Thought Crimes

2013-01-28 14:22:30 by KatMaestro

I just want to write something meaningful after Aaron Swartz's death, the man who forced to kill himself by a thought crime that hadn't been done from this so-called democratic system. Aaron was charged with copyright infringement on his illegal[1] download on 4.5 millions JSTOR/MIT research papers and plan of releasing these papers to public freely. Which total 13 charges were fines up to $1 million and 35 years in prison. The fact that these charges were put on when it hadn't been done. A thought crime. Is the Orwell world here, already?

[1] Aaron had free access to those papers due to his former partnership from Harvard with JSTOR (JSTOR is a publisher of US scientific researching).


A close relative of mine was on her way to visit a friend in United State. On last Friday, my cousin was driving all the way from Toronto to Boston, carrying with her a case of ice wine, clothes, dry foods and a typewriter (she's a part time author). On border check, guard dogs suspected something in her trunk. Followed every instruction given by border guards, she emptied all the boxes and cases that can be opened. Nothing suspicious found. They made her wait for hours in a closed room. At last, they guided her to another room where she went through basic interview. Everything was normal until they showed her a result of polygraph, or lie detector. The detector was secretly placed in the room, and it gave results that she was telling lies. The interviewer said nothing, then, told her to go to the next room.

Here, a group of guards, both men and women, ordered her to take of her clothes. At first she refused, but when the guards yelled at her, she started to take off all clothes as fast as she could. They made her go through a full body scanner, then, physically scan her bodies again. A guard laughed and another one cheered about her bodies. One female guard made a sexual comment on her. Finally, all done, she was made to wait in another room. Hours passed. They returned her clothes, wait for her to get dressed then guided her outside. They returned to her the typewriter that had taken apart, emptied wine bottles, torn clothings and the only things still intact were her cellphone and car key. Then, one guard said, she had passed the checking test. It was 2 AM EST, Saturday; she arrived at border at 11 AM, day before.


My cousin cried on a pay phone during our talks this morning. Most of our relatives knew this (thanked to my elder brother in Russia spread the news), some had been shaken and scared (my sister-in-law planned to visit NYC next week by driving). The fact that she used a pay phone was amazed me how scared she was (she tried to convince me they tapped her and her phone). Took me a while to calm her down. She's still in Boston and afraid to return to Toronto due of having to cross border checking again.


Violating privacy for better goods was a good excuse. However violating the laws that used to create better goods was even more amusing. Was the naked checking necessary? Was the destroying on owner's properties necessary? Was the lie detection necessary even when it told the lies itself, ironically?

For the crime she hasn't been done and she couldn't be done when facts have proven her innocences, the abusive forces continue to use the lies, to overpower the facts. A thought crime.

What a free world we're living in.


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2013-01-28 14:49:40

You have further proven why I support the Libertarian Party and the Cato Institute.

KatMaestro responds:

Lately I heard they are going to remove naked body scanning in all airports. However, not for border checks. They even plan to increase security. 5 years ago visiting United States wasn't so hard. News reports also show there are increasingly rude and abusive attitudes from border guards.


2013-01-29 13:05:03

Sad incidents. Aaron Swarts was truly a brilliant man.

KatMaestro responds:

He was as brilliant as those popularities in the Internet cultures. His contribution on SOPA was huge. We must remember him for what he had done for us.