Outrage is growing over the U.S. Justice Department’s prosecution of the 26-year-old who committed suicide last week just weeks before he was to go on trial. Pioneering computer programmer and cyber activist Aaron Swartz was facing up to 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine if convicted for using computers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to download millions of academic articles provided by the nonprofit research service JSTOR. As the chief prosecutor Carmen Ortiz defends her actions, we speak to Swartz’s partner, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, and computer security consultant Alex Stamos, who would have been the chief expert witness at Swartz’s trial. We invited representatives from the U.S. attorney’s office and MIT to join us, but they declined.
Ahead of Monday’s public inauguration that will usher in President Obama’s second term, we turn to a call for him to put the more than 50 million Americans living in poverty at the top of his agenda. The issue has garnered attention in part because Obama will take the oath of office with his hand placed on two bibles — one owned by Abraham Lincoln, and the other by Martin Luther King Jr., known for his civil rights and anti-poverty activism. We’re joined by broadcaster and author Tavis Smiley, who has spent the past year crisscrossing the country with activist and Professor Cornel West to start a national conversation on the issue of poverty, calling on President Obama to organize a White House Conference on the Eradication of Poverty in America. Smiley will be in Washington, D.C., tonight moderating a nationally televised symposium, "Vision for a New America: A Future Without Poverty."