Like so many people around the world, we are devastated by the death of our client Aaron Swartz. Aaron first contacted us in September of last year. He had downloaded freely available journal articles through the MIT computer network, which was open to the public. In response the government charged him with more than a dozen felony counts of computer fraud and was seeking to send him to prison for up to 35 years. We believed that the government’s response to Aaron’s actions was extreme and unreasonable. We did not believe Aaron had committed any crime or that there could be any conceivable social benefit to sending him to prison.
We didn’t know Aaron as well as many others, but we knew him well enough to learn that he was a delightful, thoughtful, curious person. He had done a wide array of remarkable things already in his short life. We have no doubt that he would have done many more. Aaron had a tremendous passion not only for making the world and its governments better, more honest, and more responsive, but for doing the hard work of figuring out, documenting, and explaining how injustice happens. We were proud to know and represent him.
This is an awful and senseless tragedy. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Aaron’s parents, family, and friends.