Aaron Swartz

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Aaron Swartz was a young man who had an undeniable talent for computer engineering. He was the founder of “Reddit” which is a successful site that allows users to submit links to content on the Internet and spread the word to a younger audience about important events. Reddit is a beneficial “social networking site” that reaches out to a wide audience where people are able to share worldwide news in a blink of an eye and with a direct extension to the source. Aaron Swartz created this site because it exemplifies exactly what he believes in, which is that people should be allowed to exercise their rights to the Internet freely and openly. Unfortunately, it was reported that this internet mogul committed suicide nearly two years after being convicted of a crime that could potentially have given him 50 years in prison. It was said that the stress of the courts and conviction was the reason that pushed him to edge of suicide. The crime he was being questioned for was that of using MIT’s network to download too many scholarly articles from an academic database called JSTOR (Hsieh, 2013). He was being charged on two counts of wire fraud and eleven violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Some of Swartz’s family and friends believed that he was being extensively trialed so that the government could make an example of him in the age of “Wikileaks” and “Anonymous”. The reason Swartz targeted JSTOR was because it controls and limits the distribution of scholarship conducted by public employees, or produced by scholars with public funds, to only those with paid subscription access (Corriea, 2013). Swartz believe this type of information should be distributed to the public openly. There was no proof that he was using the information as a means to make a profit.

            This story tells the public a lot about the United States intellectual property (IP) law in the sense that it does not hold true to the message it is supposed to enforce. I say that because the IP refers to the creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce (WIPO). This law is supposed to protect the intellectual property, however, this law did not pertain to or defend the integrity of the late Aaron Swartz. He was excising his right to creative thoughts and use to public information .Instead, he was being charged for something that shouldn’t have made it to trial through this law that is guaranteed to every citizen under our Constitution.

 Cites

Hsieh, S. (2013, January 23). Why Did the Justice System Target Aaron Swartz? | Politics News | Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 25, 2014, from http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/why-did-the-justice-system-target-aaron-swartz-20130123

 

Correia, D. (2013, February 12). Aaron Swartz and the Case Against Intellectual Property | La Jicarita. Retrieved March 25, 2013, from http://lajicarita.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/aaron-swartz-and-the-case-against-intellectual-property/

 

WIPO (n.d.). What is Intellectual Property? Retrieved March 25, 2014, from http://www.wipo.int/about-ip/en/

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Privacy

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The type of information that I consider to be private, is basically social aspects. For instance, my only source of social media is that of Instagram. I have a private profile where I can personally approve or deny someone who is trying to view my profile. I post pictures that are not considered “professional” by any means of the word, however, if for some reason a job or important person was to view the content on my Instagram I would not be embarrassed. That is because at the end of the day anything that is posted onto the Internet is no longer truly private despite the privacy settings that can be issued. I believe that anything you post online can eventually reappear in the future (even when deleted) or end up  in the hands or someone who you didn’t intentionally want to see what you post. 

I do however find it uneasy when corporations or governments search you up online in hopes of finding something negative. At the end of the day, if I decide to hang out on the weekends with my friends and share a few drinks and broadcast it to my friends , I don’t think they should penalize me for it. If my resume and credentials alone does not prove I deserve the position then so be it, but if my professional and academic life is proven to be up to par then that should be the basis of me getting hired opposed to what is being posted on social media. If i can have fun on the weekend ends or on downtimes that does not necessarily make me a bad candidate for a company or a bad person. 

Twitter vs Instagram

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In terms of “twitter” the pros is that you can physically write out exactly what is occurring. People are then about to re-tweet, favorite, and quote your post, which will then essentially get the word out faster. A single tweet can reach thousands of users in only minutes if people re-tweet enough.  Not only that celebrities and actually news accounts can reach the public through a tweet. More people are on their twitters then they are watching television now a days, so that means twitter has taking on a new responsibility of getting information out to a widespread amount of people (especially the younger population whom are more likely to use twitter instead of watching the news on tv) Twitter also has a an option where one can upload photos which can beneficial. However, the cons of twitter are that some times it can shut down, you have a limited amount of characters to get the word out. That is a problem because people might abbreviate and shorten the actually story to fit info into tweets.

In terms of instagram, the pros are that people usually have thousands of followers so each picture that is posted reaches many people. You are also able to add hashtags so people can search for an interest that will then attach to your pictures and profile. Instagram also allows for a lot of characters for the caption so the visual aspect and written aspect is attached which can preserve the quality of the message.  Instagram also has a video option, however it only last 15 seconds. The cons are that sometime instagram lags and that pictures does reach as many viewers as does twitter.