“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 DemandProgress.org, a “campaign against the Internet censorship bills SOPA/PIPA.”
The Tech, Anne Cai: “Aaron Swartz commits suicide.”
Ars Technica, Timothy B. Lee - Sept. 20, 2012: “Feds go overboard in prosecuting information activist.”
“He was one of the kindest, sweetest, and most generous people I ever knew. He made a lot of money at a very young age, which would have ruined most people (including me). It didn’t ruin Aaron. He used it to live an itinerant life, jumping from project to project, all intended to work towards creating a better world. His enthusiasm was boundless, as was his generosity.” — Crooked Timber, Henry Farrell.
Too young and talented to leave.