Tag Archives: Brett Wilkins

Digital Journal: Activists hold worldwide ‘hackathon’ in memory of Aaron Swartz

Activists hold worldwide ‘hackathon’ in memory of Aaron Swartz

By Brett Wilkins  for Digital Journal.


From the article:

…Swartz has become something of a martyr. Not in some pathetic, quixotic way. His life, his work and his untimely demise have inspired a whole generation of ‘hacktivists’ and other open Internet advocates who are hard at work fighting battles in defense of net neutrality and against corporatization of the Internet, government surveillance and other pressing problems.

“Since there are projects like SecureDrop (an open-source whistleblower submission system managed by Freedom of the Press Foundation) 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,” Lisa Rein, co-founder of Creative Commons and host of The Internet Archive hackathon, told the Daily Dot.

“Aaron doesn’t deserve to go down in history as some malicious hacker out to steal and make money from his loot somehow,” added Rein.

Purcell agreed, telling the audience of several dozen than what Swartz did was “not hacking.”

“It was walking through a door that was left open for anyone to walk through,” the attorney insisted, calling Swartz’s alleged ‘crime’ “a harmless effort to point out a problem.”

Director Brian Knappenberger was on hand at the San Francisco event for a screening of his critically-acclaimed documentary feature, The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz.

A panel discussion and audience Q&A followed. Many attendees had personal connections to Swartz. There was much talk of how activists could honor his memory.