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熱門: 七夕 北海道 茶葉蛋

迫「駭」知識:力推開放獲取 網路鬥士自縊

立報/本報訊 2013.01.23 00:00
策劃、編譯■李威撰26歲的網路鬥士史瓦茲11日自殺身亡,支持者19日齊聚紐約,追悼這名電腦天才。有部分民眾發出修改司法的呼聲,他們認為這是導致史瓦茲自殺的原因。下載百萬篇學術文章史瓦茲在14歲時,協同發明了早期的網站摘要規範(簡易資訊聚合,RSS)。另外他相信,學術研究的果實及其他資訊,應該要免費向所有人分享。史瓦茲陳屍於布魯克林的自家公寓。紐約市法醫長判定,史瓦茲是自殺上吊自殺而死。史瓦茲面臨美國聯邦政府起訴,控告理由是他利用麻省理工學院的電腦網路,從電子學術資料庫JSTOR盜取超過4百萬篇文章。史瓦茲面臨最高31年的刑期,罰款高達1百萬美元(約新台幣2,900萬元)。「他告訴我有關下載450萬篇學術文獻的事,我第一時間的反應是,麻省理工學院怎麼沒大肆慶祝一番?」史瓦茲的友人、同時也是耶魯大學資工系名譽教授的塔夫特,在古柏聯合學院的大禮堂上如此說道,台下民眾報以熱烈掌聲。▲史瓦茲在波士頓參加會議,圖攝於2009年8月19日。(圖/維基共享資源)史瓦茲的拍檔考夫曼,批評麻省理工學院對這起英勇事蹟「冷漠以對」。她說,學校可以有所作為,讓他免於被起訴。麻省理工學院校長上週曾表示,校方正調查自己在史瓦茲這起案件中所扮演的角色。JSTOR則在聲明中表示,他們跟史瓦茲之間的所有爭端,在2011年就已經落幕,而且還讚譽他「對網路發展的重要貢獻」。被司法逼入絕境在紐約舉行的追思活動,共有數百位友人及支持者參加。最激烈的抨擊,主要是針對麻州檢察長奧蒂茲而來。史瓦茲曾在軟體顧問公司ThoughtWorks服務,該公司的主席辛漢聲稱,控訴史瓦茲的這起案件是「濫用州權」,是有意要恫嚇史瓦茲。他呼籲修訂起訴史瓦茲的《電腦詐欺與濫用法》。史瓦茲的夥伴表示,這一切已超過史瓦茲能忍受的極限。考夫曼說:「他很害怕、很沮喪、很絕望,最糟糕的是他身心俱疲,我每次都在想,他的日子可能會熬不下去。」他補充道,史瓦茲跟女友討論在審判結束後要完婚。奧蒂茲為自己辦公室所採取的行動提出辯解,她說檢察官「肩負執法的艱難任務,他們發過誓要捍衛它,所以這麼做是合理的」。▲開放獲取的標誌。(圖/維基共享資源)奧蒂茲表示,他們曾就電信詐欺及電腦詐欺等多項罪名,給史瓦茲認罪協議,換取被判監禁在低戒備監獄6個月的機會。印象中,史瓦茲是一名早熟的天才,還是十幾歲的青少年時,他就開始在科技會議上發表演說。他有一些怪癖,譬如不愛喜碗盤及偏好薄餅或白飯之類的清淡食物。許多致詞人士表示,史瓦茲是他們目前所認識的人當中,最聰明、對智識最充滿好奇心的人。他們也籲求與會者,繼續發揚史瓦茲的工作,讓更多公眾能取得資訊及溝通管道。考夫曼表示,史瓦茲不喜歡這種盛大的儀式,對於這場追思活動,某些地方可能會惹他不滿。「但追思活動是為了生者而辦。」考夫曼數次反覆說道:「而上周五(1月11日),他捨棄了自己為此做決定的權利。」(路透Reuters)Supporters of Aaron Swartz, the 26-year-old Internet activist who committed suicide last week, gathered in New York to remember the computer prodigy(1) on Saturday, with some calling for changes in the criminal justice system they blame for his death.Swartz, who at 14 helped create an early version of the Web feed system RSS and believed the fruits of academic research and other information should be freely available to all, was found dead a week ago in his Brooklyn apartment. The city's chief medical examiner(2) ruled the death a suicide by hanging(3).He had been facing trial on federal charges he used the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's computer networks to steal more than 4 million articles from JSTOR, an online archive and journal distribution service. Swartz had faced a maximum sentence of 31 years in prison and fines of up to $1 million."He told me about the 4.5 million downloads of scholarly articles, and my first thought was why isn't MIT celebrating this?" Edward Tufte, an emeritus professor of computer science at Yale University and a friend of Swartz, said to applause from the crowd gathered in The Cooper Union's Great Hall in Manhattan.Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, Swartz's partner, criticized what she described as MIT's "indifference(4)" to the saga, saying the school could have acted to end his prosecution.The president of MIT said this week the school was investigating its role in Swartz's case. JSTOR has said in a statement it settled any dispute with Swartz in 2011 and praised his "important contributions to the development of the Internet."At the memorial, attended by hundreds of friends and supporters, the strongest criticisms were reserved for prosecutors in the office of Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts.Roy Singham, the chairman of ThoughtWorks, a software consultancy firm where Swartz worked, called the case against Swartz "an abuse of state power" intended to intimidate Swartz. He called for the reform of the Computer Fraud(5) and Abuse Act under which Swartz was prosecuted.Swartz's partner said it all became too much for him to bear. "He was so scared and so frustrated and so desperate and, more than anything else, just so weary. I think he just couldn't take it another day," Stinebrickner-Kauffman said, adding the pair had discussed getting married after the trial.Ortiz has defended her office's actions, saying prosecutors "took on the difficult task of enforcing a law they had taken an oath to uphold, and did so reasonably."She said they offered Swartz a deal to plead guilty to multiple counts of wire fraud and computer fraud and spend six months at a low-security facility.Swartz was remembered as a precocious talent who began addressing technology conferences as a teenager and whose quirks included being loath to wash his dishes and preferring bland foods like crackers and white rice.Many speakers said he was by far the smartest and most intellectually curious person they had known, and called on those in attendance to continue his work of trying to widen the public's access to information and communication channels.Stinebrickner-Kauffman said Swartz disliked grand ceremonies and would have been uncomfortable with some aspects of his own memorial. "But memorial services are for the living," she said, repeating it several times like a mantra, "and last Friday he forfeited his right to decide that."(Reuters)關鍵字詞1.prodigy(n.)奇才2.medical examiner(n.)法醫3.hanging(n.)吊死4.indifference(n.)漠不關心5.fraud(n.)欺騙

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