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Film & Discussion | The Internet's Own Boy


Sunday November 11, 2018: 2:00pm to 5:00pm


Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

For Whom

Grade 9 - Adult


The Internet’s Own Boy, directed by Brian Knappenberger, tells the story of Aaron Swartz: A political activist and innovator who put theory into practice, always experimenting and building new tools and methodologies to animate his theory of change. By co-creating platforms like RSS, reddit, Creative Commons, and the technology that became SecureDrop, he helped make information accessible. But Aaron's battle for social justice, political organization, and information access ensnared him in a legal nightmare that ended with the taking of his own life. Aaron's tragic story reminds us what we can lose if we are ignorant of technology and its relationship to civil liberties.  In honor of Aaron Swartz Day, please join us for a screening of The Internet's Own Boy, followed by a panel discussion about technology and society.

This discussion panel will include:

  • Kim Burton, Digital security professional and educator
  • Alex Kourvo, Science fiction author
  • Allison McDonald, Ph.D. Candidate, EECS, University of Michigan
  • Eli Neiburger, Deputy Director, Ann Arbor District Library
  • Alejo Stark, Michigan Abolition & Prisoner Solidarity

This 104 minute film is not rated but may not be suitable for children under 14. This event is a partnership with Cryptoparty Ann Arbor.



Kim Burton - Digital security professional and educator

Kim is the Security Education Lead at Duo Security where she works to make digital security and safe online practices accessible to everyone: her coworkers, Duo's customers, and the community. Her previous work was with the digital rights non-profit Access Now as part of the Helpline, a 24-hour resource for civil society that offers direct technical assistance and advice to civil society groups, media organizations, and human rights defenders. Find Kim on Twitter: @WistfulSquirrel 

Alex Kourvo - Author

Alex Kourvo is an author and editor. She has written numerous science fiction short stories and four novels in the "Detroit Next" series. Her novels examine the intersection of technology and society in near-future Detroit.

Allison McDonald - Ph.D. Candidate, EECS, University of Michigan

Allison McDonald is a 3rd year PhD student at the University of Michigan. Her research interests lie in the intersection of technology and society, particularly in the areas of privacy and security. She studies topics such as internet censorship, surveillance, and usable privacy, and conducts security education workshops.

Eli Neiburger - Deputy Director, Ann Arbor District Library

Eli joined the staff of the Ann Arbor District Library in 1997 as a Helpdesk Technician, and has served a number of roles over the years, including Sysadmin and IT Manager. In his role as Deputy Director, Eli is responsible for Public Service, IT, Events, and Collections at AADL. He has spoken across the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand about Libraries, Technology, and the Net, and is the author of Gamers... in the LIBRARY?!, and a contributor to Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center's Well Played and to Book: A Futurist's Manifesto, published by O'Reilly. In his spare time, Eli can be found mentoring the Marketing Group of Skyline High School's FIRST Robotics team, or working on his family band arrangements of classic videogame music. Find him on Twitter: @ulotrichous

Alejo Stark - Michigan Abolition & Prisoner Solidarity

Alejo Stark is an organizer with Michigan Abolition and Prisoner Solidarity (MAPS) and a co-producer of Rustbelt Abolition Radio (RAR). Between 2008 and 2013, he was an undocumented student organizer with the migrant justice movement, fighting against deportations in South Florida and Rhode Island. He currently lives in southeastern Michigan.


Dave Rolek - Privacy software developer, technologist, and advocate

Dave is a digital privacy expert dedicated to protecting human rights online and offline - particularly focused on activism, education, community, and mainstreaming privacy tech. He is a trainer and co-organizer with Cryptoparty Ann Arbor, has worked with the Tor Project, and can frequently be found at the library.