Activist, developer, and good human being Aaron Swartz died two years ago this week, after being hounded by prosecutors in a bizarre, senseless, unjust federal case that threatened him with total loss of freedom over a misunderstanding by authorities of how the internet, and hacking to make things better, works.
Today, "The Internet's Own Boy" director Brian Knappenberger shares with Boing Boing this never-before-seen footage captured in the making of that film, which tells the story of Aaron's life, his work, his loves, and the legal case that led to his death. The feature is shortlisted for an Academy Award.
This week in Los Angeles, I hosted a conversation about the making of the film, with Mr. Knappenberger.
You can watch our conversation here. Watch the entire film here.
The never-before-seen video is being released today in honor of Lessig's "New Hampshire Rebellion," which brings the life of Aaron's legacy forward. Brian tells us:
"This weekend, two years to the day after his death, the world is still on fire with the issues that Aaron Swartz was fighting for. This weekend is also the beginning of the Aaron-inspired New Hampshire Rebellion walk lead by Larry Lessig demanding an end to the culture of corruption in Washington.
"I wanted to release these extra clips from the interviews I conducted for The Internet's Own Boy to thank everyone involved with the film and to all the audiences around the world who have been so supportive and have responded so powerfully to Aaron's story.
"For those following Aaron's legal case, yesterday also brought news that the White House has refused to take action on a petition to remove those responsible for its appalling overreach.
"It has never been more clear for those concerned about the issues Aaron cared about – ending corruption, increasing transparency in government, understanding civil liberties and equality in an increasingly networked world and reforming a very broken criminal justice system – that justice still has a long road ahead."
Petition (and White House response): "Remove United States District Attorney Carmen Ortiz from office for overreach in the case of Aaron Swartz."
Action: "Join the New Hampshire Rebellion!" Politicians will do anything to avoid embarrassing questions about how money corrupts politics, but Lessig and friends are walking accross New Hampshire to remind them they can't dodge them forever.
2 years ago: "RIP, Aaron Swartz."