The Internet’s Own Boy Documentary

I would like you to watch the portrait documentary of Aaron Swartz, The Internet’s Own Boy.

Aaron Swartz was a prodigy web developer that participated in some seminal web projects – RSS, Creative Commons licensing, and Reddit. He founded Demand Progress which successfully campaigned against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) with a broadly adopted 24 hour internet blackout of well know sites like Wikipedia. Swartz was later arrested by M.I.T. police for systematically downloading thousands of academic articles from JSTOR and federal prosecuted with charges of wire fraud and 11 violations of the Computer Abuse and Fraud Act. Facing possible jail time, Swartz committed suicide at the age of 26. Larry Lessig who was a mentor, colleague, and friend to the much younger Swartz commemorated his life and work with Lessig’s appointment as Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School with a lecture titled “Aaron’s Laws: Law and Justice in a Digital Age.

Reactions to this assignment are optional and not mandatory, if you choose to react please post all reactions in the comments section below.

7 thoughts on “The Internet’s Own Boy Documentary

  1. This is a very worthwhile documentary.If you ask the Internet in the end, what it means for humans? I will answer “Openness and Freedom.” The Internet has long gone beyond technology to be a part of social change. Historically, there have been two opposing views. One is the case that the Internet is simply fantastic and our life is wonderful. The other view is that the Internet is horrible, and it is a hotbed of all kinds of crime. Aaron Swartz said: The Internet is both, and it depends on how we do it as it becomes a paradise or hell. Our choice determines the quality of the Internet. But no matter what we do, the Internet will remain fixed for so long.
    He led a pretty triumphant victory before he committed suicide, a campaign against SOPA (the Internet Piracy Act). It was a glittering moment in Aaron’s brief life and a flash over the power of the Internet in promoting social reform. Eventually, SOPA was not passed by the National Assembly, which made him feel so happy. There is no doubt that the Internet has infiltrated all aspects of our lives. Even bills such as the SOPA that have huge interest groups and political forces can‘t beat the millions of ordinary people who use the Internet. If an Internet company supports SOPA, users can vote with its feet so that it can’t survive; if someone shakes the foundations of the Internet, major Internet companies will not hesitate to conduct joint protests, they create a magnifying effect hundreds of times stronger than street protests. However, this victory was ultimately unsatisfactory.
    Aaron Swartz may never look like Jobs, Bill Gates and Zuckerberg to attract the attention of the general public. His ability is sufficient for him to obtain huge wealth, but instead of doing so, he has chosen one few people to walk the road.
    Aaron Swartz’s life, brief and glorious, his story should be well known to all. He is a pioneer in promoting the opening up of information and the Prometheus in our time. Perhaps we can’t afford the cost of pursuing freedom for the rebels. But at least we can practice Aaron’s ideas in our lives. This is probably the best memory of him.

  2. Wow! I was blown away after viewing this. I didn’t even know who Aaron Swartz was before watching his story. It’s so scary to see how far corporate greed, power, government and ego will go to prevent anyone who goes against their grain by exposing their agenda. We the People live in a so called democracy that is twisted and interpreted by governing bodies consumed with personal gain and interest…. not of The People.

  3. Aaron’s story is something that everyone should know. He was a brilliant young man who became targeted because he was so outspoken. He was adamant about making sure that everyone had equal access to the wonders of the Internet. I’m sure he would be disappointed and angry about the current things threatening the Internet. He had built a solid community around himself. However it was clear that the government had their own agenda and wanted to make an example out of Aaron. It should have never been put into the court system, is was something that should have been dealt with between the school and Aaron. It breaks my heart to see that the best people are taken from this world too early. Aaron still had so much left to do and accomplish.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s