[NetBehaviour] Fwd: <nettime> Aaron Schwarz and Wikileaks

AGF poemproducer agf at poemproducer.com
Sun Dec 6 11:04:41 CET 2015

yes!!! been postig same around

> On 06 Dec 2015, at 11:41, Annie Abrahams <bram.org at gmail.com> wrote:
> to read
> for those of you who are not an nettime
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: nettime's anonymous source <nettime at kein.org <mailto:nettime at kein.org>>
> Date: Sun, Dec 6, 2015 at 10:27 AM
> Subject: <nettime> Aaron Schwarz and Wikileaks
> To: nettime-l at mx.kein.org <mailto:nettime-l at mx.kein.org>
> http://www.aaronswartzday.org/jacobappelbaum-2015/ <http://www.aaronswartzday.org/jacobappelbaum-2015/>
> Lisa: Ladies and Gentlemen, Jacob Appelbaum.
> Jacob: First of all, thank you so very much for having me tonight. It’s
> actually really difficult that I can’t be there in person, and I wish
> that I could be. And, when Lisa asked me to speak tonight, I actually
> didn’t feel that I had something to say until I sat down and wrote a
> text. So, I’m just going to read you a text, and as a result I’m going
> to cover my camera because there’s nothing worse than watching someone
> read. So, as you can see there, it’s just a bright white light, and now
> I’m going to read you this text, and I hope that you can still hear me.
> [Crowd chanting “We want Jake!”]
> Jacob: (Laughing)
> Lisa Rein: Jacob, come back on camera, please. Don’t do it, Jake.
> Jacob: I’m sorry. It has to be this way. That’s how it has to be, I’m
> sorry, but here we go.
> Lisa: It’s okay. No, no, no!
> Jacob: You can’t fucking be serious. [laughing] Terrible.
> Lisa: Jacob, please. Thank you. (Jesus Christ.)
> Jacob: Look, I want to see all of you, too, but we don’t get what we
> want so I’m going to read you this text now.
> The first time that I heard Aaron Swartz speak in person was at the
> Creative Commons release party in San Francisco.
> Lisa: Jacob, we’re going to turn it [the podium laptop] around.
> Jacob: I was working the door as a security guard, if you can believe
> that. I think it was in December of 2002. Meeting people in that
> seemingly weird world mutated life in a good way. Over the years, we
> crossed paths many times, be it discussions relating to CodeCon, to age
> limits, or free software, or the Creative Commons, or about crypto, or
> any other topic. Aaron was an insightful, hilarious, and awesome person.
> Aaron and I worked on a few different overlapping projects and I very
> much respected him. Some of the topics that came up were light, but some
> were very heavy and very serious. The topic of WikiLeaks was important
> to both of us. In November of 2009, long before I was public about my
> work with WikiLeaks, I introduced Aaron to someone at WikiLeaks who
> shall remain unnamed. If we had a secure and easy way to communicate, if
> some sort of communication system had existed that had reduced or
> eliminated metadata, I probably could’ve done so without a trace. But we
> didn’t. You’re not the first to know, the FBI and the NSA already know.
> Less than a year later, Aaron sent me an email that made it clear how he
> felt. That email in its entirety was straightforward and its lack of
> encryption was intentional. On July 10, 2010, he wrote, “Just FYI, let
> me know if there’s anything, ever, I can do to help WikiLeaks.” Did that
> email cast Aaron as an enemy of the state? Did Aaron worry?
> 2010 was an extremely rough year. The US government against everyone.
> The investigation of everyone associated with WikiLeaks stepped up. So
> many people in Boston were targeted that it was effectively impossible
> to find a lawyer without a conflict. Everyone was scared. A cold wave
> passed over everything, and it was followed by hardened hearts from many.
> In February of 2011, a few of us were at a party in Boston hosted by
> danah boyd. Aaron and I walked a third person home. A third person who
> still wishes to remain unknown. The sense of paranoia was overwhelming,
> but prudent. The overbearing feeling of coming oppression was crushing
> for all three of us. All of us said that our days were numbered in some
> sense. Grand juries, looming indictments, threats, political
> blacklisting. None of us felt free to speak to one another about
> anything. One of those people, as I said, still wishes to remain
> unnamed. We walked through the city without crossing certain areas,
> because Aaron was worried about being near the properties that MIT owned.
> When Aaron took his life, I remember being told by someone in San
> Francisco, and I didn’t understand. I literally did not understand who
> they meant or who it could be. It seemed impossible for me to connect
> the words that were coming out of their mouth with my memories.
> Shortly after Aaron was found, WikiLeaks disclosed three facts:
>  - Aaron assisted WikiLeaks.
>  - Aaron communicated with Julian and others during 2010 and 2011.
>  - And Aaron may have even been a source.
> I do not believe that these issues are unrelated to Aaron’s persecution,
> and it is clear that the heavy-handed U.S. prosecution pushed Aaron to
> take his own life. How sad that he was abandoned by so many in his time
> of need. Is it really the case that there was no link? Is it really the
> case that the U.S. prosecutors went after Aaron so harshly because of a
> couple of Python scripts and some PDFs? No, clearly not.
> I wish that Aaron had lived, as we all do. This was the year that
> brought us the summer of Snowden, and yet it felt like ten years of
> grief in a single one. It was the last time I spent any time in the
> U.S., and even now it feels like a distant memory, mostly bad memories.
> Especially the memory of learning about Aaron.
> Only a few months later, in 2013, there was a New Year’s Eve toast with
> many of us who were being investigated, harassed, and targeted for our
> work, our associations with WikiLeaks, and for our political beliefs. It
> was me that stupidly, stupidly said, “We made it.” But I know it was
> Roger, and I remember it well, when he said, “Not all of us.” And he
> wasn’t speaking only about Aaron, but him too. And it was heartbreaking
> to remember, and it was telling of how to cope. How some try to forget,
> and we do forget, and that it is important to remember. Especially right
> then and especially right there. Just as it is here, and just as it is
> right now.
> When we learned more details about the U.S. prosecutors, we learned that
> they considered Aaron a dangerous radical for unspecified reasons. One
> of the primary reasons is probably the Guerilla Open Access Manifesto.
> This is a good document, and, as many others, I respect it and I admire
> it. The Guerilla Open Access Manifesto is not as radical as the U.S.
> prosecutors might consider it. But their fear is telling, so let us say
> it out loud: We should honor it and we should extend it.
> Let’s not only liberate the documents of the world, let us act in
> solidarity to liberate all of humanity. Let us create infrastructure
> that resists mass surveillance. Let us enable people to leak documents.
> And let us also work to infiltrate those organizations that betrayed us.
> There is a division of labor, and we all bring different skills to the
> table. Let us all use them in service of a better world, in service of
> justice.
> We must have total transparency about the investigation into Aaron. Why
> was the Department of Justice grinding their axe with Aaron? Was it
> really because of JSTOR and the past anger about PACER? That is absurd
> and unbelievable. It is disproportionate and it is unjust.
> One concrete thing that needs to happen is for the FOIA case to be
> properly resolved. We must find a way to speed up the processing about
> FOIAs regarding Aaron. Rather than hundreds of documents at a time, we
> should have all 85,000 at once, and not mediated by MIT, who is
> partially responsible for the outcome we have today.
> And we must not drop the pressure. If you are invited to MIT, I
> encourage you to decline and to explain that you do so because of MIT’s
> treatment of Aaron Swartz. But not just Aaron, but those like Star
> Simpson and Bunnie, who MIT would’ve left to be like Aaron, if the cards
> had played a little differently.
> Here are some things you can do to support the legacy and spirit of
> Aaron. We can support the development of some of Aaron’s projects like
> SecureDrop. Kevin, Garrett, Micah, and others are carrying that torch.
> We can work with them. They’re still with us today. You can come and
> work with many people at the Tor Project on Tor Browser and Tor
> Messenger, and other software to be of use to disseminate and to push
> out information, important information to people that might have
> otherwise not happened without that software. And you can come and help
> us make free software for freedom, just as Aaron did.
> And there are other projects that need assistance. OnionShare, Let’s
> Encrypt, GlobalLeaks, Pawn[?], Subgraph, Signal, the Transparency
> Toolkit, and many more.
> But it isn’t just software. There are so many things that can be done.
> You can write to prisoners of conscience of Aaron’s generation, of my
> generation, of your generation. Do Jeremy Hammond, Barret Brown, and
> Chelsea Manning have to die before we work to correct the injustices
> that they face daily? We can and we should free them.
> Here are some things to support each other during the hard times, those
> with us now and those sure to come in the future. We should support
> WikiLeaks, an organization under attack for publishing information in
> the public interest. We should support the EFF. They support people who
> are at the edge. We should support the ACLU. When others called Edward
> Snowden a traitor, the ACLU gave him legal support. We should support
> the Courage Foundation. They are the ones that helped Edward Snowden to
> seek and to receive asylum and do the same with others that are directly
> under threat today and those under threat tomorrow. And we should
> support the Library Freedom Project. They work to educate, to deploy,
> and to resist, by deploying alternatives in public spaces for everyone
> today. And together, we are already building, deploying, supporting, and
> using infrastructure which is not merely a matter of protest, but is an
> act of resistance in itself, by being a practical alternative.
> And there is a legal lesson that we actually must learn in a very hard
> way, as many communities have learned it already, and it is one where
> the lawyers in the audience who represent me are already cringing from
> what I’ve said, but they’ll cringe harder next. We must resist grand
> juries. We must not bow down. We must band together. And together we can
> refuse to be isolated. We must resist it every step of the way, never
> giving them anything, ever, at all, when they wish to persecute us for
> our political beliefs. And if you feel there is no other choice, drag it
> out and make it public.
> Consider that the core of Aaron’s legacy is not simply about information
> or about writing software. It is about justice, about fairness, through
> transparency, through accountability, through consideration. So then let
> us consider our empire and most of all we must consider our complicity.
> It is up to us to act and to change things, to fight for the user, but
> also to consider the world in which he lives. To think as technologists,
> but to think far beyond only the technology and into our common humanity.
> How is this lesson applied to gender and racial inequality? Aaron wasn’t
> a bigot; he was thoughtful. He was not a homophobic person; he was
> accepting. He wasn’t a racist; he was unprejudiced. Aaron was kind and
> compassionate. He fought for free speech. He worked and he supported
> your anonymity directly with actions, and he worked to free our
> culture’s knowledge. We must be forward-thinking, not just about winning
> one or two battles. Not just about one or two legal cases. Rather in a
> broader sense, towards a movement of movements. The Internet is a
> terrain of struggle and it will help shape all of the other terrains of
> struggles to come, and Aaron, Aaron helped to shape that terrain for us,
> so that we could shape it for others.
> Part of what Aaron carried was an understanding that it wasn’t just that
> something needed to be done. He carried with him the idea that very
> specific things needed to happen, and for very good reasons, to benefit
> all of those alive and all of those yet to live. He cared deeply about
> free software, and he cared deeply about the free culture movement. He
> worked to advance many other issues. Let us carry on that work, whatever
> the cost, wherever they may take us.
> Aaron was headstrong and hilarious. He was young. Today, he would’ve
> been 29. Use your time wisely. May you have more time than him, and may
> you use it as wisely as he did.
> Good night.
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