Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz, the co-developer of RSS and Reddit, committed suicide in his apartment. Aaron was known as an internet prodigy as well as an activist, which got him into legal trouble. “In 2011, he was arrested in Boston for alleged computer fraud and illegally obtaining documents from protected computers. He was later indicted in an incident in which he allegedly stole millions of online documents from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”( Martinez, M. (March, 2013 07). Internet prodigy, activist aaron swartz commits suicide. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/12/us/new-york-reddit-founder-suicide/)
“Swartz’s family called his death “the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach.” They criticized U.S. prosecutors for seeking “an exceptionally harsh array of charges (for) an alleged crime that had no victims,” and MIT because it did not “stand up for Aaron.””(Martinez, March) In simpler words, Swartz’s family believes federal prosecutors and MIT contributed to his death. Another factor that could have been the cause of his death is his ongoing suffering from depression, which he publicly shared on his blog. Having suffered for so long, put him at a high risk for suicide. “The U.S. intellectual property law refers to creations of the mind, meaning inventions, artistic work, designs and so on”(What is intellectual property?. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.wipo.int/about-ip/en/.) Swartz’s blog entailed various personal ideas from other people which could have gone against the IP law as he published other peoples work. Since he made a profit through his website he arguably violated the IP laws. 

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Do You Know Who’s Watching You?

To me, any information that you do not feel comfortable sharing to the public, should be considered private. Your address, birth records, social security number, credit card information, and phone number all fall under this category. However, nowadays it is very hard to maintain privacy via the internet. We shop online and hand over our credit card information, we tag our location on social media sites revealing our whereabouts, and we blog, sharing our opinions and beliefs. You hear people say all the time, whatever you put on the internet stays on there forever. They’re right. As soon as something is posted, it is available for everyone to access it. Always set your profile and information to private!

 

 I believe the government and law enforcement should have the power to look at your published information rather than corporations. If someone broke the law and is considered a criminal, for our safety I think it would be best if the government found out all the information possible to catch them, without abusing their power. The only people who would disagree with me are the ones who have something to hide. If you are comfortable and brave enough to put your personal information on the internet then do not be surprised when someone accesses your information. Ultimately, you have the choice to allow how much people can see by what you decide to post. 

Twitter vs. Instagram

Twitter has many pros and cons regarding world news. A pro of twitter is that it can spread information faster than any other social media. Many people now a days will check twitter rather than reading a newspaper or watching the news to receive information. Social media is a higher news source than the radio. A con to twitter is that it can spread unreliable and false information. If false rumors begin to spread, it could cause panic and chaos. It will also anger citizens because they won’t know what to believe. Another pro is that Law Enforcement uses twitter to catch and prosecute criminal who like to brag about their crimes online. With twitter tracking now enabled, the law enforcement can easily catch criminals especially if they are tagged in a post or picture. Another con of twitter is that it lacks privacy and exposes secret information of businesses and corporations. If you do not change your privacy settings anyone could view your information anytime they want. 

Another popular social media app, Instagram, also has pros and cons regarding world news. The strong filters and effects that can be put on the actual photo can be a pro and a con. More often people will believe what they see rather than what they read or hear. A product could not be visually appealing in person, but the editing on Instagram could fool people into believing it has great aesthetics. On the flip side, the app can offer huge benefits for global organization and artistic production. It can help businesses sell products and increase their profits. Another pro is the photography. If you are interested in something that is happening around the world, you can search it on Instagram and you will receive pictures. It is easy to spread rumors and false information but it is often hard to create a false image to an extent. Someone who sees the picture with their own eyes are more likely to believe the information is true.