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The Internet’s Own Boy

THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY follows the story of prodigy Aaron Swartz, whose groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing combined with an aggressive approach to information access ensnared him in a legal nightmare, which ended in the taking of his own life.

Director: Brian Knappenberger
Year: 2014
Time: 105 min

 The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz
(2014) on IMDb

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Share this film. Give others the chance to learn from its story.

Consider getting involved with Demand Progress, which “mobilizes the public to challenge entrenched power and promote freedom.” The organization also supports Aaron’s Law.

Find out more about the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which defends civil liberties in the digital world.

Protect digital access to your work by applying for a Creative Commons License.

Help bring clarity to the confusing landscape of the digital world by supporting New Media Rights, which provides legal services, education, and public policy advocacy for Internet users and creators.

Related Articles and Resources

Aaron Swartz: Hacker, Genius… Martyr?

“He was wearing the same clothes she had seen him in when she left for the office that morning: a V-neck black T-shirt and brown corduroy trousers. He had his coat on. When she called the emergency services, she was screaming so hard that at first they couldn’t hear the address.”

Aaron Swartz’s former girlfriend Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman talks about the cirkumstances of his death in this article.

Sundance Film Festival Interviews

Democracy Now speak with Aaron Swartz’s father Robert, his brother Noah, his lawyer Elliot Peters, and filmmaker Brian Knappenberger.

Watch the video here. 

Brilliant Life and Tragic Death

A walk through of Aaron Swartz life by Rolling Stone. 

Stay Up To Date on The Fight for an Open Internet

SOPA and PIPA may have gone down in flames due to a major internet outcry – over 8 million emails crossed the desks of elected representatives in less than two days – which shows that the fight for an open internet is one where knowledge is power.

Check out Public Knowledge, who promotes freedom of expression, an open internet, and access to affordable communications tools and creative works – working to shape policy on behalf of the public interest.


Listen to our playlist with music from the film on Spotify.

The Future of Internet Freedom

“OVER the next decade, approximately five billion people will become connected to the Internet. The biggest increases will be in societies that, according to the human rights group Freedom House, are severely censored: places where clicking on an objectionable article can get your entire extended family thrown in prison, or worse.”

Read the full article here. 

Copyright Law -Total Train Wreck 

An article addressing the problems with todays copyright laws on the internet.

The Hidden History of Computer Hacking

“In 1998, Chris Wysopal and friends discovered a way to shut down the internet.

With just 30 minutes of work they believed they could do enough damage to stop the world wide network operating for a couple of days. They told people about what they found but not in a chat channel or discussion forum. They did it in a much more public place. In the US Senate, in fact.”

Read the full article on BBC. 

From Reddit’s popular “Ask me anything”

“We are Brian Knappenberger, Director of “The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz” and Aaron’s brothers Noah and Ben Swartz. Ask us anything about the film, the story or the causes Aaron was fighting for.”


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