Rebecca Gould

Aaron Swartz’s Legacy

There is no justice in following unjust laws,” wrote the computer programmer and Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life at the age of twenty-six on January 11, 2013. “It’s time to come into the light and, in the grand tradition of civil disobedience, declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture.” Swartz was twenty-one years old when he wrote these words in his 2008 “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto.” Two aspects of Swartz’s manifesto are particularly prescient.

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