Aaron Swartz is best known as the co-founder of the social website Reddit and the developer of the popular web feed format RSS. Sadly, he reportedly committed suicide by hanging at age 26 (Schwartz, 1). He was found dead in his apartment on January 11, 2013. Swartz had recently been the subject of several criminal charges over the past few years. Known as an Internet Activist, Swartz pushed for a much more open World Wide Web, and the publication of many files. In 2001 he was federally charged for gaining illegal access to the academic journal repository the JSTOR and making several academic journals publicly available. He was also charged with wire fraud and 11 violations of Computer fraud. He was potentially facing up to a maximum of 30 years in prison and $1 million in fines. This shows that the Justice System is currently corrupt and the charges that were levied against him were far too severe for crimes that really barely hurt any one. They were making an example of him. They also began investigating his friends and colleagues, putting even more pressure and stress on him. The government and the way they handled it is directly responsible for Swartz’s suicide.
Hamilton, D. (2012, April 10). Watch Aaron Swartz’s ‘Last’ Video Interview [Video]. ReadWrite. Retrieved October 31, 2013, from http://readwrite.com/2013/04/10/watch-aaron-swartzs-last-video-interview-video#awesm=~olThC1lKELcE2B
Schwartz, J. (2013, January 12). Internet Activist, a Creator of RSS, Is Dead at 26, Apparently a Suicide. The NY Times. Retrieved October 31, 2013, from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/technology/aaron-swartz-internet-activist-dies-at-26.html