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The re-titling of this article here on HN(#) I feel misses an important point that it's trying to make. While we are all affected by the death of Aaron Swartz as a member of our community, when it comes to issues of prosecutorial / judicial excess, hackers are an extreme minority. Most victims of overly aggressive prosecution are disadvantaged racially, socio-economically, educationally, and are often addicts in need of medical treatment. Aaron was privileged in all these ways which most people in the grips of our legal system are not; and while his privileges don't lessen the tragedy of his death or the injustice of his situation, they are the reason his name has national recognition at this point. Describing the situation as "Aaron Swartz was Screwed by the War on Drugs" ignores the millions of other nameless, faceless people who have also been screwed by it. It's fine to use Aaron as an example. If his privilege can be leveraged to effect greater change in society then there is some positive to be found in it, but I get a bad taste in my mouth when I see many people limiting their concerns solely to other hackers.

(#) EDIT: The original title from The Economist has been restored since I posted this.

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