Who Then Shall Watch The Watchers?

Posted: July 20, 2011 in Songs of Space and Nuclear War
Tags: , , , , ,

swartsWhat is the DoD solution to the broken acquisition process?  1) Add more government acquisition professionals and 2) lean on industry like Wal-Mart leans on its vendors.  But sometimes the idea of ever-increasing supervision and overhead hits a wall.  Like when a researcher goes rogue, supervision is clueless or asleep at the switch, or perhaps worse, if they’re all untrustworthy (along with their processes) to begin with.  From Naked Security:

A 24-year-old, described as a researcher at Harvard University’s Center for Ethics, has been arrested in Massachusetts, USA, on a raft of computer crime charges.

And just what is the raft?  From the New York Times:

He faces up to 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines for charges related to wire fraud, computer fraud and unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer.

Back to Naked Security:

The courts now have to decide whether [the defendant Aaron] Swartz really did steal a whopping 4.8 million articles from an academic archive, including 1.7 million articles which weren’t free.

If this were an acquisition program, the government solution would be to plus-up the grants for Harvard’s Center for Ethics receives.  Why?  To hire one or two supervisors to better supervise Swartz.  Or maybe to send him to more ethics training.

Swartz is described as a “former executive director and founder of Demand Progress.” If you read Demand Progress’ mission statements, you might draw the conclusion that Swartz appears to have had a hidden agenda, unless “progressive policy changes” can be redefined to mean being charged with the massive theft of copyrighted materials.

I’ve heard information wants to be free.  I’ve also heard it has value and as such, tends to be be stolen.

May the Swartz not be with you.

(photo: Demand Progress) 

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