Jailbreaking Information: the Legacy of Hacktivist Aaron Swartz

Thursday, March 7th at Fondren Library Center, 6:30 pm

Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz: Radical, programmer, pundit or thief?
Image by Sage Ross. CC-BY-SA 2.0

Radical, programmer, pundit or thief?

“We need to take the information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access.”

Aaron Swartz, July 2008

Five years after posting “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto” on archive.org, Aaron Swartz, facing federal prosecution and the threat of decades of prison time, took his life. The crime? Downloading nearly 5 million articles from the database JSTOR after hacking MIT’s computer network.¬† Swartz was more than a radical or an accused thief. A fellow at Harvard University’s Safra Center for Ethics and gifted computer programmer, he was a well-known and well-liked figure in the open access movement.

SMU Central University Libraries hosts a panel discussion of¬†Swartz’s legacy, and how his actions could impact millions of students, teachers, researchers and publishers around the globe.


  • Dr. Nathan R. Huntoon, Director Innovation Gymnasium, Lyle School of Engineering


  • Mary Hollerich, Assistant Dean for Scholarly Resources and Research Services, Central University Libraries
  • Dr. Tyler Moore, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering
  • George Finney, Director of Digital Interests/Information Security Officer, Office of Information Technology
  • Dr. David Sedman, Director of Technology & Associate Professor of Cinema-TV, Meadows School of the Arts

Event Information

Date: Thursday, March 7
6:30 – 8:00 pm
Location: Fondren Library Center, SIC Mezzanine

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