If it were up to Mike Masnick and other copyleftists and Anonymous, we would not have the rule of law as indicated here at the swearing-in ceremony by elected Governor Patrick, appointed prosecutor Carmen Ortiz, and Eric Holder, Attorney General under Obama. Photo credit: Eugena Ossi/Governor's Office
I asked whether the copyleftists might now back off their frenzied campaign to blame -- and even harass -- Carmen Ortiz, the US attorney in Massachusetts who was prosecuting the case of Aaron Swartz.
And the answer is -- no, of course not, they will only double down their frenzy until they become distracted with some other thing. But I do hope the rule of law will prevail and eventually they will back off -- however, it is unlikely to occur without some real damage.
Zoe Lofgren -- who represents the California Big IT business lobby in Congress -- has predictably and hastily created something already called "Aaron's Law" which is supposed to channel "the Internet"'s fury into something "constructive," although the little script kiddies aren't buying it, as they have realized it may not have worked to totally exonerate Swartz. I will study this draft law more and come back later with comments, but in the mean time, I see Zoe's toy boy Mike Masnick (from his mouth to her lips, always) has predictably blamed the prosecutor even more, speciously citing her statement as "hogwash" and claiming that the "superseding indictment" is somehow "even more draconian" -- which just indicates how little he understands about the justice system.
His article is here, and I'm reproducing my comment in objection here because he uses that despicable system where "the community" (the Anonymous fuckwads who read his site) can vote down commments and therefore make them disappear from view, to be made visible only if you click on what has been "flagged by the community" (ugh). In that climate, it's possible that comments could get removed all together, so I save them:
You and the rest of the tech press are despicable for not reporting the factual news of the six months' plea bargaining BEFORE Swartz's suicide (and perhaps because his lawyer manipulated the revelation of this truth to defend his client) and certainly AFTER his suicide when the lawyer ADMITTED this plea bargain -- which is certainly reasonable and lawful given the magnitude of the crime, and its purpose as a dramatic "propaganda of the deed" to try to smash the pay-wall and walled-garden systems of how universities wish to manage academic journals. When hackers deprive us of choice in this coercive way, it is right and just to prosecute them.
It doesn't matter if charges are added as fit the crime because the discussion all along, as Ortiz and *even the lawyer* admit, was about either a plea for a very lenient sentence or some far lesser sentence if it were put to a jury trial. You're forgetting about the media circus YOU would have created around an actual jury trial -- and even Swartz and his family might have wished to avoid THAT.
You must admit: There has never been a hacker ever in the US or UK who has ever remotely served anything like these sentences -- in fact some of them get out of jail free with the Asperberger's card or other extenuating circumstances -- or they turn state's evidence like Sabu. So it is utterly irresponsible for you to keep scarifying with these literalisms AND you have to ask yourselves whether you are in fact aiding and abetting a climate of intimidation that could have acted on Swartz's psyche -- when in fact he would have known about the plea offer and the likelihood -- as Ortiz indicated -- that he could face even just probation! Shame on you!
You binary geek thinkers also refuse to consider how precedent law plays a role in our system; and how a judge is separate from a prosecutor and will reach his own conclusions about how to *apply* the law in a given case. There is absolutely no indication anywhere that Swartz would have served anything like 7 years, let alone 35 or 50, and you're just making this up in service of your despicable copyleftist cause.
If we're to blame people beyond Swartz for this tragedy, I blame Lawrence Lessig, Cory Doctorow, and all his other mentors who knowingly incited him to this act yet pulled back and didn't defend him at the end.
When you like it or not, the plea bargaining system is in fact what enables enormous numbers of people to go free doing just community service or getting sentences to time served in pre-trial. You're writing about the system in an ignorant, tendentious fashion merely to serve your cause.
You're a terrible advertisement for the kind of justice we would live under if you were in charge. Oops, we've already seen that with your outrageous anti-SOPA crusade that succeeded in overthrowing Congress so that legislation didn't even come to a vote. And BTW, precisely because there isn't a good law to establish the line of criminality you refuse to reckon with regarding piracy and copying that prosecutors are going to feel entitled to "make examples" -- even with six months -- of people like Swartz. So you are to blame as well.
It's also useful to see some of the other people vainly trying to question what Masnick is saying, such as "Anonymous Coward" which is the name the system gives you if you don't use a Pseudonym (snort):
Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2013 @ 7:15am
I know you're just abusing this situation to further your own ridiculous and disgusting agenda, but you should read what Prof. Kerr posted: http://www.volokh.com/2013/01/16/the-criminal-charges-against-aaron-swartz-part-2-prosecutorial-disc retion/
"Aaron's Law" wouldn't have had any effect on Aaron's potential sentence. Woops. Funny how you don't report the truth. But then again, you and I both know that you don't care about truth. Note what Kerr said about the additional charges.
You're a total fake and coward, and you know it. And you're really disgusting in the way you're using this sad situation to your own advantage.
Another Anonymous Coward (the same one?) says this as well:
Mike - I wasn't impressed by Ortiz's statement either, but a couple of your statements are pretty off the wall. This, for example:
... she must know that it is quite rare for judges to issue sentences more lenient than what prosecutors put forth from a plea bargain.
Mike, I have no idea where you're getting this information, but it's simply not true. Judges frequently impose sentences lower than what prosecutors seek. And it is rare, especially in Massachusetts, for prosecutors and defendants to come into court with a specific, agreed-upon sentence on which the plea is dependent (a so-called "c1c" plea). Judges understandably don't like these. Rather, what usually happens is that the prosecutor agrees to recommend a specific sentence in exchange for the plea. The defendant is free to argue for something lower, and courts can and do sentence lower than that recommendation, especially in case LIKE THIS ONE involving some novel and/or highly debatable legal issues.
I will add this about Masnick: he's something of a one-man band to destroy copyright and impose technocommunism and is really one of the most fiercest and aggressive advocates of these ideas. I've debated him for years but I usually avoid wasting time reading and commenting on his site, not only because of the clientele there but because I often then get further harassment via email and in site attacks after I comment there.
His site doesn't have anything like the attention of TechCrunch or other big tech sites (his Alexa score is 11,000 something) but he is very influential and connected and I have traced his articles directly as cut-and-paste into Lofgren's statements -- which is why I make the disparaging comment I do. I wish she would think for herself a little more, that may not be possible given the enormity of the lobbies bearing down on her who are responsible for her election. It's funny how all those Anonymous screams about "bought politicians" never get directed at Daryl Issa or Zoe Lofgren who opposed SOPA for them.
Whenever I have confronted Masnick directly with irrefutable evidence that he is full of shit, he runs away. He never has debates on the substance of cases and always runs. He then postures and prances as he does on this thread about Ortiz with some of the commenters, and then instructs them that they can't engage in "ad hominem attacks" as that invalidates their arguments. Nonsense. He has no scruples about calling people any names he wants, and calling their arguments names like "hogwash," so he is merely being a controlling little nit. I'm happy to make any ad hominem attack that applies to this nerd because it's relevant to the problem we all face with geeks taking away our freedoms and our democratic society. I believe strongly in the right to make ad hominem attacks and believe strongly, like the judges who ruled in Times v. Sullivan, that they are essential to robust debate in a democratic society. If you want to play Boys Latin School and debate club and decide what Latin-termed debate technicality gets you points off or not, you go do that; I won't be joining you.
When I confronted Masnick directly again and again on the dajaz1 case, in which he claimed ICE was being unreasonable and unlawful, and pointed out that the Wayback Machine showed they DID have infringing content and weren't the lovely little start-up publishing only hopeful hip-hopsters who freely gave their content to be copied, he was silent. He had nothing to say. He didn't say a word, but merely slammed me with some put-down. That is always how it is with Mike Masnick. He does not recognize the rule of law or due process and he is typical of the Bolshevism we would suffer if he came and/his ideas came to power. And in fact, we already get a bad taste of this with the anti-SOPA campaign.