Talk:Aaron Swartz/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5

Naval gazing bloat - Wikipedia is involved

Please be careful not to seriously inflate this persons notability and importance. Wikipedia (it's users) are involved in this person. - Youreallycan 22:03, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Considering a good chunk of mainstream media and particularly tech media is all over this story, I think we're reflecting its importance pretty fairly. Any specific criticisms? Ocaasi t | c 22:07, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, the tech media low grade citations are involved as well , this is all part of the bloat that wikipedia editors are active in promoting here - please consider avoiding such opinionated in the moment articles and look for longer term historic national and international articles to add content with. Youreallycan 22:24, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
And is the New Yorker involved? Rich Farmbrough, 22:41, 15 January 2013 (UTC).
Its been covered in multiple NPR segments, including several times on All Things Considered, that is about as main stream as you get. Monty845 22:48, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
NPR segments, including several times on All Things Considered - personally my experience of that online publication is low - the new yorker link , is an opinionated blog post by, a Tim Wu , he has one other blog post, diff - avoid the opinionated low quality opinionated sources. The article is already overly bloated and needs some trimming - Youreallycan 22:55, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
You say opinionated blogger, I say Columbia law professor. Andy Dingley (talk) 22:57, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Whatever, he's a blogger of irrelevance - his opinions are not notable and should not be propagated using en Wikipedia - Just - pointing the finger to the problem - do with it whatever you want Youreallycan 23:00, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
In what way is he "a blogger of irrelevance"? (I suspect Lessig falls under the same criteria too). This is a respected professor from a major university who has been asked by an internationally known magazine to give his opinion. This is entirely the sort of comment by a substantial and reliable commentator that we are looking for. Andy Dingley (talk) 23:05, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
No one has asked him to give his opinion - he has simply posted a blog post - his opinions are irrelevant to this subjects notability and are simply opinionated bloat - he and his opinions are not notable in any way.Youreallycan 23:09, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
He's not a blogger, in any sense of being a regular blogger with the New Yorker, this is just how they present their news desk as "a blog" and he's their invited pundit for this topic. As to notability of him and his opinions, then firstly that's irrelevant (This isn't an article on him, so why would WP:N be relevant?) and also, this is a fairly major news publication commissioning his opinion piece. What else does WP:RS apply to, if not deliberately commissioned pieces such as this? Andy Dingley (talk) 23:17, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
There's a Wikipedia article about him, if you don't think he's notable, you're perfectly free to nominate his article for deletion. RNealK (talk) 23:19, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Agreed - notability is irrelevant. Claiming "less notability than you think, really" is no excuse to remove reliable sources. Wnt (talk) 23:27, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
A fine point, since I know you were speaking mostly rhetorically, but technically this article cannot be nominated for deletion as long as its linked to from the main page. Lest any radical deletionists get any ideas. — Francophonie&Androphilie(Je vous invite à me parler) 07:34, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Is Tim Berners-Lee non-notable? He seemed to think Mr. Swartz was important. He tweeted, "Aaron dead. World wanderers, we have lost a wise elder. Hackers for right, we are one down. Parents all, we have lost a child. Let us weep." Wendy Kaminer called him a "martyr". RNealK (talk) 23:40, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

This discussion would be a lot more productive if there were a specific proposal on the table of how the article should be improved. -Pete (talk) 00:39, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

This article received 164K views today. Obviously the public (outside of Wikipedia) is interested in this story. petrarchan47tc 06:01, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
We're Wikipedia-- just about everyone in tech is connected to us somehow-- I see no navel-gazing bloat, just business as usual. --HectorMoffet (talk) 07:17, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
I think there is some recentism here, but I don't really object to it. The article is decently balanced. The subject is notable now beyond any doubt, if for no other reason than the coverage of his death and its use by some as an impetus for change in technology policy. The only part of the article that is not properly balanced, in context, is an easy mistake to make: RSS 1.0 is a minor offshoot of RSS 0.92, and its discussion should avoid creating the implication that it's more significant than it was. The subject's involvement in the effort is interesting because of his youth, not because of its importance to the Internet. It is kind of petty to point that out now, because it's not a huge deal, but the press is overstating his involvement in creating technologies that people actually use. That is not a big problem, and is obviously much less important than someone's suicide and the public reaction to it, but it is potentially of concern for editors interested in detailed accuracy. (I have used a sock puppet account because everything associated with this subject is now too politically hot-button for me personally.) Benignsockpuppet (talk) 07:33, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
" RSS 1.0 is a minor offshoot of RSS 0.92,"
No. If you still think that, then you discard a few years of several SemWeb people's working life, including Aaron's, and a whole bunch of important fundamental research, not just a web syndication format. (Apart from being simply incorrect - 1.0 is a development of 0.90, not 0.92 and this matters. Read Dive Into Mark) Andy Dingley (talk) 12:08, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

There are some collated sources here. Additions welcome. – SJ + 14:55, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Time he was found dead

This article says he was found dead in the morning. He wasn't -- he was found dead in the evening. I don't see any sources that say morning. To my knowledge, time of death is unknown. This source indicates that he wasn't known to be dead during the workday: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:50, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

This source says morning.[1] And another.[2] --My76Strat (talk) 13:05, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
The first source you link to says the suicide was in the morning, not that he was found in the morning. More importantly, I was the one who found him, and I found him in the evening. Compare my IP address to SJ's verified comment from me above. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:53, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Huh, oops, my IP address is not showing up the same. Not sure why (most likely because I don't understand IP addresses). Anyway, SJ can confirm on this one too if required. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:55, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Misleading, potentially un-NPOV concern in top summary, re: "charges were dropped"

"Following his death, federal judge Nathaniel M. Gorton dismissed the charges against him."--while technically true, this is because he was dead, not because the investigation had otherwise changed. As the linked sources state, this was a routine judicial protocol for when someone passes who has been charged with a crime.

Swartz is a political football right now, but if WP is to stay out of it, the opener shouldn't have a line like this. Let's face it; it reads like "they drove him to kill himself, and then only afterwards realized they didn't have a case, so they dropped it." People will read that into it, because people assume that WP writers know better to put basically irrelevant information about judicial protocol in a summary paragraph. As such, we're obviously lacking NPOV.

Since the line doesn't actually provide any real, meaningful information (people are not here to learn about how US courts work), I've taken the liberty of removing it. (talk) 20:16, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. Skewing facts is not the right way to present a dead person's legacy. CarthCarsen (talk) 20:43, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Featured in "recent deaths" on front page of Wikipedia today

Thanks to whoever did that. For Wikipedians, his passing is definitely notable, and as a Wikipedian who did not know him personally, I was very sad to hear that he was gone. Jane (talk) 09:05, 19 January 2013 (UTC)


please see here. Even here, looks like the only references are in the pics. --Elitre (talk) 10:54, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

At the NYC memorial, reffed above, former CC CEO Glenn Otis Brown stated that Swarz undertook the conversion of the licences into machine-readable format. Wwwhatsup (talk) 12:28, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Not so much "machine-readable" (any eejit could have done that), but RDF was chosen as the particular format. This was specifically Aaron's choice. Although it was well received by the RDF community, who saw the importance of CC early on, it came "out of the blue" to the rest of the copyright & metadata world.
Also Aaron was hugely important for CC, just for its early inspiration. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:56, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

NYC memorial video / Edward Tufte

I hesitate to add further links to the EL's or add info to the article, but Democracy Now! webcast the NYC Memorial and the archive is at livestream. One notable fact that did emerge at the event is that Edward Tufte, at Swartz's request, intervened with Bill Bowen, President of JSTOR to have charges dropped. Successfully. To do this Tufte related a, previously secret, anecdote about how he himself had hacked AT&T's network in 1962, been discovered and escaped prosecution. This can be reffed to the vid at, there is something of a transcript here. Wwwhatsup (talk) 08:21, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure we can call it a fact, other than the fact that he made the claim. A commenter at the Dan Nguyen blog you linked to now disputes the AT&T anecdote on technical grounds. Regardless, even though Tufte may have had a role in persuading Bowen to call off JSTOR's hounds, I'm hesitant to say as much without a better source, preferably one that talked to Bowen. It wouldn't be a WP:BLP violation to say that Tufte made these claims, but it would be one (minor, but still) to say that Bowen heard from Tufte and was persuaded by him. Even Tufte's words don't support this—he only implies that he influenced Tufte. If you run across any other reporting of this, come back and let us know. —mjb (talk) 23:13, 22 January 2013 (UTC)


Reality-check please. Does anyone think it would be worthwhile to bring to the attention of an appropriate admin that seems to waddle like a duck. The timing of's entry into the fray, the substance and style of his/her, and these iterations of "Go fuck yourself," taken together sure hit my ear as the quacking of mallards or Red-crested Pochards. Right after CC's 31-hour block, I reached out to CC and offered you all a link to my effort, up above. At best, CC ignored me. At worst, there's been a resort to anonymity, perhaps to stymie progressively more strict sanctions. David in DC (talk) 19:38, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

I was unaware that editing by IP editors is now disallowed. In fact it seems to be a fairly routine practice. Nothing I have done can be construed as vandalism. (talk) 19:43, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
No, but that's kind of what Woodward and Bernstein would call a "non-denial denial". There's no accusation of vandalism, nor is IP editing disallowed. It simply becomes suspicious when an editor is blocked and disappears, and thereafter an IP editor starts arguing the same points and engaging in the same editing behavior, with the same rhetorical style, including identically incivil "Go fuck yourself"s.
If CC and are two different editors, is just equally rude, aggressive and non-collegial and in need of a first step on the ladder of progressive sanctions. If they are the same editor, the sanctions is currently courting should be more severe.
I was asking for a reality check. I've got's view. Would anyone else care to opine?David in DC (talk) 19:53, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
Sanctions for exactly what? Allegedly editing as an IP editor when I could log into an account which was not blocked? Telling a busybody to go fuck himself/herself on my talk page after a rude warning for doing nothing wrong? Failing to respond to an inaccurate and somewhat smug "peace offering" by you on a talk page? Please. (talk) 19:56, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
I think they are allied, and quite possibly but not necessarily identical. I agree that they are uncivil, and clearly are grinding axes. Something should be done. MarkBernstein (talk) 19:58, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
Not grinding axes, just injecting some much-needed neutrality into the article. I've noted that my talk page got a big red stop sign with a stentorian tone, while yours got a quite civil mention in ordinary English over the 3RR violation you've committed, in an edit war you started. I respond civilly to civility, not to bullying. (talk) 20:05, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Quack. However what have they done that would be considered inappropriate if they were known to be the same editor? If and when that became an issue, then that would be a reasonable time for SPI. In the meantime though, there only seems to be one who is editing. Andy Dingley (talk) 20:18, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
    • Thanks for acknowledging "my talk page". It conclusively answers my "duck" question. I regret that you found my message on your talk page "smug". It was genuinely meant as an attempt to smooth the waters. I apologize for taking action that served to rub salt into a wound. I intended otherwise and I failed. As for sanctions, I see no reason for them yet, but yes, two "go fuck yourself"s in the space of a week, the most recent edit-warring (edit-warring is a broader concept than simple violation of 3RR) and the incivil comments on this talk page do seem to be headed down a path where an admin may eventually have to consider the totality of your editing history. In such a case, the edits of CC and of should now be considered cumulatively. David in DC (talk) 20:51, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
      • Next time you go to mend fences, it might be good not to misquote rules in an attempted justification, for example that BLP does not apply to the recently deceased (there were other problems with your post on my talk page). I was blocked for 31 hours though my reverts were all in the direction of more neutrality for the article, and though they fell within a 3RR exception, having an insufficient opportunity to point out the facts, and when the primary edit-warrer, Bonusballs, received no discipline. This was after Bonusballs et al. incorrectly characterized a slight majority vote as "consensus", etc. We need not drag it all up again. I am abandoning the CarthCarsen account because I no longer care for it. If building up a persona on Wikipedia takes kissing butt to the likes of the gang who succeeded in turning this page into an extremely biased argument for exoneration of Aaron Swartz, justifying it by saying that they were hurting at the time, I would prefer to edit anonymously to improve the encyclopedia and nothing more. (talk) 21:04, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
        • Are you still trying to blame me for all your woes? Your edit warring started BEFORE and continued AFTER any edits that I - and several others - did to prevent your tidal wave of non-neutral biased edits from damaging the article. I've not touched this article since your first block, and here you are getting yourself in trouble again. Perhaps that's all my fault too? Bonusballs (talk) 21:09, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
          • I'm not blaming you for all my woes; I'm pointing out that you claimed "consensus" where there was none, and were not punished for edit-warring. While we're on the subject of incivility, I present to you... Bonusballs. (talk) 21:24, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
No, I'm not sure I'll be accepting any lectures from you on civility given how you've repeatedly behaved offensively towards anyone who has tried to help you. Incidentally, I can't help but notice that your 'CarthCarsen' disguise claims to be a part-time attorney, and your IP address ( places you on the end of a Comcast connection in Boston, Massachusetts. That's a small world - you must be able to see Ms Ortiz's office from your back garden, surely. Perhaps, if you're unable to be neutral about this particular issue, that it is you who should recuse yourself this time? Bonusballs (talk) 21:38, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
It's not a "disguise"-- unless your given name is in fact Bonusballs? Do you feel a mite hypocritical? I'm not even in Massachusetts, conspiracy theories to the contrary. I am sure that you would love it if the more neutral editors here would all just go away; that's really the crux of the issue. (talk) 21:47, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
Changing, switching and discarding identities on Wikipedia when they no longer suit your purposes? I think I'll use the word 'disguise' for that, thanks. And just because most people do not agree with your highly slanted viewpoint does not mean that they are not neutral. Quite the reverse. Anyway, I'll leave you to continue your campaign... Bonusballs (talk) 21:56, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
I believe "" is in Londonderry NH. But is this why CarthCarsen/ seems so particularly insistent on the 6 month sentence and on the unreality of the 35 or 50-year threat? The subject's attorney seemed to consider the threat credible, but of course someone who speaks frequently to the DA might be in a position to know her intentions. And of course that would explain the enthusiasm and urgency for pushing this particular POV. MarkBernstein (talk) 21:59, 23 January 2013 (UTC)


Now that our voluble friend has been blocked for 12 hours, I have two immediate suggestions:

  • Let's revert to a baseline, as suggested above
  • Let's archive today's huge talk page spiel somewhere where it's not underfoot, but accessible when needed by the admins as, I fear, it's bound to be soon.

Thanks to all for helping with the cleanup. MarkBernstein (talk) 22:10, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Thoroughly disagreed. There are quite a few edits, small and big. Please state objections to each of them. I don't care about your internal wars, but I don't like being reverted without solid reason. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:18, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Staszek Lem. So I've tried to toss out bathwater without harming the baby. Please review my edits and see if they accomplish the baseline we're looking for by scalpel rather than meat cleaver. (Is there a Barnstar for the mixing of metaphors?)
I'd also like to leave the whole kerfuffle on this page visible for some time to come. I think it may help editors not familiar with what's gone on over the last couple of days understand the sensitivity, civility and collegiality that are necessary for handling this powderkeg. (More metaphor mangling - this time with bonus alliteration.)
If the consensus runs against me on this, may I suggest collapsing rather than archiving. Well, I guess I may. I just did. David in DC (talk) 23:20, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Fine with me -- thanks for doing all that hard work! Another thing we might attempt: I suspect that we have nowhere near all the subject's publications.For example, the Demand Progress statement mentions that "the results [of a Westlaw study of 400,000 articles] were published in the Stanford Law Review". Can someone with a handy law library find the reference? MarkBernstein (talk) 23:36, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

New details on previous JSTOR access at MIT, details of MIT's investigation released

Details are here. There are helpful statements from the security/IT analyst as to steps Swartz took to evade detection, as well as the previous massive (and rapid) access to JSTOR months before. The article helps show why MIT treated the access so seriously. (talk) 14:33, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

How much of this new, helpful info to include? It gives much useful detail on the events that occurred at MIT, including the aftermath and why MIT was less inclined than JSTOR to let things lie, "right" or "wrong". Some of this info should be added to give helpful context, together with a brief mention of Edward Tufte's interaction with JSTOR. Before I get jumped on: this will in no way minimize Aaron Swartz's legacy. For anyone who thinks it will, a better way to look at it is that if you make it seem like he did nothing whatsoever that was possibly punishable, any claim to civil disobedience goes out the window. (talk) 15:13, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Interesting. Also interesting that someone at MIT is leaking internal emails to the New York Times. Is that not a felony violation of the CFAA? Seriously, I want to know your opinion on that. Nah, just kidding; I don't care what you think.
Well, anyway, welcome back, but you need to stop the axe-grinding. You should stop caring what people think about Swartz. And I note that the article strongly suggests that JSTOR didn't "let things lie" until it was too late; before Tufte urged them to settle with Swartz, "furious" JSTOR officials had already badgered MIT to treat the downloading as a criminal matter.
Moving along, here's my summary of the potentially useful info in that news story:
MIT isn't saying anything yet, but the reporter speculates that when the laptop was discovered, MIT may have gotten the police involved for at least three three reasons:
  • MIT officials thought they had solved the problem, but the intruder was back, employing a more sophisticated strategy for downloading and evading detection (this seems to be the reporter's own analysis after reviewing internal emails and MIT security analyst's timeline)
  • "Brief activity from China" was observed on the netbook (reporter's source: MIT security analyst's timeline). The reporter notes such activity is ordinarily not a concern.
  • Pressure from "furious" JSTOR officials to treat "the magnitude, systematic and careful nature of the abuses [...] as approaching criminal action" (reporter's source: email conversation between MIT director of libraries and the MIT official receiving JSTOR's complaints)
We can't yet say these are reasons why MIT called the cops, but we can probably just mention the China activity and JSTOR pressure.
Further disclosures:
  • Once police were called, MIT police, Cambridge police, and Secret Service agent Pickett were on-scene in quick succession. (reporter's source: timeline)
  • Agent Pickett recommended installing a camera and laptop to better monitor the closet and network traffic. (reporter's source: timeline)
  • From then on, "the government [...] compelled M.I.T. to collect and hand over evidence" (reporter's source: Aaron's father, Bob Swartz, recalling what he was told by members of MIT's legal team after Aaron's arrest)
The report also talks about the evidence collection hearing that was pending:
  • A warrant may have been necessary to collect evidence from the netbook (says Swartz's lawyer and "some of Mr. Swartz's defenders")
  • A warrant was not necessary, because Swartz was a "trespasser" at MIT and thus couldn't expect privacy (says the DOJ)
  • The judge had agreed to hear both sides of this dispute and rule on whether Swartz's 4th Amendment rights were violated. (I'm pretty sure this is in the case docket)
And finally, the opinion of an outside party is reported:
  • MIT "had to assume any hackers were 'the Chinese'" (says Michael Sussmann, a Washington lawyer and former federal prosecutor of computer crime)
  • MIT's hands were tied once the police were called; the investigation had to proceed (says Sussmann)
Phew. OK, so, I would appreciate if others would read the New York Times piece and see if they agree with my summary of its highlights! Is all of it worthy of inclusion here in Wikipedia? My gut feeling here is that none of it is urgent to include now, but is great fodder for a timeline of our own, something I was thinking would be necessary if/when the JSTOR section is forked. —mjb (talk) 16:35, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Let’s wait for the Abelson investigation. The NY Times report contains little or nothing new, and it necessarily depends exclusively on leaks from people with links to MIT police or (what a coincidence!) the DA's office. MarkBernstein (talk) 16:14, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Undid attempt by MarkBernstein to throw away much work

Among other things, MarkBernstein's extremely harmful edit re-inserted factual inaccuracies (e.g. "about" 4 million JSTOR documents allegedly downloaded, instead of close to five million at 4.8 million-plus; eliminating the clarification by Demand Progress's David Segal that his comments were general and not related to the specifics of the case; etc. etc. etc.). MarkBernstein, you need to get some distance if you can't stand accurate facts being reported in this article, simply because they may portray a less than saintly picture of Swartz. He did what he did; it actually minimizes his actions in a way that's harmful to accuracy and his legacy as an activist to whitewash them. That means no minimizing what he did, and no demonizing of the prosecution either, nor painting unrealistic pictures of the penalties faced should be tolerated. He engaged in what he viewed as civil disobedience, which can involve consequences. (talk) 20:12, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

I tried to restore a baseline from David in DC, but (as expected) reverted in seconds. That's his 15th edit of the page today -- nbot counting 13 on the Talk page -- all IMHO pushing a POV. It's only noon in the Pacific Time Zone. This is regrettable. It would be good if something could be done without more grief; we have grief enough. MarkBernstein (talk) 20:20, 23 January 2013 (UTC)'s edits seem a tad tendentious and fractious. On the 4/5 million issue; I know this solution might be a little to obvious to work, but why not just reflect what the source says "4.8 million". NickCT (talk) 20:27, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
I've attempted to address this. See #Amount downloaded. —mjb (talk) 03:31, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
You've already stated that you are motivated by your grief over Aaron Swartz. I suspect that any edit which does not tend to glorify him in some way will seem to you, at present, to advance a particular point of view. This is borne out by your recent edits. There is no harm in factual accuracy. (talk) 20:45, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
But there is great harm in incivility and in turning wikipedia into a battleground. As noted above, edit-warring is a broader concept than simply violating the 3RR rule. David in DC (talk) 20:54, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
When I am treated incivilly, I do not respond with pleasantries. Regarding my edits on this page, they improved the page and should have been no cause for controversy. Certain others simply cannot take edits which do not glorify Aaron Swartz in the proper spirit. Meanwhile, biased user Nomoskadecity defaced my talk page with a stop sign, but added a pleasantry to MarkBernstein's own talk page over Bernstein's 3RR violation and edit warring. Nomoskadecity even warned MarkBernstein to stay away from admins until this all blows over. How's that for a welcoming spirit? Pure and simple: I do not take kindly to unkind treatment, and no amount of rule-quoting makes biased editing okay. (talk) 20:59, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
I've also noted that you have 4 or more reverts under your belt within a 24-hour period. Nomoskadecity, of course, instead of reporting, warned you not to bring it before the admins to keep yourself safe; I am assuming that is also why Nomoskadecity has not reported me. It's nice to edit in the spirit of bonhomie and all that. I mention the reverts in case an admin reads this, but more importantly to point out to you that you simply cannot be neutral regarding this article. You (all of you) should ask yourselves whether you want to play at being neutral, or to really be neutral even when it may not feel great to you emotionally. If you can't avoid whitewashing, avoid editing an encyclopedia until you can. (talk) 20:59, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

In light today's prodigious stream of edits -- I suggest that we choose some reasonable baseline -- David in DC’s is fine but others might be better -- and restore the article to that state. I think that would save lots of work and annoyance. MarkBernstein (talk) 21:02, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

That makes no kind of sense. In light of the large amount of work let's throw it away? You simply don't like that I pointed out David Segal's own characterization of his statements, that I pointed out how many articles had been downloaded, etc. What merits throwing all the edits away, now that you're done violating 3RR? (talk) 21:07, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

I have undone an attempt by user Jonathunder to redo the mass throwing-away of others' work without any justification. If that is a rules violation, please investigate first the possible use of a meat puppet in Jonathunder (to avoid a SIXTH 3RR violation by MarkBernstein) and also ask for justification on just which of the reverted many edits were not correctly cited. Like it or not, mass-reverting edits with which you don't emotionally agree is not going to result in neutrality. (talk) 21:55, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Ummm..... If I'm reading my tools right -- and I might be wrong -- Jonathunder has some 11,000 article edits under his belt and has been a Wikipedian since 2004. And he's a sysop. So, thank for the compliment. MarkBernstein (talk) 22:05, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Peacock terms

In the flurry of news articles after the recent events I noticed that quite a few writers write so as an impression is that Swartz almost single-handedly invented the internets (OK, not the whole but at least bunch of TLAS).

Correct me if I am wrong, but I am against addition of any epithets, even if referenced. the dust is not settled yet and there is hardly a consensus that he was the bestest or the landmarker or etc. In any case, these are opinions and must be attributed, if belong to respectable experts in the domain, not to random journalists or colleagues.

For this reason I've just reverted one addition of one epithet, "landmark analysis". Who is an Anne Sewell in wiki world to judge that it was landmark/cornerstone/groundbreaking? Please provide an opinion of expert, otherwise it has no place in wikipedia. Staszek Lem (talk) 02:19, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Hate to say it, but you are indeed wrong. You link to the definition of PEACOCK but that section of the manual of style clearly states "Words such as these are often used without attribution to promote the subject of an article..." (emphasis mine). In this case the term is taken from a direct quote from a reliable source. When reliably sourced--which is the case here--the use of terms as "landmark" are not only relevant but bring needed context to an article. Without the term, Swartz's analysis is merely a passing fact in his life. With the term, his analysis is placed where it rightfully belongs, as a landmark early study of Wikipedia.--SouthernNights (talk) 02:30, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Say it again, who claims that his is a landmark analysis ? How it was concluded? Like I wrote above, I can readily find a citation that Swartz invented RSS and RDF. So what? Also I can find citations to the end that Swartz was a tireless criminal. PEACOCK is PEACOCK is PEACOCK unless based of verifiable analysis which have led to the high judgement. Staszek Lem (talk) 02:44, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't think "landmark" is a term suggestive of something absolute. "Landmark" is simply suggestive of an analysis that is stunning, surprising, or somewhat precedent-setting. But the sentence could be rewritten as: "In 2006, Swartz wrote what has been referred to as a 'landmark analysis'…" Bus stop (talk) 02:54, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
I agree that emphasizing the prominence of this result makes sense; it is one of the best known and most significant results in the research literature of wikis. "Landmark" happens to be the term used in the available reference. MarkBernstein (talk) 04:03, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
If we're going to start relying on opinion bites from non-notable writers from sources that are not established as reliable--essentially no better than blog posts--we should give up any claim to this being an encyclopedia. In this case, the quote at issue was only inserted to get that puffing word "landmark" into the article. This is no more notable than Joe Blow from Kokomo calling Swartz a "great genius and internet visionary"-- in fact that'd be exactly as notable. (talk) 15:09, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
I believe this to be a reasonable characterization of the importance of this research, published in a reliable source. As I recall, is a part-time lawyer. As it happens, I'm a researcher in this field, a past program chair of WikiSym and current program chair of Web Science. We may be able to find a more detailed and colorful characterization, but for now "landmark" will suffice. (I note again in passing that each of 75.67's extraordinarily numerous edits grinds the same axe, torquing the article to minimize the subject's accomplishments and maximize his apparent culpability.) MarkBernstein (talk) 16:04, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
If I grind any axe, it is that of neutrality, in an article where you, among some others, have no possible claim to a non-biased point of view. Your 3RR violations and mass wipe-outs of the edits of others all serve the single purpose of glorifying Aaron Swartz at all costs, and keeping out any mention of facts that might in your personal view interfere with that. This is an encyclopedia, not a C.V. for a deceased person admired by many. Your personal beliefs as to the correctness of the term "landmark" do not serve to convert a non-notable mention from an unreliable one into a notable comment from a reliable source. In other words, your original "research" + non-notable source != notability. (talk) 16:22, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
It's a notable mention from a notable source, though one you happen to disagree with. No original research involved -- though as it happens I've published a fair amount of research in the field. MarkBernstein (talk) 16:44, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
I am neither agreeing, nor disagreeing. I am merely saying that the opition of an Anne Sewell (not corroborated by anything in the quote, not a slightest discussion) is WP:UNDUE. If it is indeed a result of note, please find a quote from an expert source, which, in part, explains why it made a mark on a land of wiki. Staszek Lem (talk) 16:56, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Amount downloaded

There was some dispute over the estimated number of documents Swartz allegedly downloaded, and whether to round up or down to the nearest million. I sought to address this by simply calling it "a large number" and adding a note of explanation, just as was done to resolve the Reddit issue. When chasing the sources of info, here's what I found:

  • MIT network admins estimated "approximately 70 gigabytes [...] 98% of which was from JSTOR" (source: MIT police report)
  • The DOJ initially estimated "4.8 million articles" and that "1.7 million" of those were not free-of-charge (source: first indictment)
  • The DOJ then rounded this to "over 4 million articles" (source: press release after first indictment was unsealed)
  • The DOJ then replaced the indictment's numeric estimate with "a major portion of the total archive" (source: second indictment)

It would probably be a WP:OR violation to say the DOJ retracted its estimate of 4.8 million, but that's what it sure looks like. If there are any further estimates that aren't just parroting the numbers from before the second indictment, please add them into the note. —mjb (talk) 03:31, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

well done. MarkBernstein (talk) 04:04, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Path Forward

It appears that our twice-blocked friend, CarthCarsen/IP, is back again. He's a persistent fellow, and it appears he doesn't have anything else to do with his time, and that every morning he'll remove some more information about the subject's accomplishments and add more insinuations of his criminality.

  • This won't last forever; I think it's clear he's the kind of single-purpose editor-on-a-mission who is bound to get blocked eventually. Or perhaps his boss will give him a new task. So one option is to wait, let him play for a while, and then restore the page.
  • A second option course of action, of course. would be to NPOV the page, or the problematic sections. (Carth/IP is nothing if not thorough, so there are seldom unproblematic sections)
  • A third option might be an RfD or something of that ilk. That might hasten the resolution, but it might be feeding the troll.
  • Or, fourth, we can persist in repairing things bit by bit. This will require lots of hands, time, and patience. Thanks especially to DavidInDC for undertaking all that repair work yesterday, and MjB for braving the inevitable storm.

None of these strike me as particularly great options. Better approaches would be very welcome. MarkBernstein (talk) 16:41, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Your actions are beyond the pale. Now you're accusing me without any possible basis of sprinkling NPOV violations throughout the article? (talk) 17:03, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Problematic edits by MarkBernstein

User:MarkBernstein continues to wage war against anyone attempting to inject neutrality in this article. He apparently cannot abide any mention of any facts tending to do less than exonerate or paint a saintly picture of the subject. It has gotten so severe that it constitutes vandalism, in my opinion. Now, he's removing factual events from the article, based on his original research on pejorative connotations. Note that instead of supplying a more suitable word, his approach is to simply eliminate the event from the history presented. Today he has also shown that he cannot abide by a characterization of a quote by the speaker, reverting an edit to improve the article by including it, along with other reversions. Just yesterday, he was guilty of 3RR violations. Yesterday he also proceeded to throw out a large number of edits without justification.

I would suggest that someone who relentlessly reverts any edits tending to move an article in the direction of neutrality, coupled with personal attacks and 3RR violations, is not able to edit that article in good faith, or at least in a non-biased way. I don't know the solution in this case, and am certainly no expert on Wikipedia procedures, but this situation is really untenable. As one of the few editors here actually working to make this article less biased while presenting the full factual picture, I would appreciate some thoughts from others. (talk) 16:54, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Can I suggest that you examine your own behaviour first, before criticising others? Since January 15th you have repeatedly arrived, made highly controversial and non-neutral edits, and then cried 'edit war' the moment those edits were reverted. You continue to post inflammatory demands on these talk pages and in your edit summaries, demanding that others do not revert your edits (that's not how it works, I'm afraid) and then single out editors by name, always claiming that they are the source of the problem. You've been blocked twice already for this behaviour. I think it's time for you to take a step back and examine why this single article seems to be so important to you, before continuing attempting to smear and impugn the motives and reputations of other editors. Bonusballs (talk) 17:34, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Bonusballs, we know that you have a personal beef with me. Tally up one like-motivated ally for MarkBernstein's campaign of corrupting this article. You are one of the more problematic editors here, prone to shouting about sham consensus in order to achieve your goals. (talk) 17:39, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
I have no personal beef with you, other than your repeated attempts to smear me in the eyes of others who, thankfully, are not so easily fooled and have seen this behaviour before. As was explained to you when you were editing as User:CarthCarsen - before your first block for edit warring - one of the central tenets of Wikipedia is to Assume Good Faith in others' behaviour. Unfortunately you don't seem to be able or willing to do that. The edit history of both your named account, and the IP address you edit from while signed out, ably demonstrate that you let fly with insults and false accusations the moment anyone calls you on your editing, which is against published Wikipedia standards. You accuse me of having 'goals' and (as Carth) also accused me of being personally involved or related to the subject, when in fact I'm not even in the same country as the events and subjects of this article. You, however, if your talk pages are to be believed, are a part-time attorney living in the very same court distict as the case is located. It seems inconceivable that you cannot have some relation to the people and institutions behind this prosecution. But none of that matters, because the only thing an editor is judged on are the quality of their edits. Unfortunately yours are uniquely biased and one-sided, which leads on to your behavioural issue when you then turn everything into some kind of amazing battleground. There really is no need for it. Not only is there not a need for it, is actively not wanted on Wikipedia. If you can edit neutrally, if you can be nice to other people, by all means welcome aboard. If you cannot follow the very simple guidelines and behave in a truly neutral and unbiased manner, perhaps there are other avenues where you could more usefully contribute your spare time? Bonusballs (talk) 17:54, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Your behavior on this talk page speaks for itself. Sham consensus is a sham, and nastiness is nasty. I am shocked that you of all people claim one-sidedness in others. My actions in editing this article have consistently been in the direction of greater factual accuracy and neutrality. In an article jam-packed with glorification of the subject, that will I suppose seem biased to those with the opposite agenda. The ones here have gone so far as to suggest that I am in league with the prosecution. A rare sort of humor is to be found in some of these situations, but it's at the expense of the encyclopedia, unfortunately. I'm just glad that in this particular case the defaced article will do no more than to mislead readers into belief in an overblown legend. I wonder if editors such as yourself are found in technical or other factually rich areas where people may depend on the information to worse detriment... I sure hope not. You are obviously unable to control yourself when you are emotionally invested in the subject matter of an article. (talk) 17:59, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
As I said, I have no emotional investement in this at all. You, however, seem to edit only this article and those related to it. Can I remind you of the edit you made to JStor, one of which was to remove a harmless picture of Mr Swartz? Your edit comment at the time said: "Including the smiling face of Aaron Swartz smacks of hero worship and a hidden agenda. Just the facts, please-- Swartz has his own page with pictures". It really does seem that you have an axe to grind here, and you don't hide it too well under the supposed cloak of neutrality. If even a picture of Aaron is somehow 'glorifying' our 'hero' and advancing our 'agenda', it really does suggest that you're seeing something here which nobody else does. Bonusballs (talk) 18:10, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
That edit was well-founded. Whoever inserted the face of Aaron Swartz into the JSTOR article had the agenda, not me. The fact that you can't see it goes to your massive bias on this issue. I no more expect to see Swartz's smiling face in the JSTOR article than I'd expect to see his mugshot. Bleating about axe-grinding while ignoring your own blatant bias may convince MarkBernstein, but is truly unconvincing to someone with the ability to view things impartially. (talk) 18:17, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Alternatively, perhaps whoever included that picture merely wished to help illustrate the article - something which is often useful and encouraged. Can you Assume Good Faith and accept that possibility? Bonusballs (talk) 18:21, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
I cannot take tutelage from you on assuming good faith. Sorry! (talk) 18:23, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough. I hope you'll bear it in mind, though, if and when others mention the term in future. Bonusballs (talk) 18:26, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
I hope you will bear Wikipedia rules in mind when pretending to abide by them. Assuming good faith would be a great start for you, instead of suggesting that others are sockpuppets. (talk) 18:35, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
That doesn't square with the facts considering that the very first interaction you had with me, while reverting one of my edits, was "Removed edit by Bonusballs. Thank you for signing in; please avoid edit-warring, and see the talk page where consensus has begun to develop on these one-sided third-party quotes.)" - your VERY FIRST act before I had even spoken to you was to accuse me of editing while signed out (untrue; but which is clearly an activity with which you are aware, as you are doing it now), to "please avoid edit-warring" (untrue; especially when talking about a single edit on an article that I had never touched before - whereas you have been blocked, both on your account and your IP address, for the very edit-warring activity that you accuse others of), and "see the talk page" - something which you absolutely refused to engage with during your multiple removals and reverts on the article. It seems that absolutely everything you accuse other people of, often falsely, are actually things which you yourself are guilty of. Maybe you should reflect on that? Bonusballs (talk) 18:44, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
It squares just fine. The fact that your edit-warring went unpunished doesn't mean it didn't happen. (talk) 19:41, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
I stand by my actions. The only person edit-warring here is you. Bonusballs (talk) 19:45, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Of course you do. But you misrepresented having consensus while ignoring concerns over POV in the article expressed by me as well as at least by ErrantX, Peteforsyth, My76Strat, AutomaticStrikeout and Chicken Wing. And you did indeed edit war. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:19, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
I stand by each and every one of those edits, for the reasons I gave in the edit summaries. (And most eloquently too, I would like to think.) You were repeatedly making very unsatisfactory and non-neutral edits to the article, ignoring the majority consensus and refusing to discuss the matter properly on the talk page. And I was by no means the only one - lots of other editors reverted your edits too, a clear sign that the problem does not lie with me or any other single individual who you may attempt (again) to point the finger at. Go back and look over the mile-long list of edits where you just removed stuff claiming "NPOV violation" when they were no such thing, and just happened to be quotes that you personally disagreed with. Facts are the ultimate arbiter in any dispute - the visible history of the article is not on your side on this one. But none of that matters - because it's your contributions going forward that can help improve this article. How about it? Assume Good Faith and try working with others to make things better? Bonusballs (talk) 21:25, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

It is a well-known and reported problem of wikipedia: many articles are handled by zealots, the rest doesn't gives a fuck, and rightly so. For example, I am not going to start a RFC because of a single word I object in the article. This is such a speck of dust compared to World Peace. Come back in a year, when dust settles. Staszek Lem (talk) 17:09, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. In my opinion the editing history of this page, and the relentless inclusion of a biased point of view, should be studied with an eye to improving the management of the encyclopedia. It's shameful, and tends to prove the inability of the community to self-moderate. When several of the zealots can band together and create "consensus", even over the objections of others, it seems that they can do anything they like; neutrality suffers; and some of those who value neutrality will be put off. Which, of course, will mightily please certain of the zealots. The rules can only work if they are respected; but it seems that on pages like this, the rules are only applied as necessary to advance a particular goal with regard to an article, and the rest turns into a popularity contest. (talk) 17:38, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Please don't get me wrong: there is nothing bad with being a zealot. It is people with zeal who change the world. But to combat people with zeal requires people with zeal. If there not enough people with "opposite" zeal, this probably says something about the significance of the topic. Or about significance of its possible "non-neutrality". Staszek Lem (talk) 18:03, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately, letting the dust settle won't solve anything. By that point so much POV nonsense will be shoved in the article, for a year or more, that anyone attempting to fix things will be pounced on by the MarkBernsteins and Bonusballs, loudly grimming about consensus (I suppose by that time MarkBernstein will have abandoned justifying his actions based on his emotional state, but who knows?). (talk) 18:08, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

My patience may soon wear thin. To avoid that outcome, I've sought review by an experienced admin who's already familiar with this matter [3] David in DC (talk) 18:16, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

I don't think you've recruited the right admin if this is to be done impartially. Jonathunder's first act here was to redo MarkBernstein's mass reversion, without specifying why all the edits were being reverted. Perhaps someone without the famous "axe to grind" would be a little more appropriate. In any review, I think your own editing history with respect to this page should be examined, as it's clearly biased-- and you've previously admitted your personal bias with respect to Aaron Swartz, whereas I have none. (talk) 18:22, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
By my informal count, in this specific thread you've denounced MarkBernstein, DavidinDC, BonusBalls, and Jonathunder -- all said to be cruelly blocking a consensus which appears to be composed of 75.67 and CarthCarsen. I might have missed one or two. MarkBernstein (talk) 18:34, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
I suppose I have "denounced" you by pointing out your massive reversion and whitewashing campaign. Many more than myself have stated concerns with the neutrality of this article, although I suppose it's convenient to consider them to be nonexistent. I have indeed stated that Bonusballs lacks neutrality (to put it mildly)-- read this talk page for more. I haven't "denounced" Jonathunder by pointing out a lack of neutrality evident in his reapplication of your mass reversion, without giving specifics on why so many edits were unworthy. Your aggression here is perfectly in line with your previous behavior-- and it seems to be a personality trait, looking at your talk page. (talk) 18:38, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Please point out where I've "previously admitted [my] personal bias with respect to Aaron Swartz". I fear you may be mistaking me for someone else.
As for a review of my editing history with respect to this page, you may have missed the second paragraph of my request to the admin.
In my experience, when an admin issues a block, it's best for that admin to remain involved, so there's less of a learning curve.
In my experience, accusations of bias against admins are usually both unfair and wrong. It's why I've resisted invitations to file an RfA. The prevailing ethic in interactions most admins are exposed to seems to be "No good deed goes unpunished." But please, seek review by the admin of your choice. Perhaps there's one whose judgment and neutrality you respect. There's gotta be one, right? If not, perhaps WP:ANI offers you an opportunity to find one. David in DC (talk) 18:43, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry. I put together your statement on my talk page about disagreeing with my points on neutrality, plus your mild whitewashing behavior evident in your edits (of which you may be unaware), and assumed you were saying, like others have here, that you were having difficulty being neutral. If you didn't intend that, I take it back. In any event I think Jonathunder's reapplication of MarkBernstein's mass revision, without giving proper justification, shows bias. I'm not saying he's a bad person, but his behavior with respect to this article is questionable. No discussion, just a swoop-in to redo one of MarkBernstein's 3RR-violating edits, pausing only to give me a block on the way out. (talk) 19:05, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Admins are both able and competent enough to judge a situation based exclusively on the actions of all the parties involved. No further "discussion" is required. Again, not how it works. Bonusballs (talk) 19:14, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

(Reposted after 'three consecutive edit conflicts: it's getting hard for anyone to write here given the sheer volume of 75.67's edits!) With reference to yesterday's discussion of "DUCK", would it be proper at some point to raise the question of a WP:COI here? I understand the importance of assuming good faith, but after two blocks and a talk page now running to 32,000 words (!), I'm sure that I'm not the only reader who is wondering about this. I hesitate to even mention it, and apologize in advance if it is wrong to do so. But how else could anyone ever inquire about COI of an IP poster? MarkBernstein (talk) 18:44, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

You're a liar, MarkBernstein; you've already raised that supposed issue above (see right up there in this same page where you, erroneously, placed me in Londonderry, New Hampshire?). The fact that you assume I'm in league with the prosecution merely because I seek to add factual balance to this article shows that you have no business editing until you can achieve neutrality. You're light-years from it. (talk) 19:10, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Where is the attention to MarkBernstein's biased behavior and violations? You have no right to call yourselves Wikipedia editors if you simply ignore it. Rules be damned if it's a pal sharing your POV, eh? 3RR violations and whitewashing are just fine, if you have personal affinity for the subject of an article? (talk) 18:59, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry! I did miss a brief allusion to the conflict of interest, which another user had raised in the belief that your IP address connects you to downtown Boston. Since we didn't know then that you were Carth, and since this page is so long and so dreary, perhaps I might be forgiven the slight oversight. "Liar" has a certain charm, though. As I wrote above, it appears your IP address actually connects you with Londonderry NH, though I suppose you could be anywhere. I do notice that you have not asserted that you have no conflict of interest here -- that you aren't, for example, related to an employee involved in the case, or in another case of this sort.
I'd also like to observe, just to pass the time of day, that you know a lot about wikipedia customs for someone who has (a pair of) essentially single-purpose accounts for less than two months. (OK, you had a fling at Vorarephilia (!) for a few days too in your other persona.) That might lead one to wonder if 75.67 and Carth are both alt accounts? >shrug< Doesn't matter to me, but I suppose it's easy enough for a sysop to check. MarkBernstein (talk) 19:13, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
So you... "missed" (i.e. forgot) your own previous assertion that I have a conflict of interest, based on your reckoning that I was posting from within 50 miles of the city of Boston? Anything to deflect. Again, if you ignore MarkBernstein's abuses, you have no business calling yourselves Wikipedia editors. (talk) 19:17, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
No abuse there. It's a matter of public record that the IP address is registered to a block which Comcast Communications use to serve the area of Boston. Different sources vary in pinpointing the precise location but one major directory gives Londonderry, New Hampshire, another suggests Hudson, New Hampshire. Bonusballs (talk) 19:23, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
You seem to use distraction and misdirection often. If course I didn't assert there was abuse in looking up an IP address, but simply showed that MarkBernstein is a liar as well as a conspiracy theorist. Again, if you ignore MarkBernstein's abuses, you have no business calling yourselves Wikipedia editors. Please ignore attempts to distract by Bonusballs and MarkBernstein; their intentions are obvious. (talk) 19:39, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

JSTOR Server Crash

I propose we delete the assertion that JSTOR's servers crashed.

  • First, the sources are -- at best -- divided on the question. Though the JSTOR Statement: Misuse Incident and Criminal Case is cited as a reference for this claim, it does not in fact support it. Alex Stamos’s statement, on the other hand, specifically denies it.
  • Second, it is improbable on the face of the matter. JSTOR clearly is conscious of security and monitors its networks -- its statement and Stamos’s statement agree on this -- and so clearly it is prepared both for conventional DDOS attacks and for spike loads that would occur when, for example, the students in the freshman comp course at the University of Minnesota all try to download the same page during a lecture. Swartz's scripts were clearly intended to be properly throttled -- why else leave the laptop running for an extended period?
  • Finally, if JSTOR's servers did crash, we don't have any evidence that the subject's work was responsible, or that a reasonable person in his position ought to have anticipated that a crash was likely.

We could says something like "JSTOR servers may have crashed, though this is disputed [ref][ref][ref][ref][ref]", but that really adds nothing worth having. MarkBernstein (talk) 15:15, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Since the issue was discussed in sources, I agree with your last suggestion. Staszek Lem (talk) 16:20, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
I scanned all the sources briefly, and the only mention of a crash I found was in the AP story. This referred to the indictment. But the superseding indictment does not claim any crash, even though that would have been material to the charge of damaging a computer. So it appears initial newspaper reports of a crash were simply inaccurate. MarkBernstein (talk) 16:45, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Regarding Stamos, I would not consider him an authority on this matter. His statement only says "The government provided no evidence that these downloads caused a negative effect on JSTOR or MIT." As an expert witness, it's doubtful he would've been privy to much of the evidence that was disclosed before/during discovery. Like most of the press, he probably only saw the indictment, at most, but evidence and sources aren't normally disclosed in indictments, only accusations.

Since most of the media coverage is based on the indictments, that's what we need to look at. The first indictment says, referring to the first wave of downloads (Sep. 25, 2010), "These rapid and massive downloads and download requests impaired computers used by JSTOR to service client research institutions." It later says that JSTOR blocked MIT for 3 days in response to the second wave of downloads (Sep. 26, after IP address shifting began) "because computers used by JSTOR to service client research institutions were again impaired..." Referring to the third wave of downloads (Oct. 9, 2010, after the MAC address changed and a 2nd computer was added to download), "The pace was so fast that it brought down some of JSTOR’s computer servers." So there was an allegation of a server crash.

The second, superseding indictment is where things get interesting. Regarding the first downloading wave, the wording was only changed slightly; it still refers to impairment. Regarding the second wave, though, were again impaired was changed to had been impaired. Referring to the third wave, the brought down was removed; instead, it says "The pace of Swartz's automated downloads was so fast and voluminous that it significantly impaired the operation of some computers at JSTOR." I find these edits particularly amusing because it amounts to a retraction of the claim that the 2nd wave had any effect at all, and that 3rd wave caused any sort of server crash.

So I think we can and should mention that the feds claim some of JSTOR's servers were "impaired" during two of the three downloading sessions. We should use scare quotes, though, because it's quite likely they have a broad definition of impairment, as you point out in your second bullet point. They could well have just been talking about a load spike and minor slowdown that didn't affect JSTOR's service in a meaningful way.

Like the other DOJ allegations, we need to be careful to explicitly state that this is a claim, not fact, at least not unless there's some confirmation from JSTOR. (Actually, we briefly had the crash claim attached to the previous sentence, which was qualified as an allegation, but someone split it into a separate sentence.) —mjb (talk) 17:48, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for your careful reading! It seems clear that the prosecution, while expanding the scope of the indictment, retracted most of the claims respecting damage to JSTOR's computers. Most likely, people who noticed the block on MIT interpreted this as a server crash, when in fact it was deliberately placed by JSTOR. In any case, the claim here that JSTOR servers crashed seems to rest on very little. MarkBernstein (talk) 18:00, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Lessig lecture

Lawrence Lessig has announced that he will dedicate his inaugural lecture as the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, on February 19 2013, to the topic of Swartz.[1] Wwwhatsup (talk) 22:35, 25 January 2013 (UTC)