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3 pages/≈825 words
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MLA
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Communications & Media
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English (U.S.)
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The Internet's Own Boy Research Assignment (Essay Sample)

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ESSAY ON The Internet's Own Boy

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The Internet's Own Boy
The documentary film The Internet's Own Boy, authored and directed by Brian Knappenberger, assimilates the story of programming prodigy together with material activist Aaron Swartz. The piece recounts the story of Swartz’s initiative to download millions of documents from the Internet, especially the academic archive JSTOR, which eventually led to his demise. From Swartz’s assistance in the expansion of the foundational internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints appear everywhere on the Internet. This essay provides an overview of the documentary, and the main message depicted in the sociological context. Further, it discusses the unfolding events supporting the author’s claims of censorship based on evidence in the film. In the concluding paragraphs, it offers a reflection on the author’s opinion concerning the solution to the menace of governments unfairly targeting innocent innovators.
It seems Swartz’s revolution in political and social justice organization alongside his aggressive approach to access of information fascinated him to a two-year legal dread hence, marked a battle that concluded with the taking of his life at the 26 years old. Overall, the film provides a personal story concerned with what people lose when they are tone deaf about technology and its association with civil liberties (Knappenberger n.pag). Even though the film shows that over-ambition leads to tragedy, it depicts the clash between the digital generation and what they consider as the prehistoric and unjust establishment in addition to an attempt by the authority to make a definite instance of individuals who creep up the status quo.
Swartz became a key target of the FBI for alleged computer crimes, which never involved theft of personal identity information. According to the documentary, the prosecutors purported that Swartz downloaded too many digital articles from the JSTOR library, yet it had limited access to the MIT network. To that extent, the prosecutors argue that he dishonored the terms and conditions of the site, by writing a script to copy the digital sources to his laptop. By this time, however, Swartz had reverted the data he downloaded from the library’s site, and JSTOR had expressed they had no desire to pursue criminal proceedings over the case. Despite a clear stand by JSTOR, the American government declined to withdraw from the case, eventually filing felony charges against Swartz (Knappenberger n.pag). As the author shows, Swartz’s death was a consequence of the emotional criminal justice system that focused on vengeance over justice, power over mercy. The justice system punishes innocent individuals and consists of structures aligned to destroy innovators that contradict the status quo.
Given the above claim, Knappenberger proposes a reform in the crumbling the American legal system, especially the ill-conceived Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) that, at least for him, led to successful prosecution of Swartz. The documentary reveals that the CFAA is an obsolete law, complete with abstruse wordings, devised nearly four decades ago to criminalize specific computer-related acts in the era of underserved excitement adjoining war of games. Knappenberger, through the documentary film, suggests that the CFAA requires reform, yet it remains a complex issue, even proposed with the tech companies. It represents an outdated legal piece used in one-size-fits-all situation hammer. The law provides the state with the power to pursue after anything related to internet hacking. Conferring to the wider picture of the Department of Justice system, besides the events of its division, it turns out to be a devastating system fundamentally focusing on drug war more than anything else does. The film The Internet’s Own Boy stages a considerate and powerful personal story revealing the darker side of internet censure in the wake of the digital generation.
Swartz emerged as an online champion over the years for assisting in establishing simulated vast information abundantly obtainable to society. ...
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