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Blog, Internet - Written by Renai LeMay on Monday, January 21, 2013 18:17 - 5 Comments
Australian commentary on Aaron Swartz
blog Many of you will be aware that earlier this month one of the Internet’s brightest young stars was tragically lost. US citizen Aaron Swartz was known for many things — helping to create the RSS specification, helping to form giant discussion board and information aggregator Reddit, and campaigning against draconian technology-related legislation and archaic copyright restrictions. And due to his global influence, a number of Australian writers have penned pieces discussing the themes of his life.
The first piece comes from a local Internet activist, Asher Wolf (not her real name), who has been active on many of the same issues as Swartz (founding the CryptoParty movement, for example). Wolf writes in an angry post entitled ‘In memory of Aaron Swartz’:
“Young people putting their rare skills to use, to try to make the world just a little bit better for the rest of us – are driven into the ground, persecuted on the whims of over-funded law-enforcement agencies.
And meanwhile the U.S. is so blinded by fear of having it’s rotten core exposed by transparency and information initiatives it is literally cutting off it’s own future human talent pool, slashing the crop further and further each day.”
Over at iTNews, Charis Palmer chronicles how academics are taking to Twitter to post links to their research papers, in a copyright-breaching act of tribute to Swartz. Palmer quotes local academic David Glance as saying he would be “more committed to the idea of publishing his research in open access journals” following the death of Swartz, who had strongly pushed open access for academic material.
And over at Crikey, regular Internet commentator Bernard Keane pens a piece arguing that the prosecution of Swartz’ activism at releasing academic articles onto the Internet was indicative of a growing trend towards overprosecution of Internet activists, with another example being Bradly Manning, who is suspected of leaking US Government material to Wikileaks. He writes:
“Eventually, elites either have to shift to a full-scale surveillance state like East Germany or Iran, inculcate self-censorship like the Chinese government or accept the power balance between citizens and their governments has shifted in favour of the former.”
I didn’t know of Swartz before his passing was highly publicised over the past couple of weeks, but reading into his life since that point, it seems apparent the activist lived at the nexus of several different important trends regarding the Internet, the changing nature of information and and public and private transparency. It seems the impact of Swartz’ passing in the midst of this nexus will continue to cause many to think deeply on the issues he was involved in for some time — including in Australia. Certainly, whether it be regarding Internet filtering, government transparency, data retention or corporate secrecy, many of the same issues Swartz was active on in the US are very current issues in Australia.
Latest Delimiter 2.0 articles (subscriber content)
|Politicians from Australia’s major parties need to stop issuing ludicrous blanket pardons for the intelligence community’s ongoing misdemeanours and start applying a basic modicum of transparency and accountability to this important national security function.|
|The independent pro-fibre National Broadband Network movement is doing a far better job of promoting Labor’s Fibre to the Premises-based NBN policy than Labor itself. When is Labor going to wake from its slumber and start supporting this scrappy but energetic grassroots network of activists?|
|Ziggy Switkowski's first substantial public appearance since being appointed NBN Co chief executive has starkly demonstrated just how different he is from his predecessor, Mike Quigley, and just how strictly he will adhere to the guidelines which his patron, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, has set for him.|
|Australian technology companies have been virtually absent from the the nation’s public stockmarket over the past decade as the stigma of the dot com bust took its toll on investor confidence. But a clutch of new listings planned for the closing months of 2013 shows renewed interest in the sector and that local entrepreneurs are smelling money in the air once again.|
|NBN Co’s Strategic Review process gives the company an unmissable opportunity to re-evaluate the early decision to deploy its FTTP network primarily through Telstra’s underground ducts. The company and its new Coalition masters must now seriously consider deploying more fibre aerially on power poles in an effort to speed up its rollout substantially.|
|That moment which many Australian technologists fervently hoped for but never expected to see has come to pass: Simon Hackett has been appointed to the board of the National Broadband Network Company. But what questions should the Internode founder be asking NBN Co’s executive management team? Here’s five ideas to start with.|
|The rapid replacement of respected NBN Co chief operating officer Ralph Steffens with a Telstra executive who appears less experienced with fibre rollouts but better politically connected represents a key signal that NBN Co’s senior executive hiring process has now become completely politicised and is no longer independent from the Federal Government.|
Blog, Enterprise IT, Featured - Dec 6, 2013 11:24 - 0 Comments
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