back to article Anonymous hacks MIT websites after Aaron Swartz's death

Hactivist collective Anonymous briefly took over some of MIT's websites earlier this morning to protest against the role computer crime laws may have played in the death of Aaron Swartz. Reddit co-founder and internet activist Swartz was found hanged in his apartment in New York on Friday, having taken his own life at the age …

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  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Headline should have been "Anonyputzs swing and miss again!"

    ".....The Anonymous hackers were careful to say that they didn't blame MIT, even apologising for hijacking the university's websites......" So why hack them and intefere with the studies and work of countless people? Because it was easier to do than actually doing something productive.

  2. Zaphod.Beeblebrox
    FAIL

    Once again

    Anonymous lashes out at the group not responsible for the woes they decry. Their motto of "expect us" should be changed to "expect us to go after someone else".

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Once again

      Of course it's exactly this behaviour of cowards like Anonymous that is the cause of the over-reaction of government agencies when they do catch someone like Swartz.

      This is "reactionary training 101" - do something outrageous, wait for the government to overreact, then start screaming "look at the wicked police state beating down this poor almost-innocent person". It''s about time governments stopped falling for it. Sure, looks like Swartz broke the law, and maybe he was mentally ill, but the victim (MIT) had come to an agreement with him. The prosecution should have been happy with a plea-bargain for a few hundred hours community service, perhaps some required treatment for his depression, and a hefty enough fine to discourage copycats.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      New motto:

      No one expects Anonymous

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: New motto:

        No one expects Anonymous to make any difference.

        There, fixed it for you.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Anonymous band waggon jumping again

    Anonymous called on the government to see the tragedy as a basis to reform computer crime and intellectual property laws and commit to a "free and unfettered internet"

    So that would be anonymous promoting a 'free and unfettered internet' where they can censor by DDoS any website they don't like .....

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Err...

    "..."Whether or not the government contributed to his suicide, the government's prosecution of Swartz was a grotesque miscarriage of justice, a distorted and perverse shadow of the justice that Aaron died fighting for," the message read...."

    Well, that shows how much they know about the law. Prosecutions aren't a miscarriage of justice, that would be finding someone guilty for something they haven't done. Also, why go after MIT, when as far as I recall they said they didn't want charges pressed (correct me if I'm wrong,)

    Anonymous are not helping their cause here and yet again come across as know nothing angry young men.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Err...

      His indictment is here (thanks to the Reg):

      http://regmedia.co.uk/2011/07/19/aaron_swartz_indictment.pdf

      I don't know if MIT / JSTOR wanted to press charges but clearly they assisted in the investigation. It's also clear from reading the indictment there are pretty solid grounds for charging him with various crimes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Err...

        I'm just linking this as another pov. I'm no expert in any of this, but some claims made in this article make it seem different.

        http://io9.com/5975592/aaron-swartz-died-innocent-++-here-is-the-evidence

        Yeah, going to anon this. Posting a gawker website as evidence? I'd downvote myself , but it seems well written and discusses various points.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Err...

      MIT wanted to press charges, JSTOR didn't.

      JSTOR have since made the files freely available.

      Note: the researchers & writers of the documents received no income; money only went to the publishers.

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Err...

        Well, some of it went to the publishers, The rest went to running JSTOR itself, which as I have pointed out elsewhere is a non-profit organisation run by a consortium of universities in order to make research papers more widely and more cheaply available throughout the academic world.

        Undermining JSTOR to complain about high subscription prices to journals (a perfectly valid complain) was like raiding the Medecins sans Frontiers drugs store to complain about pharmaceutical prices.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prosecutions aren't a miscarriage of justice

      Er

      "The Supreme Court held that the state must avoid even the appearance of vindictiveness

      and therefore could not indict defendant on the higher charge. The Court stated that the right

      a defendant asserts in a vindictive prosecution claim is the "right not to be haled into court" ...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Matt Byrant

    Everyone knows Anonymous uses DDOS attacks in order to protest things that they do not like, in this case the prosecutorial overreach of the American Government and MIT; who frankly deserve much worse than what Anonymous has done.

    Some protests are productive in their own right even if all they do is draw more attention to the injustice. One man's hacker is yet another mans freedom fighter.

    Maybe, someone will figure out that you should not be allowed to hound and bully brilliant but fragile minds under the mere pretense of proving a legal point. As pointed out in the article, if he had downloaded the papers one at a time, there would have been no crime. The fact remains is he wrote a script (and ran it on a computer) to automate the chore, so now the "gubberment" calls this hacking.

    If there was no real crime to speak of, then why does the legal system find the need to try to kill people by inducing mental agony through unneccessary legal action? They already know the potential outcome, why are they allowed to proceed when there was no "real" crime committed?

    These cases prove that it is government itself that makes violence the last refuge of those who can get no just resolution through the courts.

    I commend Anonymous for their actions in this case.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: @ Matt Byrant

      Eh?

      Did you just arrange a load of sentences with no logical coherence after each other in a random order?

    2. Fake Ninja
      Trollface

      Re: @ Matt Byrant

      1. "prosecutorial overreach of the American Government and MIT"

      MIT have no prosecutorial reach, let alone, overreach; they also didn't want to press charges.

      2. "As pointed out in the article, if he had downloaded the papers one at a time, there would have been no crime. The fact remains is he wrote a script (and ran it on a computer) to automate the chore, so now the "gubberment" calls this hacking."

      As pointed out in the article JSTOR charge a fee for each paper; the script he wrote didn't automate a chore, it bypassed the POS; what he did was steal ‘millions of dollars’ worth of research and academic papers, hardly a noble cause.

      3. "If there was no real crime to speak of, then why does the legal system find the need to try to kill people by inducing mental agony through unneccessary legal action? They already know the potential outcome, why are they allowed to proceed when there was no "real" crime committed?"

      See 2.

      4. "These cases prove that it is government itself that makes violence the last refuge of those who can get no just resolution through the courts."

      I may be wrong, but I've never heard of Anonymous trying to take anyone to court, thus rendering this point moot.

      1. John G Imrie

        Re: @ Matt Byrant

        I was right with you until "what he did was steal ‘millions of dollars’ worth of research", because he didn't.

        He didn't steal anything, copyright infringement is NOT theft no mater what the scary bit at the start of your DVD says.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ Matt Byrant

          Not wanting to be too pedantic, but he was charged with fraud and data theft, not copyright infringement. If he was charged for theft, it stands to reason that something was stolen, by him...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @ Matt Byrant

            AC@ 14.20

            Rubbish - unless you don't believe "innocent until proven guilty".

            Why bother with trials, just charge them & locke them up.

            1. Naughtyhorse

              Re: @ Matt Byrant

              right wing biggot frothes at mouth and bravely talks bollocks from behind his firewall

              (matt can see russia from his back porch doncherknow)

              film at 11

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: Naughtyhorse Re: @ Matt Byrant

                ".....matt can see russia from his back porch doncherknow....." It would seem that would be an improvement over your blinkered outlook, which leaves you unable to see anything unless it is writ in crayon for you.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @Naughtyhorse

                "right wing biggot frothes at mouth and bravely talks bollocks from behind his firewall (matt can see russia from his back porch doncherknow)film at 11"

                You're not actually capable of making intelligent comments, are you?

              3. Turtle

                @Naughtyhorse

                "right wing biggot frothes at mouth and bravely talks bollocks from behind his firewall"

                The specific content of the comment aside, that would be "right-wing bigot froths..."

                But then I guess "literacy" is not important when, well, uh,... Well I guess I actually *don't* know when literacy is not important. But it sure isn't important to you.

        2. Jason Bloomberg
          Headmaster

          Re: @ John G Imrie - "He didn't steal anything"

          Theft is usually legally defined along the lines of "permanently depriving someone of something".

          True, he did not steal the actual documents, he simply made copies of those without authority (hence breaching copyright), and in the course of that deprived the copyright holder of income they were rightly entitled to.

          "Copyright theft" is simply the term we have adopted to describe that.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ Matt Byrant

        1. "prosecutorial overreach of the American Government and MIT" WARNING, ALL CAPS BELOW BECAUSE THERE IS NO EASY TOOL TO ALLOW TEXT COLOR CHANGES TO DIFFERENTIATE POINT BY POINT RESPONSES.

        MIT have no prosecutorial reach, let alone, overreach; they also didn't want to press charges. AAH BUT THEY AND JSTOR DID PRESS CHARGES LONG ENOUGH TO GET THE BLOODY FEDS INVOLVED OR NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED.

        2. "As pointed out in the article, if he had downloaded the papers one at a time, there would have been no crime. The fact remains is he wrote a script (and ran it on a computer) to automate the chore, so now the "gubberment" calls this hacking."

        As pointed out in the article JSTOR charge a fee for each paper; the script he wrote didn't automate a chore, it bypassed the POS; what he did was steal ‘millions of dollars’ worth of research and academic papers, hardly a noble cause.

        AND JSTOR LATER GAVE AWAY ALL THE DATA AT NO CHARGE, PROVING THAT ORIGINAL CHARGES WERE FALSE AND MALICIOUS AND THERE WAS NO DAMAGE TO CHARGE HIM WITH ANYTHING.

        BY EXTENSION, THE ILLEGAL PROSECUTION RESULTED IN HIS SUICIDE SO THIS IS A CASE OF AT LEAST "ATTEMPTED MURDER".

        3. "If there was no real crime to speak of, then why does the legal system find the need to try to kill people by inducing mental agony through unneccessary legal action? They already know the potential outcome, why are they allowed to proceed when there was no "real" crime committed?"

        See 2. SINCE JSTOR GAVE IT ALL AWAY, EXACTLY, NO FUUKKIN CRIME WAS COMMITTED. THERE WERE NO ACTUAL DAMAGES (EXCEPT THOSE THAT DAMAGED HIS MIND!)

        4. "These cases prove that it is government itself that makes violence the last refuge of those who can get no just resolution through the courts."

        I may be wrong, but I've never heard of Anonymous trying to take anyone to court, thus rendering this point moot.

        NO ONE CAN EVER SPEAK FOR THE DEAD, EVEN IF THEY HAD THEIR DAY IN COURT! ALL LEGAL SYSTEMS ARE STACKED AGAINST PEOPLE WHO WILL NOT KOW TOW TO THE GOVERNMENT. NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN USA AND OLD SOVIET REPUBLIC IN THE WAY THESE CASES ARE HANDLED! THE ONLY WAY TO FIGHT A STACKED LEGAL SYSTEM IS THROUGH PROTEST, DDOS OR THE OTHER WAY.

        (So you say you WANT a Revolution?)

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Re: @ Matt Byrant

          ".....AND JSTOR LATER GAVE AWAY ALL THE DATA AT NO CHARGE....." The point is it was NOT free when he committed the act. If you steal my car and the coppers catch you it matters bugger all if I subsequently decide to give my car to someone else.

          ".....NO FUUKKIN CRIME WAS COMMITTED....." True, there were no sexcrimes committed, but a lot of copyright violations plus some computer crime would seem to have taken place.

          "......THERE WERE NO ACTUAL DAMAGES....." Apart from the lost revenue from his batch downloading, and the cost of the network investigation to find his system, and the further possible loss of revenue due to the slow down of the system caused by his unauthorized access. Yeah, apart from that, no damages at all.

          ".....EXCEPT THOSE THAT DAMAGED HIS MIND....." If you bothered to actually learn something about Aaron Swartz, you would know he had suffered from depression and admitted to suicidal thoughts long before the JSTOR jaunt.

          "......(So you say you WANT a Revolution?)" Well, history suggests that for a revolution you require majority support or at least a very dedicated, active, co-ordinated and sizeable minority. You have none of those.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Lars Re: @ Matt Byrant

            "Re: Please refrain from using capital letters, it makes anything you write look stupid." Is that the best argument you can add to the discussion, that caps make something "look silly"? Gosh, you must think all keyboards look really silly then!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Er... ummm...

        >2. "As pointed out in the article, if he had downloaded the papers one at a time, there would have been no crime. The fact remains is he wrote a script (and ran it on a computer) to automate the chore, so now the "gubberment" calls this hacking."

        >As pointed out in the article JSTOR charge a fee for each paper; the script he wrote didn't automate a chore, it bypassed the POS; what he did was steal ‘millions of dollars’ worth of research and academic papers, hardly a noble cause.

        Being able to write a script to do this--notwithstanding the fact that the script involved some jiggery-pokery to bypass the POS--and do it reliably for several million (unique) documents, suggests that the process of serving the documents was something that could be handled almost entirely via automata. Which would strongly point at the possibility of there being no need for (much) human agency in making the articles available to interested parties. Which would make them cheaper than dirt...

    3. Ian Johnston Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: @ Matt Byrant

      Are you saying that brilliant but fragile minds should be allowed to get away with things that brilliant but robust minds should not?

      1. John Gamble
        FAIL

        Re: @ Matt Byrant

        No, obviously no one is saying that. Nice try moving the goalposts though.

        1. Ian Johnston Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: @ Matt Byrant

          He wrote Maybe, someone will figure out that you should not be allowed to hound and bully brilliant but fragile minds under the mere pretense of proving a legal point.

          OK, so if brilliant and robust minds are out, how about feeble but fragile? OK or not?

        2. Turtle

          @John Gamble

          Q:"Are you saying that brilliant but fragile minds should be allowed to get away with things that brilliant but robust minds should not?"

          A:"No, obviously no one is saying that. Nice try moving the goalposts though."

          Can you point out what exactly makes it "obvious" because I don't see it at all. In fact, what *I* see is that you are willfully misinterpreting the original post about "brilliant but fragile minds". What I also see, is that mental incapacity or psychiatric problems are regularly invoked to shield computer criminals from bearing responsibility for their actions.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ Matt Byrant

        No Ian, What I am trying to say is that the Federal Gubbermint believe they are completely above the law, the ends justify the means and they can attack anyone or anything, for any reason (EVEN WITHOUT JUST CAUSE) just to prove that you should not mess with NSA, CIA, FBI, ATF, HSD, or whatever alphabet soup of far right nutcases that happens to hold the reins this week.

        These agencies are frequently guilty of entrapment by contacting and cultivating easily miss-led people with "issues" and providing them with just enough rope (explosives, guns, etc) to hang themselves (HONESTLY, NO PUN INTENDED) so they commit a bigger crime than they might have been able to had these Fed's not gotten involved.

        The end result is big publicity for solving a crime that probably would not have happened otherwise.

        In this case someone who made real, significant IT contributions ended up being technically murdered by unjust rampant prosecution for a crime that never happened.

        Thats' what I'm trying to say.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Re: @ Matt Byrant

          Oh come on, stop posting as AC! If you're going to post comedy gems like that I'd like to be able to track your work. Oh.... you were serious....?

          ".....These agencies are frequently guilty of entrapment ....." Yeah, because the FBI/NSA/CIA/bogeyman were all in the network closet with Aaron Swartz, telling him what to do - d'uh!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @ Matt Byrant

            No, not in the network closet with Aaron but with this guy

            http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/fbi-terrorism-suspect-radicalized-dangerous-18213699

            Or this one:

            http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/16/fbi-entrapment-fake-terror-plots

            Or these:

            http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/how-fbi-entrapment-is-inventing-terrorists-and-letting-bad-guys-off-the-hook-20120515

            They do stuff like this ALL the time. That bogeyman is real, not imagined.

            Let's also not forget "manufactured" incidents at Waco Texas or Ruby Ridge.

            You need to open your eyes, take your cultural blinders off and see the "REAL WORLD" and there is nothing funny about it.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: @ Matt Byrant

              "No, not in the network closet with Aaron but with this guy...." Those cases have nothing to do with Aaron Swartz or even the team that was looking to prosecute him. It's like me taking an example of some child abuser that committed suicide and conflating it to say ANYONE that commits suicide must be a child abuser, therefore Aaron Swartz was a child abuser - rediculous!

              "....They do stuff like this ALL the time....." What, arrest people that conspire to commit criminal and terrorist acts? Good!

              ".....That bogeyman is real, not imagined....." I haven't a clue what your fervoured imagination has imagined or been "educated" to imagine, but I think the bogeyman you're on about simply doesn't exist. More bad news, but I think it's only fair to point out Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny don't exist either. I'll give you a minute to get over that news.

              "....Let's also not forget "manufactured" incidents at Waco Texas or Ruby Ridge....." Ooooh, serious tinfoil issues!

              ".....You need to open your eyes...." Going on the evidence of your postings, all I can suggest is you disconnect your Internet RIGHT NOW! For your own safety - I was lying, They do exist, and The Bogeymen will "manufacture" an incident if they find out YOU KNOW!!!

              (Do I need to put a sarc tag round the last bit?)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    May not be such a bad thing

    I agree with the criticisms here that Anonymous are not helping their cause and discrediting themselves. Nothing is as wasteful as misguided skills from naive and juvenile minds. However they are exposing security weaknesses in whatever they hack into so their actions are not wasted efforts.

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Re: May not be such a bad thing

      Nothing is as wasteful as misguided skills from naive and juvenile minds...

      not even an illegal war that kills a million innocent civilians?

      just a point of view.

  7. DrXym Silver badge

    It's ironic that Anonymous pretends to support the freedom of information when they will shutdown, stalk and harrass anybody that they don't like. As usual it's them making up some pathetic excuse to justify some cyber vandalism.

    As for Aaron Swartz, it sounds like he had a lot of problems. It's a tragic situation for his family and friends but I don't see his legal situation was anyone else's fault but his own.

    1. John G Imrie

      his legal situation was anyone else's fault but his own

      I'm still not sure what it is he is alleged to have done wrong.

      He was allowed free access to the papers because of his associate status at MIT.

      Apparently there was nothing to say that he couldn't redistribute the papers.

      What he seams to have done is automate the process of downloading them and when his system was blocked, changed his MAC address.

      I don't recall there being any laws about changing the MAC address of your net work card, or writing a script to automate a boring task.

      But then I'm just a Geek, so what do I know.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: his legal situation was anyone else's fault but his own

        Perhaps you could start with reading what he was charged with, which laws that contravened, and then come back to us on why it wasn't illegal. That'll probably clarify for you what laws there were against doing what he pretty obviously did do.

      2. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: his legal situation was anyone else's fault but his own

        "I'm still not sure what it is he is alleged to have done wrong."

        Read his indictment then. In plain English, he obtained network access from MIT under false pretenses, used a false alias, opened one of their network cabinets and put a laptop in it on their network, he used a script to grab documents which took down JSTOR, he circumvented attempts to block his IP, he spoofed his MAC address, he inadvertantly caused a denial of service as JSTOR attempted to block more IP addresses, and then he installed a second laptop for similar purposes. All to steal documents from a non-profit service. Then he was caught in possession of property he had stolen from the JSTOR service, property he intended to upload to p2p file servers.

        More than enough to charge him really.

        1. stanimir

          Re: his legal situation was anyone else's fault but his own

          MIT had free wifi access, so the IP block is just bollocks - how could you block the IP your system had provided on its own by an DHCP service? It was MAC block which is just as dumb.

          He did have free access to the documents for himself by what was funnier - JSTOR provided absolutely free and unlimited access anyone whose IP originated from MIT's network. The website didn't require even the simplest CAPTCHA to prevent automated access.

          JSTOR actually stopped the service themselves, instead of adding CAPTCHA or reducing the traffic to an IP after extensive use. That's overreaction on their part. If a single laptop manages to create a DoS the system is very seriously flawed.

          Ok, he didn't use Harvard University (he was fellow at that time) network where he also had access. So, probably he attempted to hide his identity but he handled the laptop and the hard disk was not encrypted (a criminal would ensure their steps cannot be easily traced)

          Normally I'd not reply, however which of his actions do you think actually equals 'theft'? And which action exactly deserves 3 dozen years in an (American) prison?

          I'd think crossing on red light is worse than what Aaron did.

          1. Ian Johnston Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: his legal situation was anyone else's fault but his own

            Welcome to the academic world, where people are expected to behave decently and follow the rules. There is nothing - as far as I know - to stop me downloading porn over the UK academic network, but the absence of a block would be no defence at my inevitable dismissal for gross misconduct if I did it. I doubt my employers would be terribly happy if someone hacked into our network to abuse our journal subscriptions either.

            Victim blaming is not pretty. Don't do it, please.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @John G Imrie

        "I'm still not sure what it is he is alleged to have done wrong. But then I'm just a Geek, so what do I know."

        Very little, apparently. And judging by the fact that you did not read the article or any of the links, you seem to want to keep it that way.

  8. rurwin
    FAIL

    Anybody else wonder how MIT websites managed to be hacked? MIT is supposed to be THE university to go to for a technical education, right? And they can't secure their own websites against a bunch of script-kiddies? Either someone needs to be hauled over the coals for this, or nobody, anywhere is safe.

    I wonder if Anonymous even tried to hack the justice system's website, failed and went to MIT instead, or whether they just decided that was a risk too far and went straight to the soft option.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: rurwin

      "Anybody else wonder how MIT websites managed to be hacked?....." Well, let's make a few wild, consipratorial guesses. First off, were the computers "hacked"? They seem to have gone down awful fast, too fast for a brute-force attack. Of course, it would be a lot easier if you had a sympathiser on the inside of the MIT network, that could guide you to the weak spots, amybe slip you a few passwords..... Now, do we think that all the ivory tower folk at MIT and associated institutions (such as Harvard, quite coincidentally the home of one Lawrence Lessig), who might have had access to the network, were overwhelmingly hostile to Swarz's "crusade"? Do you think the minor defacement was quickly cleaned away so MIT doesn't have to answer difficult questions about possible "sympathisers" that may have helped with the defacement, especially if those sympathisers are on the staff of MIT or associated institutions? After all, someone obviously explained to Swarz how the security logged access to JSTOR for him to avoid it for a while by switching IP and MAC addresses, and how did he know which port to plug his laptop into in the switching cupboard without access to a network diagram?

      Of course, it could be that the Anonyputzs are actually 1337 hax0rz and they did it all by themselves rather than their usual tricks of just using downloaded scripts and social enginering. Yeah, that made me laugh too!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      US Government websites are another beast, considering all traffic to them or even over one a USG owned router, or "other Information System", is subject to all sorts of crazy restrictions and waivers. So no, I doubt they tried a "hard option" on the US Department of Justice directly. It would be suicidal basically.

      MIT was the only way for them to make the required level of noise in reference to the issue without hurting themselves much, if at all.

  9. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Joke

    Anonyputzs discover puppypower?

    On a lighter note, I wonder if this is another example of misguided Anon rage?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10333211

    The moral of the story would seem to be keep taking the meds!

    1. Kugutsu
      Facepalm

      Re: Anonyputzs discover puppypower?

      now I know why this story from 2010 is for some reason in the list of most read pages on the BBC website. I had been wondering all afternoon...

  10. tempemeaty

    US ... the new Soviet union

    Of course JSTOR wasn't interested in pressing charges. He was subscribed to their system originally and receiving the files when it was suddenly cut off before he had all the files he paid for.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MIT is appropriate place of a protest because the issue concerns academia as well.And not pressing charges isnt suficient to absolve themselves.

    With regard to interrvpting studies-thankfully we are not beatdown so far that we should burn with indignation quietly,but in this instance to mere suggestion that any student was affected by this outage of a public facing website seems quite retarded.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      academia + retarded.

      Seems right.

  12. JaitcH
    Alien

    "the government's prosecution of Swartz was a grotesque miscarriage of justice"

    Right on.

    R.I.P.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Despite the relative issues in the case....

    It's pretty fucked how they decided to wipe his whole life out - I mean fucking really?

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/07/21/aaron_swartz_prosecution_protest/

    A critic of academic publishers has uploaded 19,000 scientific papers to the internet to protest the prosecution of a prominent programmer and activist accused of hacking into a college computer system and downloading almost 5 million scholarly documents from an archive service.

    The 18,592 documents made available Wednesday through Bittorrent were pulled from the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, a prestigious scientific journal that was founded in the 1600s, the protester said. Even though the vast majority of the documents are hundreds of years old, the London-based Royal Society charges from $8 to $19 for each one, and restricts viewing to one person on one computer for only a single month.

    "If I can remove even one dollar of ill-gained income from a poisonous industry which acts to suppress scientific and historic understanding, then whatever personal cost I suffer will be justified – it will be one less dollar spent in the war against knowledge," Gregory Maxwell, self-described hobbyist scientist from Northern Virginia, wrote in a manifesto accompanying the upload. "One less dollar spent lobbying for laws that make downloading too many scientific papers a crime."

    Maxwell's action comes three days after federal prosecutors charged Reddit cofounder Aaron Swartz with computer intrusion, fraud, and data theft. They allege he broke into a locked computer-wiring closet at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and downloaded more than 4.8 million scholarly articles from JSTOR, an online archive of more than 1,000 academic journals.

    Academics and copyright critics immediately criticized the charges as excessive, likening them to trying to put someone in jail for checking out too many library books. They argue that many of the documents in JSTOR's collection are probably kept behind its paywall against the authors' will and that there are no valid copyright claims restricting their distribution.

    Indeed, court documents charging Swartz contain no claims of copyright violations. Instead, they cite Swartz for intrusion of MIT's computer network and for impairing JSTOR's systems by using an automated script that systematically scraped its archive.

    In an email to The Reg, Maxwell said he decided against uploading the documents anonymously to prevent anyone from falsely claiming Swartz was behind the move. All of the documents were published prior to 1923 to ensure they are all in the public domain. In addition to describing himself as a GNU/Linux user since the early 1990s, he said he has worked extensively with Wikimedia.

    "I find a lot of my interests land at the intersection of technology and public policy," he wrote.

    Jennifer Granick, a former staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who is now in private practice at the ZwillGen law firm, said in a blog post Thursday that Swartz could have used a guest account to download each article individually without violating the law.

    "Is it a crime, therefore, that he used an automated process to do so?" she wrote. "Or does it only become a crime after JSTOR and MIT tried to block him? Or is it because the technique slowed the system down, and if so, wouldn't the defendant have had to intend that damage under longstanding principles of criminal due process? I find the theory that individual access is allowed, but automated access is not extremely interesting." ®

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      Re: Despite the relative issues in the case....

      I agree that charging shitloads for much material that is in the public domain, added to the fact that the authors etc., get NOTHING, and the people at Jstore - well the argument for freeing up "public" information that is locked behind paywalls, has a lot going for it, and my personal opinion of the people at Jstore, is that they are a bunch of beurocratic, pesudo-academic, cash grabbing, control freaks - and I have never liked them or how they run THEIR system.

      I think they are absolute bastards, and always have - for years before this Arron fellow ever hung himself.

      Compared to the http://archive.org/, Jstore are absolute bastards to deal with. And they are.

      Their website is just SO user unfriendly, the charges leveled at them for locking down information that is NOT theirs and ought to be freely available, in the public domain, are well founded.

      And yet they talk all this "For the good of Humanity" bullshit.

      Jstore - and the people who run it, are in my opinion, some of the very worst people that I have EVER tried to do any business with EVER.

      "Grab Cash, Grab Cash, Grab Cash - and give the users and the authors nothing!" - that is their mantra.

      This statement by them smacks of the lowest form of hypocracy.

      http://about.jstor.org/statement-swartz

      Aaron Swartz

      We are deeply saddened to hear the news about Aaron Swartz. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Aaron’s family, friends, and everyone who loved, knew, and admired him. He was a truly gifted person who made important contributions to the development of the internet and the web from which we all benefit.

      We have had inquiries about JSTOR’s view of this sad event given the charges against Aaron and the trial scheduled for April. The case is one that we ourselves had regretted being drawn into from the outset, since JSTOR’s mission is to foster widespread access to the world’s body of scholarly knowledge. At the same time, as one of the largest archives of scholarly literature in the world, we must be careful stewards of the information entrusted to us by the owners and creators of that content. To that end, Aaron returned the data he had in his possession and JSTOR settled any civil claims we might have had against him in June 2011.

      JSTOR is a not-for-profit service and a member of the internet community. We will continue to work to distribute the content under our care as widely as possible while balancing the interests of researchers, students, libraries, and publishers as we pursue our commitment to the long-term preservation of this important scholarly literature.

      We join those who are mourning this tragic loss.

    2. Ian Johnston Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Despite the relative issues in the case....

      If idiots like Maxwell succeed in breaking down charging systems like Royal Society ones, do you know what will happen? The papers won't suddenly become freely available; with no way of recouping the costs of digitising, storing and distributing them, the supply of pre-digital papers online will simply dry up all together.

      Great, just great. The work of academics in institutions which weren't around and subscribing when the papers were published (I've got a Bodleian card, so I'll be all right, Jack) will become more difficult and more expensive so that a bunch of entitled amateurs can gloat over sticking it to the man.

      Stuff 'em.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Re: Despite the relative issues in the case....

        "If idiots like Maxwell succeed in breaking down charging systems like Royal Society ones....." The sad fact is Maxwell and the idiots that applaud him do so BECAUSE they are very unlikely to ever use the resource. Losing access to an academic resource doesn't worry the skiddies that want free access to the latest Hollywood blockbusters or the latest chart hits. Now, if someone knocked Youtube, iTunes or a dozen other such download sites with more hip content off the Web in protest, then the skiddies would be screaming blue murder.

  14. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  15. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Pirate

    New theory.....

    I've been musing things and I'm driven to wonder, did MIT fake or co-operate with a mild Anon attack in an attempt to divert more uncontrolled raging? After all, they let the Anons slap a few silly statements on some minor webservers, weather the bad news for a few days, and then the Anons will probably have a new "martyr" to distract them. Much better than having a major DDoS attack.

    I'm reminded of a story I heard a few years back about an anti-Apartheid demo at the South African embassy in London, packed out with the usual students and assorted bandwagon humpers. One evening the protests had reached a particularly large and aggressive level and people were screaming; "Storm the embassy!". A member of the South African security staff had noticed that the core organisers would usually take breaks and go get a coffee together, leaving the protesters with a few political chants to keep them vocal, usually along the lines of "Free Nelson Mandela" and the like. When the core went for one of their coffee breaks, the staff member slipped in amongst the crowd and as the chanting lagged, he added a new name; "Free Gideon Nieuwoudt!" There were a few baffled faces, then the new chant was slowly picked up, much to the puzzlement of the watching journos. It was a good five minutes before the core returned to ask why the crowd were demanding the release of one of the men alleged to have killed Steve Biko. Shortly after the crowd broke up and dispersed.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Matt Bryant

        "I think I will put forward that which is on the tip of many tongues....." Well, since the average IQ is supposedly 100, that would imply there must be thousands of people like you with an IQ in double figures, so that would in turn suggest there are plenty of people that share your amusing inability to express yourself in a more mature manner.

        "......Shut the fuck up, you twat." It would seem that El Reg needs to open a separate forum for the junior members and maybe restrict them to posting on threads about ice cream and video games. No offence (well, lots actually), but I suggest you leave the discussion to those actually equipped to discuss the matter. If, however, you feel that slight is unjustified, please do post your opinions about Alan Turing, Aaron Swarz, illegal access to networks, or the "injustices" of copywright. Until then, it is you that is most obviously just a tw@, and a gormless sheeple's tw@ at that. Happy ranting!

  16. ArmanX

    Correct me if I'm wrong...

    But doesn't this happen with every case that ever goes before a court? The defendant(s) claim(s) innocence (or at least less guilt than suggested), and the prosecutors pick the biggest, scariest bits of the law to wave about, in the hopes that they get a confession and don't have to go through the whole court thing. This had not yet gone to court; there was no verdict. It couldn't have been a miscarriage of justice, because justice wasn't finished yet.

    Aaron Swartz did break the law. Even though JSTOR weren't going to press charges, it is perfectly reasonable for the government to do so. I wouldn't want to be hit with the same charges... but then again, that's one of the many reasons that keep me from breaking into a university and plugging a laptop into their system.

    Sure, it was harsh. But that's what happens; you break the law, it comes down on you like a ton of bricks. If you're not prepared to deal with that, then you should probably keep from breaking it.

    1. stanimir

      Re: Correct me if I'm wrong...

      Sure, it was harsh. But that's what happens; you break the law, it comes down on you like a ton of bricks.

      Yeah, next time you overspeed you get locked up for life. Disproportional punishment to the crime committed might be feasible in some police state, though.

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Correct me if I'm wrong...

        The Americans do have some draconian punishments available - but do they actually use them in real life. Even Mr McKinnon, had he accepted the initial deal offered, would only have done a couple of years in low security prison there. I think both sides use the maximum penalties for PR reasons; the prosecution want to scare the defendant and the defendants wants to claim that he's facing a vastly disproportionate penalty. So before we all wet our knickers of the horrors of thirty five years in the chokey, I wonder what he would actually have got?

        1. Chris Fox

          Draconian punishments (Re: Correct me if I'm wrong...)

          @Ian Johnston

          Yes, some states do use draconian punishments. For starters, there is thing that some states have called "the death penalty", which is especially troubling given the notoriously high false-postive conviction rate, especially for poor blacks. There are also many individuals serving life in California for committing three minor offences (such as stealing toilet roll etc, for which charges might have been upgraded above what the evidence supports in order to fall into the scope of the "three-strikes" legislation).

          And when it comes to illustrations of the injustice of plea bargaining, there are cases such as the one involving the environmental activist Daniel McGowan, where federal and state prosecutors obtained a seven year sentence and a $1.9M fine for arson. This would almost certainly have been life if he had not changed his plea to guilty for some charges. And even with the guilty plea, it could still have been 30 years if the prosecutors had been succesful in having it reclassifying it as an terrorist offence. Contrast this with his "co-conspirators" facing exactly the same charges for exactly the same offences; by agreeing to plead guilty to a shoppling list of offences, and agreeing to testify against others named by the prosecutors, they were effectively let off with no material punishment.

          The extreme consequences of refusing to agree to full cooperative plea bargaining can seem to make a mockery of the notion of justice, and end up looking like a form of forced confession. In the Daniel McGowan case, arguments have been made that plea-bargaining was used as a tool to rout out political dissidents, and dissent, rather than achieving justice. (Which seems to be supported by findings that police maliciously tortured fellow activists.)

          Arguably, similar things happen in the UK, even at the lowest level (e.g. contesting an erronous fixed penalty notice carries a high risk of ending up with punative fines, legal costs, and a criminal record, especially when many magistrates are perhaps a bit too ready to accept the word of a police officer). It is worrying that the UK government seems keen to extend the use of plea bargaining.

          As for Aaron Schwarz, he had been told he would face six months even if he pleaded guilty to every single charge the prosecutors decided to add to the list. And he would still face a hefty legal bill that he could not afford. Put yourself in his position, would you be happy to go to prison for six months, and plead guilty to things you think you had not done, and be branded as a convicted criminal for the rest of your life, or would you fight, but risk the technical possibility of 35+ years in prison? And this for someone who suffered from depression.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Draconian punishments (Correct me if I'm wrong...)

            ".....Daniel McGowan....." I did read on after that point, but the mere mention of Daniel McGowan pretty much marked you out as a dead loss. McGowan was an active member of ELF, a just-as-loopy splinter group of ALF. As such he is a convicted arsonist and terrorist. You may argue that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, but the law said he was a terrorist, and seeing as they also say who goes to prison I think your opinion of his "heroics" counts for squat. I personally wouldn't classify him as a terrorist, I'd just send him to a mentail institute. Once someone's head has been filled with that much ill-education there really is no hope for them, trying to talk logic to them is pointless. They'd be blowing up NASA rockets if someone told them something stupid like it endangered migrating swifts, and twice as fast if told the rockets were secret vehicles of a conspiracy of The Evil Rich. It's just rabid anti-capitalism based on failed socialist dogma and dressed up with a concern for the environment. These type of people cried when the Berlin Wall came down as it meant they had to give up the Great Soviet Dream and find a new game.

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Correct me if I'm wrong...

      Sure, it was harsh. But that's what happens; you break the law, it comes down on you like a ton of bricks. If you're not prepared to deal with that, then you should probably keep from breaking it. ……. ArmanX Posted Monday 14th January 2013 16:02 GMT

      Oh, please, ArmanX, you cannot be seriously suggesting that the law is equitable whenever it is so easily completely corrupted and corruptible to server and try to protect its idiot savant masters?

      Please consider yourself duly dutifully corrected ….. as per your request.

      This is one of the dodgy perks which causes wars to be declared against imaginary foes? ……

      Afghan elders will decide on the key issue of whether American soldiers remaining in the country after 2014 will be granted immunity from prosecution, President Hamid Karzai said.

      US President Barack Obama warned last week that no American troops would remain behind in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO forces in 2014 unless they were granted immunity from prosecution in local courts.

      "The US is standing firm by its demand for immunity for its soldiers," Karzai told a news conference on Monday on his return from Washington where he held talks with Obama on Friday.

      "The Afghan government can't decide on this. This is up to the Afghan nation to decide. The Loya Jirga will decide," he said, referring to the national assembly of tribal elders. …… http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2013/01/201311481934642902.html

      1. ArmanX

        Re: Correct me if I'm wrong...

        @amanfrommars1:

        I never said the law was fair, or even just; I am firmly against several laws held by several governments, my own government included. I even break some of those laws. If I am charged with breaking one of those laws, I am fully willing to face the court, and accept and serve out any punishment the court decides upon, including fines or jail time.

        Aaron Swartz broke laws, but decided he couldn't handle the repercussions and committed suicide. I'm sorry that was his decision, I truly am; his death is a great loss. Nonetheless, it was not the death of a martyr, as many sources seem to indicate.

        @Ian Johnston:

        That's pretty much what I meant. If the prosecutor walked into a cell and said, "All we have on you is breaking and entering, but if you sign this it'll all be official", the chance of getting a signature is basically nil. Instead, prosecution says, "We've got you on theft, terrorism, impersonating a clown, and fifteen other charges, but if you sign this, we'll take all that down to petty theft." It's not perfect, but it's a good way to get a confession without a year-long court case.

        @Chris Fox:

        There's a saying: don't do the crime if you can't do the time. Yes, he would have been branded a convicted criminal and settled with a hefty debt. It wasn't for things he hadn't done, however; he really did break the law. This isn't just about downloading a bunch of free files - it's about getting access to a secure server, accessing documents that he was not allowed to access, and knowingly disrupting service.

        Is it illegal to listen to the radio? No. Is it illegal to break into your neighbors house every night just to listen to his radio? Yes, yes it is.

        1. little

          Re: Correct me if I'm wrong...

          "... break into your neighbors house every night just to listen to his radio? Yes, yes it is."

          You missed the part where he was entitled to access those papers the case was about automating them and thwarthing efforts which attempted to prevent his automated access. So your analogy simply is not relevant here.

          Personally i dont know anyone in my cs dept at uni, who had to interract with jstor/ebsco/datamonitor etc., for extended periods of time and did not have some sort of a script for search/ retrieval. And people built it not only because it was possible, but also because it's fun. It is accustomed for students worth their salt to mess with their college for IT it's systems/databases, for medicine stealing body parts (that appears to carry lighter penalty than what he was threathened with).

          When I found out about his death today I felt a sense of loss, dont know why and it probably does not matter what matters is that I did.

          @Matt, from reading your posts in this thread (& the related one) the tone of your posts create an impression that you are actually glad that it happened. I dont mind you being unaffected, but your presence in this thread is in bad faith, enough trolling, move on.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Correct me if I'm wrong...

            ".....@Matt, from reading your posts in this thread (& the related one) the tone of your posts create an impression that you are actually glad that it happened. I dont mind you being unaffected, but your presence in this thread is in bad faith, enough trolling, move on." No, it's just I have a low tolerance of the impressionable obtusely pushing their trend-du-jour fantasies as fact. Please supply ONE post where I say I'm happy? You can't, you obviously didn't actually read ANYTHING, so STFU.

            OK, just for all the frothing Anonyputz wannabes getting their knickers in a twist - Aaron Swartz was a very clever guy, and his death was tragic just as the suicide of any person suffering from depression is tragic. I'm sure we can ALL agree on that.

            What I originally objected to was the fawning comparison to Alan Turing at the end of the article. Swartz did not achieve anything as great as Turing did academically, let alone his wartime work, and Swartz did not suffer persecution in any way as Turing did. YOU may think his freetard work makes him great, YOU may think his sexual confusion makes him a gay icon, and YOU may think the authorities share some blame for his suicide, that is YOUR opinion and not undisputed fact. You are entitled to your opinions, but if you sprout annoyingly stupid male bovine manure about them then expect those that are better informed to shoot you down.

            So untwist your knickers, celebrate Aaron Swartz's achievements, and quit frothing like numpties.

  17. Sirius Lee

    It is a tragic case but...

    Just yesterday I was reading an article Swartz wrote in 2007: https://aaronsw.jottit.com/howtoget

    In it he describes how he would be obsessive and, after the sale of Reddit to Conde Nast, depressed enough to consider suicide. My immediate impression from reading his own comments is that those closet to him - perhaps those complaining about his treatment by authorities - might have helped him in practical ways long ago. On the other hand, if his comment do indicate underlying psychological problems I could understand if any suggestions to get help were rebuffed.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yet this is the SAME government

    that you all want to trust your safety and health to. Give up your guns, the cops will "protect" you. Don't handle your own health insurance or retirement, the Fed will make sure that's taken care of too. Internet connectivity and smart phone data plans too expensive? Let's beg for that to be provided by an all-empowered beneficial Federal Government too. Except when Big Money decides you and a "small" percentage is expendable or too annoying. Then when there are no options other than be victimized without recourse, you truly find yourself at the end of a rope.

    Proof positive, "the government strong enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take away everything you have.".

    RIP Mr. Swartz. Trying to set information free should not have cost so much.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't let the Government know that you suffer from Depression or they will use it against you

    Obviously, the US governmental agencies involved in the Aaron Schwartz case knew full well that he had recurring, severe depression.

    Those same agencies are involved in PsyOps almost everywhere in the world. PsyOps are deliberate attempts to sway or harm people through psychological means, usually detrimental.

    In my mind, if our government takes advantage of someones known weaknesses (such as severe depression) in order to press the plaintiff into signing a guilty plea when they know he is not really guilty, then that is at least misuse of official powers.

    The fact is that over a year of this deliberate legal and psychological pressure resulted in Aaron Schwartz committing suicide.

    Without a doubt on my part, that was premeditated murder or at least negligent homicide.

    Too bad nobody is there to "Watch the Watchers". It obviously time for a regime change.

    RIP Aaron Schwartz, let your untimely demise be forever remembered.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Don't let the Government know that you suffer from Depression or they will use it against you

      "Obviously, the US governmental agencies involved in the Aaron Schwartz case knew full well that he had recurring, severe depression....." Why is it obvious when it seems, going on the posts here, that his own (rabid) supporters didn't know!?!

      "....Those same agencies are involved in PsyOps almost everywhere in the world. PsyOps are deliberate attempts to sway or harm people through psychological means, usually detrimental....." I really need to take out shares in some tinfoil company, you must be using it to line your hat by the truckload!

      "....when they know he is not really guilty...." Going on the evidence presented, Aaron Swartz was guilty as sin, and probably intentionally so. Half the aim of these grandstanding "freeing of the information" stunts is the desire for a day in front of the cameras.

      "....The fact is that over a year of this deliberate legal and psychological pressure resulted in Aaron Schwartz committing suicide....." The only fact in that sentence is that Aaron Swartz commited suicide, everything else is merely your unfounded opinion.

      "....Without a doubt on my part...." The problem (for you, and everyone else that has to suffer your ranting froth), is that you present ZERO evidence to back up your assumptions. In short, your ramblings carry no weight other than with the other impressionable conspiracy theorists and bandwagon humpers.

      ".... It obviously time for a regime change...." It's obviously time for you to up your meds and get a foot back in reality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ Matt Bryant

        Poor sick deluded Matt Bryant,

        You should try looking at all of the info out on the web, TV and newspapers about this particularly sad case. Then you might learn something rather then spending all your days downvoting me because you are a heartless, vengeful douchebag with a truly ignorant view of the world as it really is. Must be really nice rose colored glasses you have. You must work for the RIAA or MPAA .

        Try here first: http://boingboing.net/tag/aaronsw

        I don't give a flying fuck what so called "evidence" the government had in their indictment because it was all trumped up bullcrap, designed from the beginning to mercilessly screw with Aaron Swartz. His mental illness was a matter of record and the DOJ does not miss a trick in trying to push plaintiffs towards an easy guilty plea.

        As far as PsyOps goes (no tinfoil required here, just an undersanding of dirty politics and law) - I've obviously gotten your goat to have you follow my every post and downvote every one of them. Think how much fun I could have with your mental health if I was really trying like the DOJ has been known to do? Obviously you have never been under the scrutiny of the law or you would understand much more than you do.

        My "unfounded opinion" has more truth in it than the case against Aaron Swartz. PLEASE prove me wrong.

        The government is as guilty as Nixon, but we'll never get any resolution since they dropped the charges and there will never be any exhonoration for the plaintiff.

        You don't care to know.... that the Fed's & the Mass State Justice Departments were after him because he actually won a previous case against them for an almost identical so called "hacking" situation. That they were trying to ramrod him on this case for payback on the previous one. That JSTOR dropped their charges against Aaron but the Fed's would not drop theirs (If the plaintiff drops the charges, the government then has no legal case and it should not have continued, thus the clear prosecutorial overreach).

        All the authorities have since dropped all charges against Aaron Swartz and the responsible people at MIT and JSTOR are falling all over themselves to say they were sorry for pursuing the case. Since they technically had no case, they should have dropped the charges long ago when JSTORE did. An investigation has begun at MIT to see why this went so far when there really was no crime to speak of.

        If the Justice Department REALLY had a case against him, they would have pursued it right to his heirs and assignees (parents). That they dropped the case is as damning self incriminating evidence of prosecutorial overreach as anything I have ever seen.

        I am willing to bet that there will be a very successful civil lawsuit by his grieving parents for wrongful prosecution in the near future, that will result in a multi-million dollar or more judgement or settlement.

        No one is ranting here but you. IT IS time for regime change when your goverment becomes as tyrannical as it has in this case. As citizens we have a duty to do so, try reading Jefferson.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Local G

          Re: " If the plaintiff drops the charges..."

          "(If the plaintiff drops the charges, the government then has no legal case and it should not have continued, thus the clear prosecutorial overreach)."

          The "victim" in grand larceny cases does not get to decide whether the case is dropped or not. That decision stays with the prosecutor's office.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Alert

            Re: Local G Re: " If the plaintiff drops the charges..."

            OMFG, I just had to upvote Local Dupe! What is the World coming to?

            1. Local G
              Happy

              Re: Local G " If the plaintiff drops the charges..."

              "What is the World coming to?"

              Matt Bryant himself puts the lie to the myth that Matt Bryant knows everything.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "What is the World coming to?"

                I am always astonished when an agnostic asks that question.

                Get off the fence, Sir, if you want to find out.

              2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: Local G " If the plaintiff drops the charges..."

                ".....Matt Bryant himself puts the lie to the myth that Matt Bryant knows everything." I never claimed to know everything and certainly wouldn't make that claim. Knowing ones limits is very important.

                1. Local G
                  Happy

                  Re: Local G " If the plaintiff drops the charges..."

                  I'm sorry I accused you of knowing everything. I meant it in the good sense of the expression.

                  Consider the charges dropped.

                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                    Happy

                    Re: Re: Local G " If the plaintiff drops the charges..."

                    "....Consider the charges dropped." Thanks, but I have to point out that if charges are dropped then you seem to consider it a crime to know everything? And seeing as Aaron Swartz was supposedly "liberating knowledge", thus bringing everyone closer to knowing everything, you seem to think he committed eight billion counts of a criminal act. Tsk, tsk, and you guys think Ortiz was overbearing!

                    1. Local G
                      Happy

                      8 billion? <sigh> It was 7.1 billion just a couple of days ago.

                      I hate to disagree with you, Matt. Now I believe that you do know everything.

                      But when you extrapolate that knowledge into assumptions, deductions, theories, and predictions about the past, present and future, from time to time, you come up short.

                      "you seem to consider it a crime to know everything.." No, Sir, the crime is to know everything, and still be a Reagan Republican. For shame, Matt.

                      "You guys think Ortiz was overbearing" You and your lawyer have to sit across the table from her to have a real take on that.

                      "Everyone closer to knowing everything." That's like everybody being a millionaire -- with Wiemar marks.

                      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                        Happy

                        Re: 8 billion? <sigh> It was 7.1 billion just a couple of days ago.

                        "....But when you extrapolate that knowledge into assumptions, deductions, theories, and predictions about the past, present and future, from time to time, you come up short....." Well, it was more a case of poking fun at you.

                        "..... a Reagan Republican...." Get it right, that should be Thatcherite Conservative.

                        ".....You and your lawyer have to sit across the table from her to have a real take on that....." I'm not likely to as I'm not the type to let my overbearing sense of "justice" defaet my ability to know when I am obviously doing something illegal.

                        "....with Wiemar marks." So you're saying the quest for universal knowledge, what Swartz purported, is pointless as the mass availability fo knowledge will degrade its worth to that of Weimar marks? Careful, the Anonyputzs will be cyberstalking you if you start questioning their faith.....

                        1. This post has been deleted by its author

                        2. Local G
                          Happy

                          Re: 8 billion? <sigh> It was 7.1 billion just a couple of days ago.

                          " a Reagan Republican...." Get it right, that should be Thatcherite Conservative." Sorry, thought you were a Reaganite after you wrote this: "Reaganomics - the US economy perfromed better during the Reagan years than either before or after, as judged by money for the average family...."

                          Too bad Reagan had nothing to do with it.

                          "On August 12, 1981, Estridge and his team introduced the IBM 5150 at a press conference in New York City, triggering a media frenzy that continued for months. The new computer had 16KB of RAM, no disk drives, several applications—including VisiCalc, a spreadsheet, and EasyWriter, a word processor—and sold for US$1565..... Within two years, both the PC and its pointed but light-hearted advertising became part of the culture of the 1980s. Personal computers were no longer a “hobbyist” phenomenon, and the heavy cloud of mystery and complexity that had hung over computing evaporated. People started buying the IBM PC, and then the IBM PC XT, the IBM PC/AT, the IBM PCjr, the IBM Portable PC, and eventually the IBM PS/2 by the thousands, and then the tens of thousands. Beginning in January 1983, IBM PCs were sold around the world. And, at its peak, an IBM PC sold at a rate of one every minute of every business day."

                          Reagan was inaugurated January 20, 1981. The IBM 5150 was introduced August 12, 1981. Which of the two was responsible for the good economy until 2001? If Jimmy Carter had been reelected, wouldn't he deserve the same credit as Reagan?

                          "I'm not the type to let my overbearing sense of "justice" defaet my ability to know when I am obviously doing something illegal. "Does that also defeat your ability to answer a hypothetical?

                          "the mass availability fo knowledge will degrade its worth" If Aaron Swartz was on a quest for universal knowledge, then he was on the same messianic quest as Jesus and Prometheus were. A useless quest to enlighten a mankind that doesn't want to be enlightened. Swartz was too young and too naive to know that individuals don't change the system. The system changes individuals. Aaron Swartz took his life because the changes he faced were unacceptable.

                          Maybe there's a place where unselfish people go when they die. A place just like this rathole, except different. A place where you finish the life you were living, without putzes on the right or the left telling you what you must to do. A place where the water you drink has all the properties of a seratonin reuptake inhibitor -- with none of the side effects.

                          2pm Sunday. 79 degrees. Ought to be in the 80s soon. Going for a ride on my new electric bike. Poke fun at that, Matt. :-)

                          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                            Happy

                            Re: 8 billion? <sigh> It was 7.1 billion just a couple of days ago.

                            ".....the IBM 5150....." I'm sure the IBM 5150 would have been an albatross if the underlying economic conditions were not right for its success. It did not make the economic upturn, it was simply released at the same time.

                            "....Maybe there's a place where unselfish people go when they die....." There was some philosopher I heard of that had a theory that Earth was actually Hell and we're all doing pennance, but then I thought he was just a depressing d*ck, TBH.

                            "....Going for a ride on my new electric bike....." Well, if we used to joke about scooters being hairdryers with wheels, I suppose the joke about electric bikes will be they are vibrators with wheels.

                            1. Local G
                              Happy

                              Re: 8 billion? <sigh> It was 7.1 billion just a couple of days ago.

                              "the joke about electric bikes will be they are vibrators with wheels." I have to defer to your vast experience with vibrators and their proper usage. I imagine if el reg does an article about vibrators with wheels, they'll want you to do the lead research.

                              I should like to know more about your views of heaven and hell, but my experience is that agnostics like you are just atheists in drag and haven't got a clue about what they don't believe in.

                              As for your pathetic partisan pablum on Reaganomics

                              "As Andrew Kohut noted in a special to the New York Times, the rising unemployment paralleled a rise in disapproval of Reagan’s job performance. By the summer of 1982, only 42% of Americans approved of the president. Reagan’s approval would eventually hit a low of 35% early in 1983. In September 1982, when the public was asked by Gallup whether Reagan was correct to argue that his economic program needed more time or that Democrats were right in asserting that budget deficits and high unemployment were signs he had failed, half of Americans sided with the Democrats while 43% agreed with the president. A year and a half into his presidency, only 36% of Americans wanted Reagan to run for reelection at the end of his first term, while 51% said they would rather he sit the election out. Of course, the economy eventually did rebound, and so did Reagan’s poll numbers."

                              "The unemployment rate hovered between 7% and 8% from the summer of 1980 to the fall of 1981, when it began to rise quickly. By March 1982 it had reached 9%, and in December of that year the unemployment rate stood at its recession peak of 10.8%. The jobless rate slowly receded over the next few years, falling to 8.3% by the end of 1983 and to 7.2% by the 1984 presidential election. The unemployment rate did not fall below 6%, however, until September 1987."

                              "People started buying the IBM PC, and then the IBM PC XT, the IBM PC/AT, the IBM PCjr, the IBM Portable PC, and eventually the IBM PS/2 by the thousands, and then the tens of thousands. Beginning in January 1983, IBM PCs were sold around the world. And, at its peak, an IBM PC sold at a rate of one every minute of every business day."

                              You and everybody at el reg owe their jobs to the IBM PC and NOT to the dofoos Ronald Reagan. If not for the IBM PC, you'd still be working at Dunkin' Donuts in Knightsbridge. Spending your lunch hour at the Ecuadorian Embassy and playing with donuts and your vibrator.

                              I heard there's a wing of the Conservatism that believes that the tail wags the dog and the cart pulls the horse but I never had the privilege of meeting a member.

                              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                Facepalm

                                Re: 8 billion? <sigh> It was 7.1 billion just a couple of days ago.

                                "...... I have to defer to your vast experience with vibrators and their proper usage......" Well, stick at it, with time maybe you'll learn there is more to sex than just the missionary position.

                                ".....of 1982, only 42% of Americans approved of the president. Reagan’s approval would eventually hit a low of 35% early in 1983......" <Yawn> All POTUS popularity ratings drop in their first terms once the election fever has receded, even Bill Clinto's and Barrack Obama's.

                                "......You and everybody at el reg owe their jobs to the IBM PC...." Of course! Because there were no computers before, and no-one worked in computing or even had a personal computer before then.... Oh, hold on a sec - that's complete male bovine manure.

                                Oh, and I have to add - SCHWING! What next, you'll claim Aaron Swartz died due to peak oil?

                                1. Local G
                                  Happy

                                  Re: 8 billion? <sigh> It was 7.1 billion just a couple of days ago.

                                  Matt, your sexual references are too thin and too short; if you want to hook up with Rosamund, you'll have to do better. And find a new line of work.

                                  "there were no computers before, and no-one worked in computing or even had a personal computer before then." Back then, you didn't have an IBM, you had a Tulip, didn't you? Liked the name probably. You've been into 'innuendo' for quite a while.

                                  "Andrew Kohut noted in a special to the New York Times, the rising unemployment paralleled a rise in disapproval of Reagan’s job performance. By the summer of 1982, only 42% of Americans approved of the president. Reagan’s approval would eventually hit a low of 35% early in 1983."

                                  Take that up with Andrew Kohut

                                  @Pew Research Center

                                  1615 L Street, NW, Suite 700

                                  Washington, DC 20036

                                  I won't claim Aaron Swartz died due to peak oil. However, untold Iraqis, Libyans, Afghans, Syrians, and Egyptians did.

                                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                    FAIL

                                    Re: Local Dupe Re: 8 billion? <sigh> It was 7.1 billion just a couple of days ago.

                                    ".....if you want to hook up with Rosamund......" In all honesty, I suspect I'm a little old for Ms Pike.

                                    ".....Back then, you didn't have an IBM, you had a Tulip, didn't you?....." No, Altair clones running CP/M and BBC Micros, thanks.

                                    "......Liked the name probably....." Well, it was a lot more memorable than the IBM 5100 series numbering format.

                                    "......You've been into 'innuendo' for quite a while....." Second lowest form of wit after sarcasm, or so I'm told, but I suppose it still beats no wits at all.

                                    ".....Take that up with Andrew Kohut....." What, rather than discuss the topic of the thread? SCHWING, much?

                                    ".....untold Iraqis, Libyans, Afghans, Syrians, and Egyptians did." Untold numbers of Iraqis, Libyans, etc., killed untold numbers of Iraqis, Libyans, etc. they've been happily at it for centuries, long before the development of the internal combustion engine, and long before the discovery of their vast oil resources offered them the chance to drag their backward countries into the modern age, something they often seem determined to defeat if only to spite each other.

                                    BTW, did you hear the one about how the Anons don't have any leaders? Well, not ones not in prison anyway!

                                    1. Local G
                                      Happy

                                      May I go off topic for a minute?

                                      After our earlier conversation about registering my Walther, I recently contacted the local gun shop in town. It is much easier to register a gun than I thought. And easier to sell it, although not to a resident of England (is this true?)

                                      The only problem for me is checking the box on the application: "Have you ever had a mental illness."

                                      Should I lie? :-)

                                      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                        Happy

                                        Re: May I go off topic for a minute?

                                        "...... And easier to sell it, although not to a resident of England (is this true?)....." Yes, such a weapon would be illegal in the UK now unless sold as a de-activated collector's item, or to a very limited number of approved customers (props companies for film and theatre, though even they have restrictions and masses of paperwork involved). Did you ask about the costs for a professional cleaning of the weapon?

                                        ".....Should I lie? ....." I don't think self-diagnosis counts, it has to be a medical condition diagnosed by a qualified person rather than just holding irrational points of view, otherwise roughly 47% of the US electorate would be declined. :P

                                        1. Local G
                                          WTF?

                                          Re: What about well known pistol experts and accomplished commentards?

                                          "unless sold... to a very limited number of approved customers (props companies for film and theatre, though even they have restrictions and masses of paperwork involved)."

                                          You're a self-proclaimed Thatcher Conservative and the Tories are in now. You must know a helpful MP.

                                          I want to sell you the Walther for a nominal sum, but it will be up to you to arrange things. Do it!

                                          I went to the gun shop in town yesterday, and he didn't know any gun cleaners from Ventura to Santa Barbara who cleaned pistols. There is one shop, but they only clean long guns. Buying guns is easier than I thought. If you're buying from a dealer, he will swipe the magnetic tape on the back of your driver's license and when he gets an OK from Miniluv(?), you're good to go. No long or short forms. If you are buying a gat from another individual, both of you go to the dealer and he swipes both of your licenses. You know about buying or selling offshore. Because I bought mine c, 1970, I am grandfathered in and don't have to register it.

                                          You'll be back in Limehouse again, this time with a gat tucked in your armpit to teach Fu not to mess with you

                                          And all for a buck, dude. Get off the couch. (photos on request) <serious>

                                          1. Local G

                                            Re: What about well known pistol experts and accomplished commentards?

                                            Clarification

                                            photos of the Walther on request

                                            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                              Happy

                                              Re: Re: What about well known pistol experts and accomplished commentards?

                                              Even if it was legal I'm not sure I'd want to buy your Walther, thanks. It's not a model that would have appealed to me given that I used to have better weapons. Most private owners I knew that had them were living out their childhood 007 fantasies.

                                              1. Local G
                                                Happy

                                                Oops.

                                                I mistook for a collector's interest your helpful remarks and impressive knowledge last November. My bad.

                                                " living out their childhood 007 fantasies" Now you know someone who lived out his adulthood fantasies.

                                                "I'm not sure I'd want to buy your Walther" For a dollar? You are particular. :-)

                                                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                  Unhappy

                                                  Re: Oops.

                                                  "I mistook for a collector's interest...." Sorry, but your model is not an authentic Walther-made PPK, so not as interesting to a collector. If it was an original Walther and had providence (such as being carried during WW2 by a Luftwaffe ace or post-war by a British Royal bodyguard) then it would be a valued collectible. Unless you're actually some famous Yankee actor, businessman or politician? Otherwise it's fine for someone in the US interested in home defense, but not legal here.

                                                  ".....For a dollar? You are particular." Even if handgun ownership was legal, the cost of importing it from the States as a private sale would be ludicrous and come wrapped with oodles of red tape. For a start, I would have to pay for it to be deactivated by a registered gunsmith in the States, have that certified by the US authorities, then take that paperwork and spend months pushing it up the UK authorities, then ship it over here, and then have to pay more for the UK certificate for it even as a deactivated paperweight, plus add it to my household insurance. Sorry, no thanks.

                                          2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                            Unhappy

                                            Re: Re: What about well known pistol experts and accomplished commentards?

                                            ".....You're a self-proclaimed Thatcher Conservative and the Tories are in now. You must know a helpful MP....." I think they have more important issues to hand, ones that affect a lot more voters than gun-ownership. I'm simply suggesting that gun-owners in the States don't let themselves be railroaded by politicians looking for a cheap vote. The example of the UK shows, banning handguns did not reduce gun-crime in the slightest.

                                            1. Local G
                                              Meh

                                              Re: What about well known pistol experts and accomplished commentards?

                                              " I think they have more important issues to hand, ones that affect a lot more voters than gun-ownership."

                                              Like pulling out of the EU or a possible coup de main at the Ecuadorian Embassy to dislodge you-know-who. Oh yeah, extraditing the flower of English youth to the US so Carmen Ortiz can offer them either a plea bargain of two years in the slammer or to be "blown from the guns." <sarc>

                                              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                Boffin

                                                Re: Re: What about well known pistol experts and accomplished commentards?

                                                ".....Like pulling out of the EU....." Cameron has no intention of pulling out of the EU, he's just playing to the UKIP voters whilst at the same time trying to leave the Germans and Fwench with the bill for Greece, Spain, Portugal, etc.

                                                ".....or a possible coup de main at the Ecuadorian Embassy to dislodge you-know-who....." Hehe, I suspect the authorities on both sides of the Atlantic are quite satisfied with the current status quo - the US has time to plea-bargain evidence out of Manning and the UK doesn't have to pay room an board costs for A$$nut in his self-inflicted prison, whilst A$$nut just makes himself look more of a crim.

                                                "....Oh yeah, extraditing the flower of English youth...." Frankly, the only thing being extradited would seem to be total wastes of bandwidth. If the US puts in for extradition of the Anonyputz "not leader leaders" that herded the LOIC sheeple against PayPal and VISA then I won't be crying, I'd be quite happy to send them on an extended vacation at a US prison.

                                                "..... or to be "blown from the guns."...." If you are referring to the old practice of strapping people over the muzzle of a cannon and blowing them to bits, we only used to do that with natives enlisted in the army that mutinied, such as Indian sepoys that mutinied in 1857. In the case of the sepoys, it was the ones that had murdered the unarmed families of British troops and the East India Company workers. It was very effective as a deterrent, especially for Indian Muslims, as they believed an incomplete body would not be admitted to paradise. But - sorry to disillusion you - that was actually an old Indian trick which the Brits used and not an original British idea, unlike your Pershing and his idea of executing Philipino Islamists with bullets dipped in pig's blood in 1911.

                                                1. Local G
                                                  Pirate

                                                  Re: What about well known pistol experts and accomplished commentards?

                                                  "If you are referring to the old practice of strapping people over the muzzle of a cannon and blowing them to bits, we only used to do that with natives enlisted in the army that mutinied, such as Indian sepoys that mutinied in 1857."

                                                  So they took the Queen's shilling and weren't impressed into service? (Btw, where did you get 'impressment' from? The Barbary pirates?) Nevertheless, how inconsiderate of the sepoys! How rude. I suppose they wanted the English to stop plundering their country and leave India. And the buggers couldn't wait another 100 years for democracy. meh. Actually the English had a greater claim to India then than the Israelis have to Frankenstein today. After all, the British fought their way in to India, while the Israelis had Frankenstein handed to them like horseradish on a of piece gefilte fish.

                                                  "sorry to disillusion you - that was actually an old Indian trick which the Brits used and not an original British idea,"

                                                  I have just as much contempt for the brutal acts of a barbaric society as I do for a self-styled civilized people, who borrow cruel behavior from the savages, whom they consider themselves better than.

                                                  I know you hate music and Gilbert & Sullivan in particular. Sorry

                                                  He is an Englishman!

                                                  For he himself has said it,

                                                  And it's greatly to his credit,

                                                  That he is an Englishman!

                                                  But in spite of all temptations

                                                  To belong to other nations,

                                                  He remains an Englishman!

                                                  He remains an Englishman!

                                                  Whatever i is you're looking for, Matt, you won't find it in a pub throwing darts for pints. Unless, it's free pints that you're looking for.

                                                  .

                                                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                    Facepalm

                                                    Re: What about well known pistol experts and accomplished commentards?

                                                    SCHWING again!

                                                    "......where did you get 'impressment' from...." If you mean press-ganging, that has been recorded as far back as Roman times.

                                                    "......I suppose they wanted the English to stop plundering their country and leave India....." Nope. Plenty of the Rajs stayed loyal and refused to back the mutiny, instead they provided troops to help the Brits end the mutiny.

                                                    ".....I have just as much contempt for the brutal acts of a barbaric society...." Careful, you'll upset the PC crowd! BTW, the Murghal culture the Brits stole that idea from predates the Greek empire of Alexander the Great.

                                                    "....I know you hate music....." Once again, another foolish assumption - just because I do not share your taste in music does not mean I hate all music, it simply means you have sh*t tastes.

                                                    1. Local G
                                                      Happy

                                                      Re: What about well known pistol experts and accomplished commentards?

                                                      "you have sh*t tastes."

                                                      You know some of the lyrics I think pertinent to some of the threads. But I don't recall humming anything in your ear. Or writing out notes on staff paper for you. You don't know the music I like. You only know the lyrics. When you write anything as clever as Sir William Schwenck (sp) Gilbert did, I'll eat my icon. And you're not the only one who likes ABBA. Or the BeeGees. Although you think you are.

                                                      " recorded as far back as Roman times." As I remember they were called galley slaves and chained to their oars. When they died they were pushed overboard. No, that's not what I meant.

                                                      "Plenty of the Rajs stayed" A couple. A few. Several. Many. Plenty. Are you talking of a number over 1,000?

                                                      "BTW, the Murghal culture the Brits stole that idea from predates the Greek empire of Alexander the Great."

                                                      What did they used to call it? Shooting from a catapult? No they didn't even have catapults then. C'mon. Tell me.

                                    2. Local G
                                      Happy

                                      Re: Local Dupe 8 billion? <sigh> It was 7.1 billion just a couple of days ago.

                                      "I'm a little old for Ms Pike."

                                      And you're probably too young for Maggie Smith.

                                      "What, rather than discuss the topic of the thread?"

                                      I haven't been anywhere near the topic of this thread. You?

                                      "the one about how the Anons don't have any leaders?"

                                      They look like neanderhacks, which explains how they got caught.

        3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: @ Matt Bryant

          "Poor sick deluded Matt Bryant......" Well, going on your complete lack of analytical capabilities displayed so far, maybe I should take that as just reassuring proof of my not being "sick" in any way at all. I seriously doubt you are in any way medically qualified to make such a judgement, if indeed holding any qualifications at all.

          "......You should try looking at all of the info out on the web, TV and newspapers about this particularly sad case....." OK, let's see you provide some of this overwhelming evidence you say is out there. Oh, you can't, as all your "evidence" is just similar frothing from the people you find politically acceptable to your POV.

          ".....you are a heartless, vengeful douchebag....." What, just because I disagree with the comparison of Swartz with Turing? If so then you have a very low threshold of dealing with those that don't agree with your POV reminiscent of the extremists from the Right and Left. In short, you are the one with the problem, probably of both aggression, acceptance and an ability to deal with reality. Maybe you should seek professional help.

          "......with a truly ignorant view of the world as it really is......" LOL, so I post verifiable facts and all you post is ranting froth, yet I am the "ignorant" one? If that is the case then I would gladly take "ignorance" over your massive self-delusions.

          "......You must work for the RIAA or MPAA....." If I was being paid by all the companies that frothing posters here claim I was working for then I would be far too busy to come here and expose the silliness of people like you. For your information, I do not work for the RIAA or MPAA or any media-related company.

          ".....I don't give a flying fuck what so called "evidence" the government had in their indictment because it was all trumped up bullcrap, designed from the beginning to mercilessly screw with Aaron Swartz....." I can't think of a statement more damaging to your position than that. Even Swartz's supporters like Lessig are not denying what he did, just arguing that the reason why Swartz did it makes it acceptable. You are not even arguing, you present no other argument than "Aaron said things about getting flicks for free so I will unquestioningly assume he was pure and innocent and anyone that stood in his way was and is EVIL!" That is not an argument, it is a statement of faith. Stop now before you embarrass yourself further.

  20. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Anonyputzs hack the Sentencing Commission website.

    Oh dear, someone let the skiddies stay up past their bedtimes again.

    ".....The federal sentencing guidelines... enable prosecutors to cheat citizens of their constitutionally-guaranteed right to a fair trial, by a jury of their peers are a clear violation of the 8th amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishments....." Yeah, I think that really translates to "this is the best excuse we could think of seeing as our downloaded skillz couldn't crack any really important websites".

    Someone get these social inepts a hobby, pref one that does not require the use of scissors for their own sakes.

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