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Segal Opinion Piece At Politico On Aaron Swartz Case

Aaron Swartz Boston Wikipedia.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-large David Segal has written an excellent piece at Politico “What killed Aaron Swartz?” summarizing the circumstances surrounding Swartz’s suicide and bringing us up to date on the case. The news regarding the Justice Department is depressing as always. Dave highlights one detail, the importance of which was not previously understood.

With my help, he started an Internet petition in support of the little guy — this time, himself. And according to the report MIT recently released about its role in the prosecution, that petition, as it met the authoritarianism and petty vindictiveness of U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz and her deputies, might have effectively cost Aaron his life.

Dave was the co-creator with Swartz of the online advocacy group Demand Progress — Internet petitions play a large role in their campaigns and should of course enjoy First Amendment protection. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa found this new information troubling enough to demand a new briefing from Attorney General Eric Holder, and Senators John Cornyn and Al Franken have secured a new briefing on the case in the spring. It’s not over.

(Photo by Phil Stearns)

Providence Daily Dose co-creator David Segal is also executive director of Demand Progress, a civil liberties and government reform activist group with more than 1.5 million members. He was previously a Providence city councilman, Rhode Island state representative, and congressional candidate in Rhode Island.