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Aaron Swartz’s Life Spurs Protest Against Internet Surveillance

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Since Aaron Swartz’s death a lot of activists realize they’re facing huge battles, but everybody can be doing something to fight back in a way to address that, Parker Higgins from the Electronic Frontier Foundation told RT.

RT: ‘The Day We Fight Back’ protest  scheduled for Tuesday coincides with the anniversary of internet  activist Aaron Swartz’s death. How has privacy legislation  progressed following his suicide, allegedly prompted by severe  charges for unlawfully downloading academic journals online?

Parker Higgins: Obviously, a year ago we knew  much less about the NSA, GCHQ and other Intelligence Agencies. In  the last six to seven months we’ve learned things from Edward  Snowden’s leaks that of course were issues that Aaron was himself  very interested in. The privacy legislation has advanced a lot  because of that and so we’ve seen things that are directly  related to Aaron with move forward on cyber-crime law in the US,  for example, but then there are a lot of things that he couldn’t  really foresee a year ago.

RT: Swartz’s suicide has made him a martyr  in the eyes of many internet freedom activists. Do you feel  authorities effectively drove him to take his own life, with an  impending potential 35 years in prison and $1 million in  fines?

PH: I think suicide is very complex and there is  no way to point at any single issue. Even if you don’t go as far  as they’re saying: that the authorities drove him to this, it was  an unjust and unnecessary display of power and a way to hound  somebody, and they actually hounded him to death – we can’t know.  But I do know that when you talk to the people that were close to  him, that seems to be something that they think.

RT: How has what Aaron Swartz achieved and  stood for motivated others to continue his cause?

PH: Aaron gave a great speech a couple of years  ago now, just after we had won the SOPA battle, tactically. So  the reason we won this was that people were inspired to become  heroes of their own story, it really takes activism to their own  hands. I think that this message has really resonated not just  since his death, but especially in a year since his death, I  think we’ve seen a lot of activists realize that we’re facing  very large battles, but everybody can be doing something,  everybody can be fighting back in a way to address that.

Written by voiceoftruthusa

February 13, 2014 at 5:05 pm

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