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Aaron Swartz

Supporters fight over legacy

5 Feb, 2013

Friends and supporters of Aaron Swartz are involved in a dispute over what Swartz’s legacy should be, and how best to pursue it.

At Swartz’s Capitol Hill Memorial, open-access supporters repeatedly interrupted Berin Szoka, the president of the libertarian-leaning organization Tech Freedom. When Szoka suggested Swartz’s actions deserved some measure of punishment, others shouted in protest, saying things like “information belongs to everyone.” Rather than make him a “martyr” to information freedom, Szoka argued, supporters should consider Swartz a victim of prosecutorial misconduct and outdated computer laws. The interruptions stopped when Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, who was Aaron’s partner for the last 20 months of his life and one of the event’s organizers, yells for their silence.