It’s been a long time since I read tech wiz Aaron Swart’z Raw Thoughts blog. I mean no disrespect by the title. I met him at a Free Culture Conference at American University when he was something like 16 at the time and already an internationally renowned contributor in the tech world.
He recently posted the contents of his FBI file, which as of September 2008, listed him as a targeted threat. Why? Well, he was part of a collaborative effort to develop a program that enabled unrestricted access to a library-owned search database. By removing the cost of searching, it provided unregulated access to information. While this promotes the principals of free culture,** it was a powerful blow to Capitalism! Well…. at least according to the FBI. No Empires actually fell as a result.
You can read the FBI report here (these are critical tax dollars at work!), including the follow-up notes on Swartz’s electronic whereabouts. Who knows, I might have to request my own some day after writing this. Uh oh!!
**Still not sure what the free culture movement is? See Antitrust for a Hollywood interpretation.