Unsung Heroes and Freedom Fighters
Ross was the creator of the website, Silk Road. This website made it possible for consenting people to exchange goods similar in function to Ebay, but with the protection of being outside of the governments control. It allowed people to avoid taxation and violence from their government.
While Ross never sold illegal substances on this website, many people did. The government used this as an excuse to attack Ross personally for creating the marketplace where others acted illegally.
Ross was sentenced to double-life and 40 years as an example to other free people who might attempt to make marketplaces that support the freedom to exchange without coercion and extortion from their governments.
Ross's mother has been fighting to free Ross from this inhumane and unconstitutional imprisonment since he was sentenced. She is seeking 1,000,000 signatures to bring her petition for clemency to the US President. She is half way there.
Support her efforts and the liberation of our freedom fighters and Unsung Heroes from govenrment abuse!
Aaron was a major part of creating the internet as we know it. He helped develop Creative Commons, RSS feeds, Markdown, Reddit, and much more.
Besides his development work, Aaron was also a dedicated [h]activist, and following the success & sale of Reddit, Aaron founded watchdog.net (now defunct), founded Demand Progress, wrote the Guerrilla Open Source Manifesto, filed a FOIA request to discover the treatment of Chelsea Manning, and more.
In 2008, Aaron downloaded more than 2 million federal court documents from the government's PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) program, and released them to the nonprofit group public.resource.org - Doesn't seem like it would be a problem, right? Unfortunately the government was charging eight cents per page for people to access this public information, and governments never take kindly to people coming between them and their money.
In 2011, Swartz was arrested and charges with two counts of wire fraud and eleven violations of the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act for downloading thousands of academic journal files from JSTOR. For these charges, he faced $1,000,000 in fines, 35 years in prison, asset forfeiture, and more. Swartz declined a plea bargain, put forward a counter-offer, and was found dead in his apartment two days later.