Jul
31
2013

The pointless MIT Aaron Swartz report.

:Rolling eyes: I know that I’m in the minority on this one, but why was this report even necessary?

A long-awaited report released Tuesday by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that the university made mistakes but engaged in no wrongdoing in the case of Aaron Swartz, a renowned programmer and charismatic technology activist who committed suicide in January while facing a federal trial on charges of hacking into the M.I.T. computer network.

M.I.T. did not urge federal law enforcement officials to prosecute Mr. Swartz, the report found, and remained neutral in the case. But the university “missed an opportunity to demonstrate the leadership that we pride ourselves on,” based on its reputation as an institution known “for promoting open access to online information, and for dealing wisely with the risks of computer abuse.”

Apparently it’s not going to help: some people are still going to be ticked off because MIT didn’t do more to protect the guy who broke into their servers and tried to steal their stuff. Which MIT must have known, very well… so I have to say that it’s mildly pointless for the college to try to explain any of this. Better to let it go; most of the really outraged sorts have either moved on already, or will as soon as the next digital socialist cause of the day shows up…

Via Instapundit.

Moe Lane

PS: As I’ve said before: I was sorry to hear that Aaron Swartz killed himself, but he made poor life choices. That’s not MIT’s fault; neither is it their fault if the federal government was not inclined to cut Swartz any slack, this time.  Big, intrusive regulatory state: kind of sucks, huh?

2 Comments

  • Cameron says:

    Robert Swartz, Mr. Swartz’s father, said the university was anything but neutral, pointing to aid that it provided to prosecutors as part of the investigation. M.I.T., he said, “should have advocated on Aaron’s behalf.”
    .
    I’d love to see that in a trial. “Sure, my client broke into this man’s house and stole a lot of valuable items. But he should have aided our defense better and advocated for him!”
    .
    Ah well. Now waiting for the next thing for them to be outraged about.

  • Jeffstag says:

    I have trouble seeing the other side of this. Even had MIT devoted full resources to crusifying this guy (which they didn’t), his suicide was his own personal failing and nothing else.

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