Chelsea Manning was arrested, imprisoned in solitary confinement for nine months, and court-martialed for leaking nearly half a million classified government documents, including the infamous “Collateral Murder” gunsight video. She was an intelligence analyst in the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division, is twenty-four, and comes from Crescent, Oklahoma.
But who is Private First Class Chelsea Manning? Why did she commit the largest security breach in American history—and why was it so easy? In this book, the astonishing leaks attributed to Chelsea Manning are viewed from many angles, from Tunisia to Guantánamo Bay, from Foggy Bottom to Baghdad to small-town Oklahoma. Around the world, the eloquent act of one young woman obliges citizens to ask themselves if they have the right to know what their government is doing.
Aaron Swartz (1986–2013) was an American computer programmer, a writer, a political organizer, and an Internet hacktivist, devoted to a free and open internet. He was involved in the development of RSS, Creative Commons, web.py, and Reddit. When he tried to 'liberate' data from an academic website, US authorities responded fiercely. He faced a fine of up to $1m and 35 years in jail. In 2013, he tragically took his own life.
The Boy Who Could Change the World is a newly-published collection of his writings; the life’s work of one of the most original minds of our time. In tribute to Swartz, this book is available to download for FREE—for one day only! We’ve also included other ebooks such as Inventing the Future, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy, and The Wikileaks Files.
Aaron Swartz read widely, posting annual lists of the books he enjoyed (and didn’t). Taken from The Boy Who Could Change the World, we bring you a hacktivist reading list – books that Swartz posted about from 2006-2011, presented here in his own words.
To what extent should the US disrupt the growth of ISIS? And should it be on the offense or defense? Wikileaks Whistleblower Chelsea Manning was an all-source analyst in Iraq during the beginnings of the brutal extremist group and writes in the Guardian:
Attacking Isis directly, by air strikes or special operations forces, is a very tempting option available to policymakers, with immediate (but not always good) results. Unfortunately, when the west fights fire with fire, we feed into a cycle of outrage, recruitment, organizing and even more fighting that goes back decades. This is exactly what happened in Iraq during the height of a civil war in 2006 and 2007, and it can only be expected to occur again.
The panicky response to WikiLeaks from some liberals has had its opera buffa highlights. WNYC radio host Brian Lehrer and New Yorker liberal hawk George Packer clucked like wet hens in horror at WikiLeaks’ release of a (ludicrously) classified list of world locations of strategic interest to the United States. Can we ever be safe now that the terrorists know there are vast mineral reserves in Central Africa, and that the Strait of Gibraltar is a vital shipping lane? Ambrose Bierce said that war is God’s way of teaching geography to Americans, but have we become so infantilized that grade-school factoids must be guarded as state secrets?