internet’s own boy

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz Official Trailer #1 (2014) HD – aaron swartz

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz Official Trailer #1 directed by Brian Knappenberger and starring Tim Berners-Lee, Cory Doctorow, Peter Eckersley.

The story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. From Swartz’s help in the development of the basic internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. But it was Swartz’s groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two year legal nightmare. It was a battle that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26. Aaron’s story touched a nerve with people far beyond the online communities in which he was a celebrity. This film is a personal story about what we lose when we are tone deaf about technology and its relationship to our civil liberties

below has been in aaron swartz page since i watched/purchased (1st/only ever video purchase on bday – copy/paste ing it here after trip to deerfield and whims of susan at newport coffee) (to rent or buy – as of 6.27.14)

[and now free online: ]

jan 2015 –

Additional Outtakes and Interviews from the film “The Internet’s Own Boy”

if you don’t ask for the impossible – you certainly can’t get it – Cory

the relationship between change and making the world a better place – Lawrence

if we make you angry enough at someone or afraid enough.. you will put away your decency – Bryan

– – –

so much.

one thing – as the day after i watched – i’m listening in on aspen ideas festival. wondering why so much is going on and yet – seems so little is getting done (toward equity). reminded me of the segment in the documentary talking about how – none of the congress ish people contacted/connected with any tech experts (the section where they were emphasizes our use of “*nerd” to trivialize things that are happening – ie: without a plan, bypassing our compulsory plan..) and thinking – the unleashment/hastening of equity that could happen – if 7 billion people were freed (from work/school hrs of the day, laws of the land ness) up/invited to the conversation.. rather than ie: only the ones invited to and/or able to afford the conference.. to present (even to present convos/panels) ideas that most often haven’t been boding us well (as well as we could do)

intro quote:

unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?   – Henry David Thoreau

1 min – govt’s have this insatiable desire to control

we need to keep reminding ourselves… that control is failure

2 min – growing up i slowly had this process of realizing that all the things around me that people had told me were just the natural way things were, the way things always would be. they weren’t natural at all they were things that could be changed, and they were things that more importantly were wrong and should change. and once i realized that, there was really kinda no going back…t

6 min – infobase – 12 yr old – pre-wikipedia

Doc Searl

8 min – rss – 13 yr old – part of committee that drafter rss (w/o them knowing how young he was)

9 min – Peter Eckersley – Aaron was really young but he understood the tech and he saw that it was imperfect and looked for ways to make it better

10 mi – Cory Doctorow – mom would ship him to us in sf from chicago

11 min – Tim Berners LeeAaron was trying to make the world work – he was trying to fix it..

i don’t need to go to the teacher to learn their version of ____. then Aaron talks about him researching ed – starting questioning this whole structure

12 min – .. frustration w/school.. i started reading books about history of ed .. and alternatives to it… led me down this path of questioning things.. once i questioned the school i was in, i questioned the society that built the school, i questioned the businesses that schools were training people for… and i questioned the govt that set up this whole structure..t

one of things Aaron was most passionate about was copyright

12 min – copyright has always been something of a burden – but it wasn’t an excessive burden… Aaron’s generation experienced the collision between this antique copyright system and this amazing new thing we were building – the web – and what you got was chaos – Peter E

14 min – 14 yr old – cc – Lessig – copyright  – all rights reserved, cc – some rights reserved.. Aaron’s part was the tech end of making this easily accessible/usable

16 min – he contributed through his technical abilities – but it wasn’t merely a technical matter to him – Gabriella.

his journal – – i work for ideas and learn from people – i don’t like excluding people – i don’t hold grudges, it’s not productive.. i want to make the world a better place

17 min – stanford 2004, 2005 – y combinator – graham –

18 min – reddit – Alexis Ohanian

20 min – sell reddit – 19ish –

the idea of him spending money on fancy objects just seemed so implausible – Peter E –

…what is a big deal to Swartz is how traffic flows on the internet and what commands our attention..

21 min – on net – everyone can have a channel – not a matter of who gets access, but who controls..

..the ways you find people

..gatekeepers telling you where to go. now everyone has a license to speak – it’s a question of who gets heard..t

begs a means to undo our hierarchical listening

ie: 2 convers as infra

22 min – in and out of wired -(caged ness)

gabriella coleman

23 min – Quinn Norton – he rejected the business world

Cory Doctorow – climbing back down the hill – which was pretty cool

hope for the flowers ness

24 min – Tim Berners Lee – gives www away for free – huge influence – no interest at all in cashing out

25 min – Tim – lots of little webs aren’t going to work – ..’s not going to work unless the whole planet can get onboard..t

same is true for common\ing .. that’s why we keep getting/perpetuating tragedy of the non common

none of us if one of us ness

not enough to live in world as it is.. you should always be questioning… everything is open.. once i realized there were real serious/fundamental problems that i could address – i didn’t see a way i could forget that..t

the thing you can’t not do ness

27 min – Aaron was tremendously optimistic about life- even when he didn’t feel it

28 min – open library – – public access ness -books are a corporate legacy

open library ness

29 min – what got Aaron into so much trouble – how to bring public access to the public domain – like having a national park with a moat around it  – Brewster Kahle

30 min – Stephen Shultze – finds pacer (access to legal documents in the us is a 10 billion/year business – abomination of public services – brain dead code – policy/roadblocks to the hilt – it’s a poll tax to the access to justice) – and Carl Malamud (public resource)- pacer alone makes 120 mill a year – which is illegal – only supposed to take in what is needed to maintain/reimburse costs to run it

Tim O’reilly – the law is the operating system of our democracy – and you have to pay to see it?

32 min – this is something that has to be a collaboration between a lot of people

e govt act – showing that pacer is illegal..    so pacer puts up 17 libraries for free access… so Malamud starts this thumb drive revolution.. as a joke – link went to oz video.. but Aaron wants to join the thumb drive core – intervention on the pacer problem – Shulze shows Swarz the code – and Aaron improves on it – which then works exponentially well

34 min – Malamud – i agree that 20 million pages of text exceeds the vision of the 17 trial libraries open – via pacer – but surprising a bureaucrat isn’t illegal...

fbi enters..

35 min – Cory Doctorow – to this day i find it remarkable that anybody… thought that a fitting use for taxpayer dollars was investigating people on the grounds of making the law public..

38 min – licensing fees (that are often a duplicate pay – as already paid with tax dollars or govt grants – ie: to be public) are blocking people out of access to this scientific legacy of history of knowledge et al – it’s a legacy that should belong to us as a commons

imagining if focus would/could have been simply (from 21 min) finding our people.. documents/laws et al all irrelevant if we could first get to the energy of 8b alive people

literacy and numeracy both elements of colonialism/control/enclosure.. we need to calculate differently and stop measuring things

39 min – people work – publishes a paper – and at the very last stage – after all the work/thinking is done – the researcher has to hand over ownership to copyright.. to this multi billion dollar company – an entire economy built off voluntary labor – then the publisher sit at the very top and scrape off the cream- Christopher Soghoian

one publisher in britain made a profit of 3 billion last year – rep zoe lofgren

jstor is a small player in that story – but for some reason – the player Aaron decided to confront

45 min – bush making it criminal to hack (paraphrase) – Heymann et al – describing that hacker mindsets like money

46 min – on criminalizing stealing..

49 min – his stuff should have been left behind for mit and jstor to deal with … in a private/professional manner. it should have never gotten the attention of the criminal system. it just didn’t belong there. – Gabriella Coleman

49 min – just looking at the courthouse – should tell us we’re overdosing on sugar. m taibbi ness

50 min – everyone pushing Aaron to plead guilty..

53 min – Aaron turned it down – and Heymann doubled his efforts

57 min – Quinn – i hadn’t done anything interesting, let alone anything wrong. …i told them they were on the wrong side of history

58 – guerilla open access manifesto

1:00 – i regret that i said what i did – but my much larger regret is that we are ok with this..

1:03 – 4 felony accounts – put in solitary confinement – up to 35 yrs in prison, fine up to 1 mill – released same day jstor says – we’re not part of this..

1:05 – Heymann said using Aaron for deterrence…  Robert Swartz

1:05:30 – it would be easier to understand the obama admin’s posture of supposedly being for deterrence if this was an admin that for instance – prosecuted arguably the biggest economic crime that this country has seen in the last 100 years, the crimes that were committed that led to the financial crisis on wall street..when you start deploying the non-controversial idea of deterrence only selectively you stop making a dispassionate analysis of lawbreaking and you start deciding to deploy law enforcement resources specifically on the basis of political ideology – David Sirota – and that’s not just undemocratic.. it’s supposed to be unamerican

1:07 – mit doesn’t defend Aaron – which seems crazy – they had moral authority to stop it in their tracks – and the incubate hacktivism…

1:08 – Aaron’s dad comparing what Jobs, Gates, et al, .. breaking rules just as well, but he said difference between Aaron and them – is that he wasn’t doing anything for money

1:09 – Aaron thought he could change the world by explaining it to people.

Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman

1:10 – sopa – it’s a bill about the freedom to connect(not about copyright) – via Peter E. – now i was listening – demand progress fall 2010 -David Segal


imagining if focus would/could have been simply (from 21 min) finding our people.. *documents/laws et al all irrelevant if we could first get to the energy of 8b alive people

ie: augmenting interconnectedness with 2 convers as infra via tech as it could be

*too much ness

Trevor Timm – sopa basically took a sledge hammer to what needed a scalpel

1:11 – makes everyone who runs a website a policeman – makes no sense to destroy the structure of the internet…

1:12 – David Sirota – the ones where all the money/corps are on one side and all the people are on the other

1:14 – i’d never met anyone that was able to operate on both the technological side and the campaign side – David Segal – congress caught off guard – the *nerd section – Jon Stewart – clarifying that they must mean experts – clueless members of congress rate the bill –

1:15 -the fact that it got as far as it did w/o them talking to any type of experts reflects how bad it was.. … there used to be an office  that offered science and tech advice, … gingrich killed it – said it was a waste of money  – Soghoian

1:16 – godaddy switches sides.. huge

Jimmy Wales blacks out wikipedia.. reddit, craigslist.. congress changes mind about sopa support

1:17 – sopa dies

1:20 – years before snowden – swarz on it

1:21 – Matt Stoller – why are they going after whistleblowers

1:22 – David Sirota – secrecy serves those who are already in power – this was a message from obama admin – that this is a threat – so we are going to make an example out of Aaron – to scare as many people as possible to not follow suit

1:24 – **Aaron’s last interview – he was asked about how he felt the fight was going:

you know, there’s sort of these two polarizing perspectives. right. everything is great. the internet has created all this freedom and liberty. and everything is going to be fantastic. or everything is terrible. the internet has created all these tools for cracking down and spying and you know, controlling what we say. and I think it’s both are true. right. the internet has done both. and both are kind of amazing and astonishing. and which one will win out in the long run.. is up to us. it doesn’t make sense to say oh one is doing better than the other. you know. they’re both true. and it’s up to uswhich ones we emphasize and which one’s we take advantage of because they’re both there and they’re both always going to be there.

13 felony counts, 1986 – computer fraud and abuse act – inspired by movie – war games – kid gets ability to launch a nuclear attack – not possible, esp not in the 80’s – but scared congress enough to enact the law

1:26 – the idea that criminal law has anything to say about any of these things is crazy – ie: be nice to everyone (in terms of service) – i would say – all of us are accused of crime – Cindy Cohn  – legal director of eff

on computer fraud and abuse law – … i would say .. we are all breaking the law

1:28 – serious? – ways to go to congress and change the law? there’s got to be a better way.. congress ness has run a muck – why are we accepting this system as the only way. this is assuming we have/know what a democracy is.. no?

a way to go through congress – “like Swartz so masterfully did with sopa” – we don’t have energy/time/resources to tackle every law.. this reminds me of policy for charter schools as it was explained to me. ie: a typical district has 500 policies. if a charter wants to join – it can’t just delete any of those 500 policies – it has to do a 1-1 replacement. like a bureaucratic move to expand the metaphorical moat.

1:29 – a decision for the american people to make – through congress

really? perhaps if it worked like it says it works. (another case of us needing to set people free to useful/happy preoccupation)

poor use of prosecutorial discretion.. the hammer that the justice dept has to scare people with just gets bigger and bigger – you know you can’t roll the dice to live your life like that – Cindy

a machine that has made america the country with the highest rate of incarceration in the world…

1:30 – Bryan Stevenson – we have allowed ourselves to be captured by the politics of fear and anger (america largest rate of incarceration in the world) – anything we’re afraid of or angry about – instinctively creates a criminal justice intervention.. we’ve used jail/imprisonment/punishment to solve a whole host of problems that were never seen that way. …. this happens a lot in other areas .. only diff – people usually targeted/victimized are minority/poor

1:33 – Taren – he was brittle in a lot of ways – that was part of his brilliance.. he wasn’t a joyful person – but that’s different than being depressed. it was just too much. he didn’t want to do it anymore

1:34 – i thought – we’ve lost one of the most creative minds of our generation – Peter Eckersley

1:36 – Tim Berners Lee – Aaron is dead. Wanderers in this crazy world, we have lost a mentor, a wise elder. Hackers for right, we are one down, we have lost one of our own. Nurturers, carers, listeners, feeders, parents all, we have lost a child. Let us all weep.

1:38 – we are standing in a moment of time when great injustice is not touched – and in the middle of that time.. the govt finds that this is what they had to prosecute.. tragic..  lawrence lessig

dad (robert swartz – only question i’ll ask.. how could we further that legacy

from site:

Bob Swartz is an inventor and businessman and began developing Impossible Objects’ technology in 2009. Concurrently, and for over ten years, Bob has been a consultant on intellectual property at the MIT Media Laboratory. He has founded and operated a number of companies, including: a software company that developed a complete version of Unix and C Compilers licensed by a number of major computer corporations including Intel and Digital Equipment Corporation; a multi-million dollar advertising display manufacturing company; a telephony company; and patent licensing companies through which he has licensed his own patents to major corporations such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. Mr. Swartz studied mathematics as an undergraduate and was a graduate student in mathematics at MIT and University of Chicago and in computer science at Northwestern University.

1:40 – Aaron would ask – what is the most important thing you could be working on now – and if you’re not working on it – why aren’t you –

swartz most important law:

aaron believed 5

Cory on Jack – this is why what Aaron did is so important.. we can’t block the rabbit holes

1:42 – this truth of the universe is not just something policy makers use for figuring out the speed limit – Cory

**full interview: