A Prodigious Beginning, Then an Early Ending. Jeanette Catsoulis, 26 June 2014. Making room for the moral and philosophical underpinnings of freedom of information, and questioning the motives of its opponents, the film’s many contributors — including family, friends and experts like Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web — generate a “how could this happen?” tone that feels agonizingly appropriate.
None more so than the writer Quinn Norton, who’s commendably candid about (and clearly still haunted by) her cooperation with federal prosecutors. Their pursuit of Swartz placed them, she believes, “on the wrong side of history.” Few who watch this film will feel inclined to disagree (The New York Times).
A Data Crusader, a Defendant and Now, a Cause. Noam Cohen, 13 January 2013. Mr. Swartz was a flash point in the debate over whether information should be made widely available. On one side were activists like Mr. Swartz and advocacy groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Students for Free Culture. On the other were governments and corporations that argued that some information must be kept private for security or commercial reasons.
After his death, Mr. Swartz has come to symbolize a different debate over how aggressively governments should pursue criminal cases against people like Mr. Swartz who believe in “freeing” information (New York Times).