[Guardian] Aaron Swartz: cannon fodder in the war on internet freedom

On 11 January, a young American geek named Aaron Swartz killed himself, and most of the world paid no attention. In the ordinary run of things, "it was not an important failure", as Auden put it in Musée des Beaux Arts. [...]

What has happened, in fact, is that governments which since 9/11 have presided over the morphing of their democracies into national security states have realised that the internet represents a truly radical challenge to their authority, and they are absolutely determined to control it. They don't declare this as their intention, of course, but instead talk up "grave" threats – cybercrime, piracy and (of course) child pornography – as rationales for their action. But, in the end, this is now all about control. And if a few eggheads and hackers get crushed on the way well, that's too bad. RIP Aaron.