He was charged with many cases, including wire fraud and computer fraud, carrying potential penalties of up to 35 years in prison and USD 1 million in fines
PTI | January 15, 2013
Aaron Swartz, a 26-year-old celebrated computer prodigy-turned-activist and co-builder of the popular social news website Reddit, has reportedly committed suicide, weeks before before he was to go on trial over hacking allegations.
Swartz's body was found Friday evening in Brooklyn, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman with the New York medical examiner's office.
An uncle, Michael Wolf, said that Swartz had apparently hanged himself.
His family and partner said they were "in shock, and have not yet come to terms with his passing."
"Aaron's insatiable curiosity, creativity, and brilliance; his reflexive empathy and capacity for selfless, boundless love; his refusal to accept injustice as inevitable -- these gifts made the world, and our lives, far brighter," they said in a statement.
"We're grateful for our time with him, to those who loved him and stood with him, and to all of those who continue his work for a better world."
The hacking charges relate to the downloading of millions of academic papers from online archive JSTOR, which prosecutors say he intended to distribute for free.
Swartz, a committed advocate for the freedom of information over the Internet, had denied charges of computer fraud at an initial hearing last year, but his federal trial was due to begin next month.
Charges in the case, including wire fraud and computer fraud, were pending at the time of Swartz's death, carrying potential penalties of up to 35 years in prison and USD 1 million in fines, the New York Times reported.
A prodigy, Swartz was behind some of the Internet's defining moments. At age 14, Swartz co-wrote the RSS, the nearly ubiquitous tool that allows users to subscribe to online information.
He was later admitted to Stanford University, but dropped out after a year. He then help develop Reddit, the social news website that was eventually bought by heavyweight publisher Conde Nast in 2006.
Swartz then engaged in Internet digital activism, co- founding Demand Progress, a political action group that campaigns against Internet censorship.
But he pushed the legal limits, allegedly putting him on the wrong side of the law.
In 2011, he was arrested in Boston for alleged computer fraud and illegally obtaining documents from protected computers. He was later indicted in an incident in which he allegedly stole millions of online documents from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He pleaded not guilty in September, according to MIT's "The Tech" newspaper.
Swartz's family and partner recalled his "commitment to social justice," and called his death "the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach."
They criticised US prosecutors for seeking "an exceptionally harsh array of charges (for) an alleged crime that had no victims," and MIT because it did not "stand up for Aaron."
"Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts US Attorney's office and at MIT contributed to his death," they said.
Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokeswoman for the US Department of Justice, declined to comment on Swartz's case, citing respect for the family.
His funeral will be held Tuesday at a synagogue in Highland Park.
Cory Doctorow, a science fiction author and online activist, posted a tribute to Swartz on BoingBoing.net, a blog he co-edits. In an e-mail, he called Swartz "uncompromising, principled, smart, flawed, loving, caring, and brilliant."
"The world was a better place with him in it," he said.
Everyone in Yogi Adityanath`s office declares that Yogi’s political career is founded on the work carried out from there, first when he was mahant of the influential temple, and then as an MP. Vijendra Singh, who works at the office, says “It’s because of these letters that Yogiji has n
Banks have advanced a staggering Rs 29,46,060 crore to the industrial sector, of which Rs 6.93 lakh crore are non-performing assets (NPAs). Finance minister Arun Jaitley informed
Here are 10 things that Kenneth Rogoff, Thomas D Cabot professor of public policy, department of economics, Harvard University, and author of `The Curse of Cash`, said about demonetisation at the Delhi Economics Conclave 2017: 1. The core idea for demone
As Ram Nath Kovind readies to take charge as president, the government is forming his team, naming three officials. Ashok Malik, former journalist and commentator known for his pro-right views, will serve as the press secretary to the president. Bharat Lal, Gujarat&rs
Back in the early 1990s, Shankarsinh Vaghela was (or at least perceived to be) more popular of the two people running the BJP show in Gujarat. Today, the other man is the prime minister, and Vaghela is reduced to a footnote – albeit an important one – in the Narendra Modi saga. &n
At 70, Dr Aziz Ahmad, a well-known homeopath and politician now with Congress, still has a busy practice in Abu Bazaar, in old Gorakhpur. During working hours, the lane in which he has a clinic becomes jam-packed with patients and their vehicles. People speak of naming the lane after him.