor in Chief of Boing Boing

Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab

John Gilmore, EFF Co-founder, Board Member, entrepreneur and technologist

Trevor Timm, Executive Director of Freedom of the Press

Shari Steele, Executive Director of the Tor Foundation and former EFF Executive Director

Mitch Kapor, Co-founder of EFF and Co-chair of the Kapor Center for Social Impact

Pam Samuelson, Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law and Information at the University of California, Berkeley

Steven Levy, Wired Senior Writer, and author of Hackers, In the Plex, and other books

Amelia Barlow, daughter of John Perry Barlow

See you there!

Then on Sunday, the Internet Archive is putting on a seminar on AGI (Artificial General Intelligences) & Corporations that is as frightening and interesting as it sounds.

This ties in to this year’s Aaron Swartz Day event, where we have an “AGI Ethics” track this year. (The Ethical Algorithms track is sticking around too.)

About the event:

Even if we don’t know yet how to align Artificial General Intelligences with our goals, we do have experience in aligning organizations with our goals. Some argue corporations are in fact Artificial Intelligences – legally at least we treat them as persons already.

The Foresight Institute, along with the Internet Archive, invite you to spend an afternoon examining AI alignment, especially whether our interactions with different types of organizations, e.g. our treatment of corporations as persons, allow insights into how to align AI goals with human goals.

While this meeting focuses on AI safety, it merges AI safety, philosophy, computer security, and law and should be highly relevant for anyone working in or interested in those areas.

Tickets – $10

See you there too! :-)

John Perry Barlow Recalls A 12 year-old Aaron Swartz

aaron and john

Although you often see John Perry Barlow sitting behind Aaron in the famous photograph by Daniel J. Sieradski, above, the two of them never actually met each other.

From John Perry on November 8, 2014: “Correction! Aaron and I met and met heavily… But primarily on that one day. We were casual friends later but I think he never got over the initial awe enough to relax and really tell me what happened that day. But he did tell his father.”

John Perry walked up to the front of the room at the very beginning of the “open mic” segment at the end of Aaron’s San Francisco memorial, and explained that they had actually met before, sort-of, many years earlier, when  John Perry came to talk to his school one day, whe Aaron was 11 or 12 years old.

When John Perry ran into Aaron’s father, Robert Swartz, after he had accepted Aaron’s Internet Hall of Fame award last year, he asked if he thought he’d had made an impression on Aaron that day?

Robert replied that he most certainly had.

The rest, as they say, is history.

John Perry Barlow’s speech during “open mic” portion of the San Francisco Memorial, January 24, 2013:

Aaron Swartz was the embodiment and apotheosis of everything that I’ve stood for for the last 25 years, and it is paradoxical that even though that was true, and even though he was profoundly involved with most of my best friends and greatest heroes, I spent almost all the time that I ever spent with him, one afternoon in, I think, 1996, when he really was a very little kid.

I’d been asked by the headmaster of Northshore Country Day to come and speak to the middle school, and, for some reason, there was this 10 or 11 year old that was in among the middle schoolers. And I spent the afternoon – this was a time when, I don’t think there were that many people who felt the way I did about this stuff. Most of them are in this room now. And I was promoting the idea that we could make a world where anybody anywhere could give his thirst for knowledge and his curiosity everything that it wanted to know. And *anybody* could know as much as any human being knew about any thing, in the future. He didn’t say much. He was extremely memorable, however. He was much younger. He was all eyes, and mind, and…spiritual radiance, in a way. And I scarcely saw him again.

But years later… Last year, at one point, when I was with a bunch of copyright barons in Paris at the EG8, and they were all talking about how enforcement and education was gonna come out right, and it was gonna be just like the War on some Drugs. And I happened to be on a panel with these guys. I said “you know, you think you’ve won this thing, or you will win this thing. But the truth is that you’ve turned a whole generation into an electronic Hezbollah. And you will be dead when they are alive. And I was thinking of Aaron Swartz and it’s really very difficult for me to see that he is dead, and they are alive. But he is not dead, and they will be.

****

Historical notes:

  1. This was originally republished on November 8, 2016, and republished on February 8, 2018.

2. This post used to say “EFF and Freedom of the Press co-founder John Perry Barlow will be appearing with Freedom of the Press co-founder and executive director Trevor Timm, and Brian Knappenberger, Director of “The Internet’s Own Boy,” for a Q & A with the audience at tonight’s Aaron Swartz Day celebration.” at the top :)

Ortiz is Retiring – January 11 Approaching…

Be sure to tweet your January 11 events to us, so we can let everyone know about them.

Well, Carmen Ortiz is finally retiring:

From a Daily Beast article, that gets it about right (although it spells Aaron’s name wrong):

During her time in office, Ortiz came under fire for pursuing harsh charges in some high-profile cases, including that of internet activist Aaron Schwartz. Schwartz was accused of downloading free articles from an MIT archive, against terms of use. Ortiz’s office charged Schwartz with 13 felony accounts, which threatened up to 30 years in prison. Schwartz committed suicide before his trial. The incident prompted over 60,000 to accuse Ortiz of “overreach” and petition for her removal.

There is a rally going on at the Boston courthouse in memory of Aaron, from 3-6pm EST on the fourth anniversary of Aaron’s death, January 11, 2017.

Here’s more about Marty Gottesfeld, from ShadowProof’s Kevin Gosztola:

Wife Of Activist Jailed For Digital Sit-In Seeks Help From Trump

Dana and marty

 

From the article:

Gottesfeld was arrested in Miami in February last year and faces a conspiracy charge and charges of “intent to damage a protected computer,” which are offenses under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison and could pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution.

Carmen Ortiz, who zealously prosecuted Aaron Swartz until he committed suicide in 2013, is the federal prosecutor leading the effort to prosecute Gottesfeld.

“I’d like [Trump] to use his influence to get the charges dropped against Marty because of the nature of the whistleblowing, because Marty didn’t hurt anybody whereas the doctors at the hospital did hurt people and they’re not facing any charges,” Dana Gottesfeld, Marty’s wife, told Shadowproof in an interview.

She also would like Trump to support Justina’s Law, which she said is legislation that “would protect children that become wards of the state from medical testing that doesn’t benefit them.”

 

 

Taking A Break To Watch History Unfold Real Quick… and Archive It!

Hi Folks,

We’ve decided to take just two days off from publishing Aaron Swartz Day content, and pick up Wednesday morning with the videos and transcripts from last this last weekend’s event.

Remember to VOTE! If you are in San Francisco on Tuesday evening at 6pm, come down and hang out with us at the Internet Archive:

Election Night at the Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is informally open to our employees, their families and friends, and our community to watch the election results next Tuesday night. This is a spur-of-the-moment invitation and an experiment. If there are enough people interested, we will use the great room.

The Internet Archive’s blog post mentions a $10 ticket cost (Eventbrite) to cover the cost of pizza and soda. Additionally though, we also still have lots of awesomely fresh made salsa and other goodies from Aaron Swartz Day.

The event will run from 6pm until the election is called — 11pm at the latest. We will limit the number of people and we reserve the right to ask anyone to leave for any reason.

If you are interested in volunteering to help that evening, please contact Salem at salem(@)archive.org.

RE: voting and the Internet Archive

You can also read these articles about the Political Ad Archive and use the actual Political Ad Archive itself, or even just the the data from the Political Ad Archive.

We are just scratching the surface of information that we are going to glean from this year’s amazing archive!

See you there! 6pm! Internet Archive!

Come to Today’s Aaron Swartz Day and International Hackathon

TICKETS TO EVENING EVENT

Hello there :-)

I wanted to take a moment to fill you in on everything going on this weekend.

In San Francisco, we have a hackathon going on, with an upstairs, where speakers are going on, and a downstairs, where code and society are being “hacked” on.

Saturday morning, I’ll be there at 9:30 am with bagels and cream cheese, blueberry muffins and english muffins, fruit, yogurt and COFFEE for breakfast.

Jeremy Stribling will start at 10:00 upstairs in the Great Room, giving a tutorial about Keybase and usable encryption (yay!)

Note that, there are many folks coming from out of town, and it has turned into quite the nice conference hang out atmosphere, over the years. So, this year, you may just want to come by and hang, whether you feel like hacking or not. (So, perhaps, for some of you, it will be more of a “hangathon.” Hehehe … sorry :)

The evening event starts at 6:30 with a reception with chips & salsa (really good salsa), wine, beer, nectar, and other nibbles (yes some vegan)*, and that’s all going on till 7:30 pm…

And since, as many of you know, it can be really hard at the Internet Archive to make your way upstairs sometimes, this year, I’m giving you lushes an entire half hour to make your way upstairs.

The speakers will start promptly at 8! :-)

More about Sunday Soon! :-)

*Welcome vegans, here’s the vegan food on hand for you: 1) chips and salsa 2) soylent 2) salad 3) nuts 4) trail mix 5) a few sandwiches that will be stashed away and available on request.

 

 

Invitation to this year’s Aaron Swartz Day Evening Event

ASDAY.Poster.Final
(Click for Hi-Res Poster Image Suitable for printing.)

TICKETS

The Internet Archive is hosting an Aaron Swartz Day Celebration on what would have been Aaron’s 30th birthday weekend*:

November 5, 2016, from 6:30-7:30 (reception)               8pm – 9:30 pm (speakers)

This year, we celebrate our community’s continued goal of making the world a better place, (like Aaron did).

To do this, we’ve assembled a unique collection of speakers to give you some very important messages.

Location: Internet Archive, 300 Funston Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

Reception: 6:30pm-7:30pm – Come mingle with the speakers and enjoy nectar, wine & tasty nibbles.

Migrate your way upstairs: 7:30-8:00pm – We decided to give folks a little window of time to finish up  their nibbles and wine at the reception, exchange contact info,  and make their way upstairs to grab a seat to watch the speakers, which will begin promptly at 8pm.

Speakers 8:00 pm -10:00pm:

 A Special Statement from Chelsea Manning (in celebration of this year’s Aaron Swartz Day and International Hackathon)

Tiffiniy Cheng (Co-founder and Co-director Fight for the Future)

Cindy Cohn (Executive Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Shari Steele (Executive Director, Tor Project)

Yan Zhu (Security Expert, Friend of Chelsea Manning)

Alison Macrina (Founder and Executive Director, Library Freedom Project)

Conor Schaefer (DevOps Engineer, SecureDrop)

Brewster Kahle (Digital Librarian, Internet Archive) w/Vinay Goel  (Senior Data Engineer, Internet Archive)

The event will take place following this year’s San Francisco-based Aaron Swartz International Hackathon, which is going on Saturday from 10am-6pm, and Sunday from 11am-5pm, at the Internet Archive.

TICKETS

For more information, contact:

Lisa Rein, Co-founder, Aaron Swartz Day
lisa@lisarein.com
http://www.aaronswartzday.org

*Aaron’s date of birth was November 8, 1986

Tonight! See Cindy Cohn in Los Angeles: “A Report Back From the Legal Front Line”

October 28, 2015 – 7:00pm to 9:00pm
First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles
2936 West Eighth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90005

 

EFF

Mass Surveillance: A Report Back From the Legal Front Line

First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles will host a discussion featuring Cindy Cohn, EFF’s Executive Director. A leading voice in the legal struggle to defend digital rights, Cindy has worked on First Amendment and privacy cases since 1993, when she served as the outside lead attorney in a successful First Amendment challenge to U.S. export restrictions on cryptography. She currently represents First Unitarian Church in its lawsuit challenging mass NSA surveillance, an issue she will address earlier that afternoon at oral argument in Jewel v NSA, a preceding case raising similar arguments.

Join us at First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles (2936 West Eighth Street) to learn more about mass surveillance, the struggle to defend your rights, and how you can help build the movement wherever you live.

Please RSVP to help us plan accordingly:
https://supporters.eff.org/civicrm/event/register?id=103

Cindy Cohn, Legal Director and General Counsel for the EFF. Photographed by Erich Valo.
Cindy Cohn, Legal Director and General Counsel for the EFF. Photographed by Erich Valo.

 

Cindy Cohn will be speaking at this year’s Aaron Swartz Day Evening Celebration, November 7th, 7:30 pm, at the Internet Archive, in San Francisco. (Reception 6pm)

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.