WestVirginiaRebel Posted January 12, 2013 Share Posted January 12, 2013 New York Times: Aaron Swartz, a wizardly programmer who as a teenager helped develop code that delivered ever-changing Web content to users and later became a steadfast crusader to make that information freely available, was found dead on Friday in his New York apartment. He was 26. An uncle, Michael Wolf, said that Mr. Swartz had apparently hanged himself, and that Mr. Swartz’s girlfriend had discovered the body. At 14, Mr. Swartz helped create RSS, the nearly ubiquitous tool that allows users to subscribe to online information. He later became an Internet folk hero, pushing to make many Web files free and open to the public. But in July 2011, he was indicted on federal charges of gaining illegal access to JSTOR, a subscription-only service for distributing scientific and literary journals, and downloading 4.8 million articles and documents, nearly the entire library. Charges in the case, including wire fraud and computer fraud, were pending at the time of Mr. Swartz’s death, carrying potential penalties of up to 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines. “Aaron built surprising new things that changed the flow of information around the world,” said Susan Crawford, a professor at the Cardozo School of Law in New York who served in the Obama administration as a technology adviser. She called Mr. Swartz “a complicated prodigy” and said “graybeards approached him with awe.” Mr. Wolf said he would remember his nephew as a young man who “looked at the world, and had a certain logic in his brain, and the world didn’t necessarily fit in with that logic, and that was sometimes difficult.” The Tech, a newspaper of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, reported Mr. Swartz’s death early Saturday. ________ Death by prosecution? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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