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Thu Jan 17, 2013, 03:41 AM

 

Aaron Swartz's FOIA Requests Shed Light on His Struggle

It looked like Aaron Swartz was up to something. Two months before his death, the high-profile Internet activist filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the US Mint and asked for copies of its 2005 survey results which claimed, "147 million adults continued to collect the 50 State Quarters ... the most successful coin program in the nation's history."

The 50 State Quarters Program report Swartz cited in his November 24 FOIA request said the US Mint "shipped 34.3 billion quarter-dollar coins to the Federal Reserve Banks (FRB), generating $8.6 billion in revenue and nearly $6.3 billion in seigniorage, which helps finance the national debt..."

It's unknown what Swartz had hoped to do with the information if and when he received the survey results. Perhaps the boy genius who founded a software company that merged with the popular social networking web site Reddit was hoping to come up with a solution to the country's financial woes and use the statistics in the government report to show why an idea to mint a platinum trillion-dollar coin as a means of dealing with the federal debt ceiling could be even bigger than the 50 State Quarters Program. Last week, he took to Twitter and urged his followers to "save the country" and "sign the platinum coin petition..." The idea was ultimately shot down on Saturday.

Although a majority of his FOIA requests were self-serving and appear to be connected to law enforcement investigations into his activities, it is also clear that the information he sought, particularly in areas of government surveillance, would have greatly benefited the public. However, his efforts to pry loose materials from a highly secretive administration were mostly unsuccessful...

Morisy said Swartz "was very interested in due process and the freedom of speech issues." That certainly appeared to be the common thread in all of his FOIA requests. But it was also deeply personal for Swartz.

Indeed, one of his FOIA requests sought from the United States Secret Service, "Any records on the procedures the Secret Service uses for reading encrypted hard disks." Swartz, who filed the records request on February 28, 2011, was still waiting for the Secret Service to locate responsive records at the time of his death. Investigative blogger Marcy Wheeler reported that two days before Swartz was arrested in January 2011, the Secret Service took over the investigation...

http://truth-out.org/news/item/13945-cyberactivist-aaron-swartz-legacy-of-open-government-efforts-continues

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Reply Aaron Swartz's FOIA Requests Shed Light on His Struggle (Original post)
HiPointDem Jan 2013 OP
graham4anything Jan 2013 #1
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #2
graham4anything Jan 2013 #3
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #4
graham4anything Jan 2013 #6
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #7
graham4anything Jan 2013 #9
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #10
graham4anything Jan 2013 #16
tama Jan 2013 #5
graham4anything Jan 2013 #12
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #13
tama Jan 2013 #14
graham4anything Jan 2013 #15
tama Jan 2013 #18
randome Jan 2013 #20
randome Jan 2013 #8
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #11
randome Jan 2013 #17
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #19
randome Jan 2013 #21
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #22

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:39 AM

1. This stuff reminds me of Drudge/Randy Weaver/Koresh/Orly/McVeigh/Daryl Isaa?NRA CT stuff

 

same type different methods all looking to do the same thing

just my opinion.

this festering hate government, hate authority, hate secret service websites with articles written in the out there media from people who hate this particular administration, or are ones that attempt to equate Bush and this one together.(or think Guiliani and Bloomberg are one and the same).

one of those breadcrumbs tossed to lead write where these talkingheads (no different on the other side from the Rush Limbaugh's to want the person to end their trail with.

Same ones that seem to focus on one solitary event, and think V is real life with all sort of parallels (that just aren't there) and wasn't just a CT movie

and use words like "struggle", when these inane FOIA requests were bilking the government out of hours of manpower and taxpayer money to look into these things, taking away those people's abilities to do important things instead of trivial things.
(or do some naively think government workers wasting their time over trivial things like this
is for the national good? (yet at the same time worry about the national debt?

To me that shows an extreme naive way to look at something it appears they know nothing about to start off with
and leads to wondering what is really behind all this.

which is why I titled this the Randy Weaver/Koresh/McVeigh CT type stuff.
(which everyone now knows was about gun stockpiling and the killing of federal agents by people that blamed the government for every thing in their lives, leading into today's atmosphere about stockpiling guns and terroristic events by gun CTers.)

Or in schoolyard terms
it means people like this want to do whatever they want
but if someone says no, or refuses to waste their time looking into those ct's, they whine and cry persecution like the boy who cried wolf.

sometimes that knocking on the door isn't the police at all.

2013 is not the past. People now see really bad things happening(like in Conn. school, supermarkets, hotels, federal buildings, the WTC, and damn happy they are investigated.
Conflating it to protests in the past don't work, because fun and game time is over, when you have 20% of the nation seeming to have Civil War, and other anarchy

i.e. they want transparency, but not to their own lives, just others.

imho.

and I really know nothing specific about this specific case, except it appears to keep popping up with no additional info, in all the same out there talking heads and pseudo writers who in the end are just the modern day talking heads in the media and Fox, coming at different angles, hoping to combine to do something Isaa can publicly look into to further his own career.) ALA Drudge.

Isaa btw, is the prime reason to only vote for Democrats and those that caucus with them, and never any stay at home protests or 3rd party protests, because he only has power as
long as the repubs hold the house.
30 seat movement away from it, Isaa will be out of his leadership post, and if someone would make a great challenge to him (perhaps someone anonymous from OWS could receive real large backing if they were anti-gun from someone like Bloomberg), and we can get this asshole
Isaa voted out of office.
How many billions of dollars has Isaa wasted in useless phishing expeditions? Speaking of bilking the public, Daryl Isaa is #1.like the tens of billions wasted investigating Bill Clinton for 1000s of CT type things he never did, and some private sex

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:47 AM

2. maybe i'd read your post if you could write coherently

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:57 AM

3. don't know if you realize

 

but months ago, when not many others who were anti-gun, anti-NRA, went into their place
to post anti-gun, anti-NRA stuff, and voila,
the pro-gun, pro-NRA people used that same exact line on me.(even the exact same word, even though there are dozens of similiar words.)

therefore,I take it as a complement.
You could just hit ignore.

Some people in the talking head world(and alternative bloggers are talking heads same as rightwing ones),they actually blame Janet Reno for Waco, when in fact, it was their own hand that caused every single turn of events in Waco, and Janet was quite patient.
Hope Hillary brings her back in 2017. She is a true American patriot.That took alot of crap and CTs from the same Daryl Isaa type people as did both Clinton's and the six degree of separation bullsheet that continues to this day.
Drudge lives for finding links from these articles to post on his main page along with every other anti-Democratic post he can find.

but like #6 said,(the granddaddy of the show that started the CT x-files craze) have a nice day.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:10 AM

4. blah blah drudge blah blah waco blah blah isaa blah blah x-files = smear, smear, smear

 

"if you question our dear leaders you are just like matt drudge"

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:23 AM

6. Stop the gov't wasting money, while authorizing billion dollar phishing trips by Daryl Isaa

 

do you see the hypocricy in that?

save money but waste it

CTs are a waste of time.
Leads to nothing at all.

In fact (IMHO) though Watergate was a conspiracy theory first, then a conspiracy, all it did was make things worse afterward, if you go by the logic that the people inside the Watergate wanting Nixon out, did so to get Nixon out, and fueled by his paranoia, the succeeded.
But things were so much worse with the group after Nixon, that they better off not wasting all that time, and let Nixon finish his term.
Billions wasted just to elect Reagan and Bush.

You realize that it is quite possible that Reagan and any of the Bush's never would have taken office had nixon just finished his term 18 months later, and a Democratic candidate naturally would have won in 1976. Might just have meant 2 terms for Jimmy Carter, or possibly Ted Kennedy or whatnot.

Sometimes, the people wanting to burn it down, don't realize they have nothing to rebuild with afterward.
(2000 proved that).

These things play right into the hands of the same people that were worse than nixon, the entire Bush family.
(You do realize i am sure that 41 wanted to replace Agnew, and 41 wanted to be Ford's VP
and get into office sooner than he was able to in 1981 after Reagan was shot, don't you?
(or was it his own victory in 1988?)

Sometimes these conspracy things do the exact opposite they were meant

(BTW, the ACLU that the Bush's hate, were able to(thorugh prior selfmanipulation of the system by the Bush's) get rid of any/all charges relating to Iran/Contra.

Sometimes it is better to let sleeping dogs lie there and sleep.

aka
change what can be changed
accept that which cannot be changed
and wisdom to know the difference

because the burning down is easy, the hard thing is accepting what that burning down does
(AKA 2000, not the theft, but the sleightofhand lies leading up to the election and election day itself. The theft only happened because of the earlier stuff.
Direct cause and action and outcome

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:25 AM

7. your obsessions have nothing to do with my post.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:41 AM

9. yes they do. follow the breadcrumbs.

 

sometimes a bagel with cream cheese and lox, is just a bagel with cream cheese and lox.

there is no herring in it, red or otherwise.

and wasting the governments money on phishing expeditions to find if government is wasting money is so Kubrick, isn't it?

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:46 AM

10. yes, trust big brother, he would never waste money. or worse things. he loves us.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:41 AM

16. as it is there, don't sweat it, use it for good(aka security).

 

NYC mid 1970s street crime at its highest
I always laughed at the people who put gates over every window and door
It reminded me how they locked themselves in prison by doing so

and then I cried everytime I heard there was a fire, and firemen wasted precious time not being able to get in, because of the gates and locks

(similiar to today's gun people (though we now know this is not the reason) having said for years they need protection 24/7/365 from the boogie man (we know now they want to overthrow the gov't).

prisons are what one makes themselves a prisoner to.

And don't sweat the small stuff is corny, but true

So is, I am not a number I am a free man, except when one puts themselves in their own
prison.
better to accept 10% of something than 100% of nothing.

imho of course, you are free to have your personal view, long as your view don't interfere with my view, at which point there is a conflict of our interests, isn't there?.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:19 AM

5. Why bother

 

hating authority? Better to stop being afraid of it - and afraid of losing control.

Are you familiar with Milgram experiments? About 70% of those tested follow authoritarian orders to harm others - if there is no one questioning and defying those orders present.

Wouldn't you wish - and feel more safe - that fewer of us defied orders to harm others, and that more people would show such example by refusing orders to harm others?

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Response to tama (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:54 AM

12. world is not constant in a world that still has Bush's in it. to win it. C going to B back to A.

 

I personally believe the revolution was won peacefully in 2008.
Bush and his philosophy was taken out.

now, the Isaa's and the CTers want to get rid of the side of the person who won the revolution in 2008 and burn that down

therefore, leading directly back to having Bush philosophy come right back in (aka Jeb).

it seems rather clear to me.

now, maybe persons have pure motives. But they are taken over by the Daryl Isaa's who are politically motivated.
Maybe say, Ralph Nader started out pure. He certainly didn't end up that way.
Maybe some say Ross Perot was pure(that is the biggest laugh, or saying Ron Paul is pure is also the biggest laugh).

when event C leads back to having event B erased leading back to A, that to me is
100% backward.


it really in retrospect is quite easy to see.

division of any kind, gets the Bush philosophy back in. Quite easy to see, it is happening as we speak a fait accompli if one lets it get away with it.
and the alt-net is letting it happen.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:56 AM

13. "Bush and his philosophy was taken out." Then why has this administration expanded the war

 

on terra & the war on public education?

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:07 AM

14. It's not always easy

 

to admit responsibility as a consumer member of consumerist empire and it's constant resource wars etc. to keep on consuming. It's easier to blame just Bush, not the guy I voted, or my own consumerist habits and expectations. Anything, as long as it is not my fault, in any way.

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Response to tama (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:19 AM

15. But you are missing the point. Bush happened because of Nixon being taken down

 

Had people just let Nixon finish, then Bush never would have happened at all

It is not responsiblity on my side, but on the conspicy theory side that still exists

Going back to 1968, it was NOT better to take LBJ out of the race, no matter that he was or wasn't popular as he had been, because running HHH as LBJ lite, as HHH was also an inferior POLITICIAN in a political world (but HHH was a helleva nice guy), led directly to Nixon and Nixon's takedown led to Bush.
(and for all intent and purpose, Bush philosophy took over the second Reagan was shot and incapacitated and about the only thing Ronnie did on his own was allowing Gorby to tear the wall down, which it appears was 100% against what his VP wanted, and his VP never knew about til later, but the credit was 100% Gorby's and not Ronnies, though Ronnie took all the credit).

Better to have let LBJ stay and win a dirty bloody fight in 1968.(We know now Nixon sabatoged any peace deal in Vietnam anyhow).
Or better to have let Nixon stay in office and limp toward the finish in 1976, just 18 months later. Nixon was going to leave and a new president in.

So NO its not blaming Bush, it's seeing how Bush manipulated the system

BTW, your logic is the Ralph Nader bullsheet about Bush and everyone else being the same.
Can't you see that?

and you talk minutia instead of the big picture.
"continue the wars"???(and we are almost out of iraq and Afghanastan).

President Obama got Binladen. bush let him get away.

and being that Scotus you say stole 2000, well, Gore or Kerry wouldn't have put those 5 in.
Neither did Bill Clinton. Neither has President Obama.

BTW, why doesn't alt-net care about Trayvon Martin and the guns issue?
That in itself is all telling.

Leading to my original point.

What in tarnation are the guns going to be used for?
TimMcV. saw things from breadcrumbs in his mind too.

and the Daryl Isaa's exploited it (then and now).
See: Lee Atwater and Karl Rove.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:15 AM

18. Friend

 

I don't want to offend, just to state the obvious and explain and hope that you keep learning like all of us. Your text and what thoughts and points it may contain seem very incoherent and difficult to read and comprehend. So I don't see much point in trying, and I don't.

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Response to tama (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:19 AM

20. Not everyone has that difficulty.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:40 AM

8. "... it is also clear..."

"... it is also clear that the information he sought, particularly in areas of government surveillance, would have greatly benefited the public."


Without going into much detail to support that statement. You're right, this is mostly an attempt to bash Obama with a new CT.

The truth is that it was MIT who continued to press the case against Swartz, not the government. The truth is that a 4-6 month plea bargain was offered.

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Response to randome (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:50 AM

11. MIT can press all they like, it's up to federal prosecutors to decide how much weight to give the

 

case.

the plea-bargain involved 'confessing' to a bunch of charges he didn't feel he was guilty of.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:10 AM

17. Supposedly he forged his identity to download documents he was not entitled to.

Maybe that's not true but MIT said it was. And none of this was worth taking one's life over.

And I sure as hell don't see some shadowy government conspiracy as is hinted at in the article.

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Response to randome (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:19 AM

19. forged his identity? what?

 

I was the expert witness on Aaron’s side of US vs Swartz, engaged by his attorneys last year to help prepare a defense for his April trial. Until Keker Van Nest called iSEC Partners I had very little knowledge of Aaron’s plight, and although we have spoken at or attended many of the same events we had never once met...Should you doubt my neutrality, let me establish my bona fides. I have led the investigation of dozens of computer crimes, from Latvian hackers blackmailing a stock brokerage to Chinese government-backed attacks against dozens of American enterprises...

I know a criminal hack when I see it, and Aaron’s downloading of journal articles from an unlocked closet is not an offense worth 35 years in jail.

The facts:

MIT operates an extraordinarily open network. Very few campus networks offer you a routable public IP address via unauthenticated DHCP and then lack even basic controls to prevent abuse. Very few captured portals on wired networks allow registration by any visitor, nor can they be easily bypassed by just assigning yourself an IP address. In fact, in my 12 years of professional security work I have never seen a network this open.

In the spirit of the MIT ethos, the Institute runs this open, unmonitored and unrestricted network on purpose. Their head of network security admitted as much in an interview Aaron’s attorneys and I conducted in December. MIT is aware of the controls they could put in place to prevent what they consider abuse, such as downloading too many PDFs from one website or utilizing too much bandwidth, but they choose not to.

MIT also chooses not to prompt users of their wireless network with terms of use or a definition of abusive practices.

At the time of Aaron’s actions, the JSTOR website allowed an unlimited number of downloads by anybody on MIT’s 18.x Class-A network. The JSTOR application lacked even the most basic controls to prevent what they might consider abusive behavior, such as CAPTCHAs triggered on multiple downloads, requiring accounts for bulk downloads, or even the ability to pop a box and warn a repeat downloader.

Aaron did not “hack” the JSTOR website for all reasonable definitions of “hack”. Aaron wrote a handful of basic python scripts that first discovered the URLs of journal articles and then used curl to request them. Aaron did not use parameter tampering, break a CAPTCHA, or do anything more complicated than call a basic command line tool that downloads a file in the same manner as right-clicking and choosing “Save As” from your favorite browser.

Aaron did nothing to cover his tracks or hide his activity,
as evidenced by his very verbose .bash_history, his uncleared browser history and lack of any encryption of the laptop he used to download these files. Changing one’s MAC address (which the government inaccurately identified as equivalent to a car’s VIN number) or putting a mailinator email address into a captured portal are not crimes. If they were, you could arrest half of the people who have ever used airport wifi.

The government provided no evidence that these downloads caused a negative effect on JSTOR or MIT, except due to silly overreactions such as turning off all of MIT’s JSTOR access due to downloads from a pretty easily identified user agent.

I cannot speak as to the criminal implications of accessing an unlocked closet on an open campus, one which was also used to store personal effects by a homeless man. I would note that trespassing charges were dropped against Aaron and were not part of the Federal case.

In short, Aaron Swartz was not the super hacker breathlessly described in the Government’s indictment and forensic reports, and his actions did not pose a real danger to JSTOR, MIT or the public. He was an intelligent young man who found a loophole that would allow him to download a lot of documents quickly. This loophole was created intentionally by MIT and JSTOR, and was codified contractually in the piles of paperwork turned over during discovery.

http://unhandled.com/2013/01/12/the-truth-about-aaron-swartzs-crime/


Swartz was targeted because he was POLITICAL, not because of the 'crime' itself, which was minor. It's because the 'crime' has a political aim, rather than being committed for the usual reasons of personal gain or 'fun' that he had the book thrown at him.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:23 AM

21. That DOES put a different light on it.

From Alex Stamos' standpoint, it sounds like the entire case was much ado about nothing.

Makes one wonder why MIT bothered.

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Response to randome (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:27 AM

22. You seem to be of the opinion that MIT has the power to push a suit to completion that the

 

feds don't want completed, or that MIT is the one who determines range of appropriate penalties, etc.

It's the federal prosecutors who do that.

MIT says the feds took over & took it way further than they wanted. Maybe that's CYA, but that's what they say.

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