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For Aaron, A Tiny (Moving) Bit of Civil Disobedience

by Abby Zimet

Responding to the tragic suicide of Aaron Swartz, online activists from The Archive Team have created in his honor the Aaron Swartz Memorial JSTOR Liberator - a so-called bookmarklet, or button allowing users to “liberate” articles from JSTOR, the academic article database Swartz accessed from MIT and for which he was subsequently prosecuted, and persecuted. They've included an ongoing counter, with over 1,490 documents released to date. In more tributes, Anonymous hacked MIT's website, calling Swartz' death "a grotesque miscarriage of justice," others posted the contents of the JSTOR database on The Pirate Bay, and Swartz' family and friends set up a memorial website. Archive Team said they hope the Liberator and other projects will help people "realize what this man did and how he lived his young life."

"In his memory, this small site might serve to help more people learn who he was and what he believed in. Archive Team misses Aaron very much."

Update: A petition to the White House demanding the removal of District Attorney Carmen Ortiz, the lead prosecutor in Aaron Swartz' case, has received over 32,000 signatures - more than enough to require the  Administration to respond. And Rep. Zoe Lofgren has introduced Aaron's Law, a proposed amendment to the Computer Fraud Act that would prevent bogus prosecutions that equate term of service offenses with hacking.

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