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… at a cost



‘One explanation for the vindictive prosecution puts it down to a politically ambitious federal attorney anxious to make a name for himself. But there is a darker, interpretation – that the authorities had noted how effective Swartz had become as an activist (he had, after all, mobilised the net community to stop the internet censorship legislation of the SOPA bill), and they were determined to make an example of him pour décourager les autres. Which, if true, would mean the Obama administration has taken a leaf out of the Chinese book on internet control: people can say more or less what they like online; but the moment they look like mobilising people, then you come down on them like the ton of bricks that crushed Aaron Swartz.’