Aaron Swartz Day 2015

Aaron Swartz Day 2015

Monday I discovered the video below on Youtube. It included many speakers that I enjoy listening to and introduced me to an event which I was previously unaware of.

It is coincidence that about a month ago I was reintroduced to Aaron Swartz through a video documentary. It covered his life growing up, his work on the Creative Commons, various other projects, activism, unfortunate legal troubles, and finally a sad ending to his short but incredibly successful life. I remembered hearing about what was going on back in 2011 but I did not follow the story at the time. To summarize, basically, Aaron created a program to download academic journal articles from a database named JSTOR which was free to access at the MIT campus. He was charged with two counts of wire fraud and 11 violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Even though MIT and JSTOR decided to not persue charges it seemed like someone wanted to make an example out of him.

One of his projects was called DeadDrop which was designed to allow anonymous people to disclose information securely. His project has since been picked up by a new team of people and was renamed SecureDrop. Many news organizations have adopted SecureDrop since the Snowden leaks including, The Intercept and The Guardian.

This even was designed as a hackathon weekend to help develop SecureDrop in remembrance of Aaron.

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