I find all of this disappointing because obviously Swartz did something wrong, and to characterize it as him being persecuted by The Government is simply manipulative and damages Demand Progress' credibility.
So, what should be done with Swartz? His contributions to society are unarguable yet his actions were, at the very least, unethical and, according to the indictment, criminal.
Sure, if he had published the documents JSTOR would have suffered a financial loss and that has to be figured in to the penalties, but then again, no one got hurt, nothing was actually lost, and no damage was done (other than a few computers that got borked, which wasn't a permanent issue). Sure, a little service time was lost and some staff time wasted but that was surely worth only a few thousand dollars.
Should this go to trial and should the court find him guilty I would hope they would, at worst, sentence him to pay for costs and the minimal damages involved and then give him a mountain of community service to fulfill. But alas, I will be neither judge nor jury. What say you, my learned readers?
Gibbs courts your opinion in Ventura, Calif. File your briefs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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