On behalf of all the bloggers, hacktivists, and netizens of the world, I am sincerely offering my condolences and solidarity to the family and love ones of the late Aaron Swartz, the prominent American blogger and computer prodigy who abruptly ended his life on the face of tremendous harassment and overwhelming odds — ironically sponsored and spearheaded by his very own government!
All he wanted is a world where information is free and available for all! As he himself have said in an online â€œmanifestoâ€ way back in 2008:
â€œInformation is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselvesâ€¦â€
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He fiercely criticized US President Barack Obamaâ€™s â€œkill listâ€ and the cyber attacks against Iran; he is also equally critical of the monopoly of information by corporate cartels and believed that information should be shared and available for the benefit of society.
He was eulogized last Tuesday as a person who wanted to make the world a much better place to live in but was hounded, pressured and forced into killing himself by harsh and brutal government policies.
Aaron Swartz, the 26-year-old internet genius decided to end himself due to government prosecution and persecution in the form of multiple annoying lawsuits and dubious legal complaints.
It is on this undeniable sense that I completely concur with the straightforward statement of the deceased maverickâ€™s father (Robert) when he categorically accused the government in killing his son.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Robert Swartz said during the eulogy service for his son held at the Central Avenue Synagogue in Highland Park that Aaron was â€œkilledÂ by the government, and MIT betrayed all of its basic principlesâ€¦â€
As reported by Michael Muskal of the Los Angeles Times:
â€œFacing the possibility of a long prison sentence if convicted of charges that he illegally downloaded millions of academic journal articles, Swartz hanged himself in his New York apartment Friday. The death of one of the founders of news and entertainment website Reddit and a longtime activist for an open Internet has ignited outrage among many in the electronic community who view him as a martyr to government prosecution.â€
Muskal further added that:
â€œToday is the funeral of Aaron Swartz, who contributed so much to the launch of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and our technology during our first 20 monthsâ€¦
â€œHis suicide followed an over-zealous prosecution for a crime with no victims — by a Justice Department that has yet to prosecute the Wall Street bankers who destroyed our economy and harmed millions of lives. Our hearts go out to Aaronâ€™s family and partner.
â€œSwartz was accused of stealing articles from JSTOR, an academic database at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Swartz was a longtime activist for an open Internet and it brought him into conflict with prosecutors who accused him of 13 felonies.â€
It is my considered view and so hold; that Aaron is the modern version of Prometheus. This Titan is credited in stealing the fire from the gods for human use, such defiant act undeniably enabled progress and civilization. He is known for his intelligence, trickery and as a champion of humanity.
We all know that he paid heavily for his action on behalf of mankind! He was punished by the powers that be; yet he never admitted any mistake nor shown remorse.
In the same vein, our genius paid the heavy price for his love of humanity and his desire to change the world for the better!
Let me state for purposes of the record that he may be dead, yet his death is not in vain. His ideas will never die. His struggles shall never fade and his sacrifices will never ever be forgotten by mankind. His memory shall live on and his legacy will never be erased on the illustrious page of the modern history of humanity!
Bravo and hurray, Aaron Swartz! May you live forever, brother! Thank you, on behalf of all mankindâ€¦
The writer has a Master’s degree in Philosophy, a law degree and a degree in AB Political Science. He was previously teaching Philosophy, Ethics and Anthropology at an institution of higher education in the Nilai University College at Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. He is currently a lecturer at the College of Arts, Department of Philosophy at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
As of the moment, he is preparing to publish his first book entitled “Dissidente”. It is a collection of his articles, commentaries and op-ed published by various newspapers in Southeast Asia.