I’ve written about how language can be used to control the debate in politics before. I’ve also posted before about a complete and total prosecutorial overreaction to Aaron Swartz publishing of the JSTOR documents. It seems they’re not totally disconnected ideas.
Now, Schneier’s posted an article (Schneier on Security: Lexical Warfare) that draws a connection between the two concepts, arguing that because we allow terms like “hacktivist” to become demonized, we tacitly permit any and every conceivable punishment to be levied against such a perpetrator.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the actions of the U.S. Attorney’s office contributed to Swartz’s death. What kind of shame is it that we’re only now propelled to discuss it and try to work constructively against overreach, and deal with alleged crimes more intelligently?