Death of Aaron Swartz, Reddit co-founder

By Myron Groover, from the Arcan-l list.
“I write with tragic news many of you are undoubtedly already aware of – Aaron Swartz, Reddit co-founder and one of the most courageous and clear voices for an open and accessible information landscape, has been found dead of an apparent suicide weeks before he was to face a hugely punitive trial for sharing JSTOR articles freely online.
If you haven’t done so, please take the time to read some coverage of not only this event but of Aaron’s remarkable life and career – his loss will be keenly felt by all of us who work to make information more accessible.

Included below are a eulogy for Swartz by Cory Doctorow, a meditation on the incredibly misguided nature of his prosecution by esteemed Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, and a generic NY Times article about Swartz’ death.”

Silly Censorship (from EDRi-News)

European Digital Rights, an organization dedicated to digital rights based in Europe, has instituted a “Silly Censorship” roundup in its bi-weekly newsletter this week:

Over the past few years it has become more and more frequent that) private companies get to decide what is “appropriate” or “inappropriate” online and what sort of Internet content we are allowed to access. Our rights to privacy and freedom of expression are increasingly put into the hands of arbitrary decisions of private intermediaries. Instead of a society where democratically elected governments enact laws which are predictable and testable in court, we have an increasing number of terms of service which result in banning of content, deletion of profiles and censoring of material that is deemed “inappropriate”.

Recently, we have noticed a flood of examples of bizarre corporate censorship that demonstrate the absurdity and comedy behind a very serious problem – the abandonment of the rule of law in exchange for corporate regulation of freedom of speech. To illustrate this phenomenon, we picked five of the most bizarre examples and launched the “Silly Censorship Week” on Twitter, where users could vote for the worst case, simply by re-tweeting their favourite.

According to the number of re-tweets, the clear winner and silliest censor is Apple, who censored the title of Naomi Wolf’s new book “Vagina” in the itunes store. While Apple had no particular problem in selling the book to make a profit, it did feel the need to protect its customers from the name. As a result, Apple decided to call it V****a instead and to replace the word throughout the book’s description. In reaction to this, the author asked on Facebook “Why is this theme so very very taboo — in a land of 24/7 porn and commodification of women??”

The Guardian: Naomi Wolf’s ebook covered up by Apple itunes

Naomi Wolf’s comment on Facebook


And the next top 4 places are awarded to:

2nd Place: Apple is censoring the word “jailbreak” in iTunes

3rd Place: Nipplegate: Bob Mankoff expounds on why the New Yorker Cartoon department was temporarily banned from Facebook:

4th Place: Apple bans Pulitzer Prize political cartoons from iPhone

5th Place: A mother was banned from Facebook for 7 days after posting a photo of her 5-year-old pretending to nurse her younger sibling


Banned Websites Awareness Day

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

To raise awareness of the overly restrictive blocking of legitimate, educational websites and academically useful social networking tools in schools and school libraries, AASL has designated one day during Banned Books Week as Banned Websites Awareness Day. On Wednesday, Oct. 3, AASL is asking school librarians and other educators to promote an awareness of how overly restrictive filtering affects student learning.   

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