Aaron Swartz Laid to Rest with an Action Plan For Us

14977_328746487238798_1432979370_n66 comments By Nicole Belle  In New York on Saturday, a public memorial was held for Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide last week. Among the remembrances of Aaron’s genius, his commitment to progressive causes, his idealistic beliefs of making this a better world, there was also an action plan laid out by his partner, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman:

“Aaron was targeted by the FBI,” said ThoughtWorks chairman Roy Singham, Swartz’s employer before his death. “After PACER, they targeted him. He was strip-searched. Let’s not pretend this wasn’t political,” he argued before being interrupted by applause.

Swartz’s partner Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman framed her call to action in terms of Swartz’s beliefs: “Aaron believed there was no shame in failure. There is deep, deep shame in caring more about believing you’re changing the world than actually changing the world.”Stinebrickner-Kauffman, also an activist, named five targets for action:

Hold the Massachusetts US Attorney’s office accountable for its actions in prosecuting Aaron;
Press MIT to ensure that it would “never be complicit in an event like this again”;
“All academic research for all time should be made free and open and available to anybody in the world”;
Pass and strengthen “Aaron’s Law,” an amendment to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act that would narrow prosecutorial discretion for computer crimes;
Advocate for fundamental reform of the criminal justice system.

“His last two years were not easy. His death Continue reading “Aaron Swartz Laid to Rest with an Action Plan For Us”