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[liberationtech] Tragic News: Aaron Swartz commits suicide

Yosem Companys companys at
Sat Jan 12 00:35:49 PST 2013

This is a tragic loss and a terrible blow to the liberationtech community.


Aaron Swartz commits suicide

Web Update

By Anne Cai

Computer activist Aaron H. Swartz committed suicide in New York City
yesterday, Jan. 11, according to his uncle, Michael Wolf, in a comment
to The Tech. Swartz was 26.

“The tragic and heartbreaking information you received is,
regrettably, true,” confirmed Swartz’ attorney, Elliot R. Peters of
Kecker and Van Nest, in an email to The Tech.

Swartz was indicted in July 2011 by a federal grand jury for allegedly
mass downloading documents from the JSTOR online journal archive with
the intent to distribute them. He subsequently moved to Brooklyn, New
York, where he then worked for Avaaz Foundation, a nonprofit “global
web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making
everywhere.” Swartz appeared in court on Sept. 24, 2012 and pleaded
not guilty.

The accomplished Swartz co-authored the now widely-used RSS 1.0
specification at age 14, was one of the three co-owners of the popular
social news site Reddit, and completed a fellowship at Harvard’s
Ethics Center Lab on Institutional Corruption. In 2010, he founded, a “campaign against the Internet censorship bills

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