Thursday, January 17, 2013

Linus Torvalds Weighs in on Aaron Swartz and Carmen Ortiz


The Follow is a repost from Linus Torvalds Google+ feed.

Linus Torvalds - creator of Linux.
Linus Torvalds
I haven't bothered to mention the whole sad Aaron Swartz saga, because it's been covered elsewhere. 

But having the involved US attorney then basically lie about it all in a very public statement is something that I find particularly offensive. Compare these two statements - one from July 2011, one from yesterday, and tell me Carmen Ortiz isn't lying..

Yesterday (as reported by the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere):

 "At no time did this office ever seek – or ever tell Mr. Swartz’s attorneys that it intended to seek – maximum penalties under the law."

And July 2011 (as posted by justice.gov itself):

 "SWARTZ faces up to 35 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and a fine of up to $1 million"

Maybe that official and very public PR thing wasn't "telling Mr. Swartz’s attorneys", right?  Because in private, Ms Ortiz was probably talking about how she wanted to pay Aaron for his services, and just hug him. Right?  Anybody?

Ms Ortiz, just admit you were an ass-hat, and apologize. Instead of this kind of crap. Weasel-wording and misleading about your actions is not making your office look any better.

Here are the sources, so that people can compare them for themselves.

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2013/01/17/us-attorney-statement-on-the-prosecution-of-aaron-swartz/

http://www.justice.gov/usao/ma/news/2011/July/SwartzAaronPR.html

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