“Economic suffering and anxiety — and anger over it and the flamboyant prosperity of the elites who caused it — is only going to worsen. So, too, will the refusal of the Western citizenry to meekly accept their predicament. As that happens, who it is who controls the Internet and the flow of information and communications takes on greater importance. Those who are devoted to preserving the current system of prerogatives certainly know that, and that is what explains this obsession with expanding the Surveillance State and secrecy powers, maintaining control over the dissemination of information, and harshly punishing those who threaten it.” Glenn Greenwald
Aaron Swartz is facing up to 35 years in prison and fines of up to $1 million because the Barack Obama justice department has decided to persecute him. I deliberately did not say prosecute. Persecution is a better description of the vendetta being carried out against him.
Swartz downloaded scientific journals from the subscription service Journal Storage, Jstor, without paying for them. He didn’t distribute the articles to anyone else, and he returned the content to Jstor, which has no interest in prosecuting Swartz.
At first glance it seems illogical that the feds would go to such lengths to punish Swartz, but the quote from Glenn Greenwald explains it all. The system wants to punish, to thoroughly crush anyone who threatens their prerogatives. The Greenwald article gives examples of how governments in Egypt or the UK or the managers of the BART transit system have used technology to disrupt dissent.
There is a lot more dissent coming, with austerity measures ruining the lives of millions of people and the military powers of the west being used to kill anywhere on the planet where it is deemed convenient to do so. That is why it is imperative that Aaron Swartz get the best legal defense possible. You can contribute to the Aaron Swartz Legal Defense Fund. It isn’t hyperbolic to say that by doing so, you will strike a blow for liberty.