Feds Hounded 'Net Activist Aaron Swartz, Says EFF's Parker Higgins


"The idea that an agent of the federal government would be able to pick out a person and threaten to ruin their life is not the kind of thing that we hope for in a justice system," says Parker Higgins, an internet activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Higgins was a friend and associate of the late Aaron Swartz (1986-2013), the computer programmer, hacker, and activist who committed suicide last week. Swartz helped create the web syndication process RSS, was important in the founding of the popular social media site Reddit, and instrumental in organizing the successful campaign against the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA). He was facing up to 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines for downloading more than 4 million academic articles from the database JSTOR.

Reason TV's Zach Weissmueller sat down with Higgins to talk about Swartz's contributions to the internet, his fight against the federal government, and reforms that should be made to outdated computer-hacking laws.

About 8 minutes. 

Interview by Zach Weissmueller. Shot by Tracy Oppenheimer. Edited by Weissmueller.

Scroll below for downloadable versions, and subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube Channel to receive immediate updates when new material goes live.