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Ethics in the modern world: Lessig on Aaron Swartz

I don’t normally blog about this stuff, but here we have the intersection of an eloquent speaker on core matters of modern life and how they intersect the legal systems … with the kind of tragedy that’s often threatened when elements of society have orders of magnitude more power than responsibility:

The public statement by the prosecutors is worth reading too:

UPDATE: according to the United States Department of Justice’s own website (?), in relation to this case:

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said, “Stealing is stealing whether you use a computer command or a crowbar

It is extremely difficult in practice (practically impossible?) to steal via “a computer command”. To me, the Attorney’s statement has no relevance to what – it is reported – happened in this case.

For reference, type “define: stealing” into Google, and see what you get

Lawyers can *always* hide behind a claim that they’re “only following the letter of the law”; unfortunately, the Western legal system is generally based upon NOT following the letter of the law, but the spirit of the lawmakers (as interpreted by various stages of Judges). Which makes such arguments inherently specious.

I’m not a lawyer, merely a slightly-informed amateur, but … If this is the best defence that the prosecutors can offer, as eloquent lawyers, it appears to me that they knowingly do terrible things.