This Wednesday, SPACE Gallery is showing The Internet’s Own Boy, a documentary about “programming prodigy and information activist” Aaron Swartz. I will be moderating a video Q+A with filmmaker Brian Knappenberger.
I have been focused on the intersection of the Internet, information access and civil liberties in one way or another for the past decade. As such, I was devastated when Swartz took his life at age 26 in early 2013. By that point in his young life, Swartz had been are the forefront of some of the most important battles over information access over the past decade, analyzed who writes Wikipedia, co-authored RSS 1.0, and co-founded Reddit.
Swartz’s approaches to seeking social justice and political organizing led to a daunting two-year legal ensnarement, which culminated in his suicide. Tragically, the federal prosecution was characterized by numerous critics (including White House Counsel John Dean) as overzealous. The charges were dropped in the wake of his death.
The film offers an examination of Swartz’s life, successes, battles and passing. ACLU of Maine is sponsoring the event as part of their net neutrality advocacy work.