(Image Source: Inquisitr)


BY CHARESSE JAMES
Anchor by Logan Tittle



Computer activist and Reddit co-owner Aaron Swartz committed suicide Friday in New York City.

News of the 26-year-old’s suicide broke on MIT’s Tech newspaper Saturday morning through word from Swartz’s uncle Michael World and was later confirmed by Swartz’s attorney, Elliot R. Peters.  

Swartz dedicated his life to sharing data and information online, developing and popularizing standards for the free and open sharing of information. His resume included:

- co-authoring RSS 1.0 at the age of 14,
- co-founding Creative Commons,
- co-founding Demand Progress, which launched the primary campaign against Internet censorship bills (SOPA/PIPA), and
- being a member of the Harvard University Ethics Center Lab.

But Swartz’s successes were not without their pitfalls. In September 2012, he was charged with 13 counts of felony hacking, after being arrested for allegedly stealing 4 million MIT papers from the JSTOR online journal archive for mass redistribution. He was potentially facing 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

RT: “JSTOR is a company that provides digitized copies of academic journals and ... they’ve already come out saying that they did not refer this case to the feds ... David Segalin, executive director of Demand Progress, said, ‘It’s like trying to put someone in jail for allegedly checking out too many books out of the library.’”

His death comes two days after a JSTOR announcement making the archives of more than 1,200 journals available for the public. According to Library Journal, this is an expansion of their Register & Read program, which added more than 4.5 million articles to the programs initial offerings. Laura Brown, JSTOR’s managing director, told the publication:

“Our goal is for everyone around the world to be able to use the content we have put online and are preserving … We have a deep commitment to test new approaches that expand access, while also sustaining the JSTOR online library and preserving this content long into the future.”

And while no one has suggested that the announcement has anything to do with his possible motivations, a writer for ZDNet believes its not a leap to think that the indictment may have something to do with Friday’s tragedy.

“Swartz's last published blog post discusses the struggle against institutional corruption in the premise of The Dark Knight, and could be seen as a parallel with the DoJ's campaign against him. He also wrote a significant amount about working toward optimism, such as getting better at life, where he encouraged readers to 'cherish mistakes.'”

But some believe Swartz’s suicide might have reflected a deeper, longer-running issue. In a 2007 blog post, Swartz discusses his battle with depression and other health issues.

Regardless of the reason, open-access and computer activists are mourning his loss.

“...It’s never easy to hear of someone taking their own life. You could easily say the man was a genius. … We can all look beyond the negative and look back on what he achieved in such a short time. RSS is an Internet standard, widely used by many sites, and Reddit might not be what it is now if not for his contributions. RIP.”

Reddit Co-Founder Aaron Swartz Commits Suicide

by Charesse James
0
Transcript
Jan 12, 2013

Reddit Co-Founder Aaron Swartz Commits Suicide

(Image Source: Inquisitr)


BY CHARESSE JAMES
Anchor by Logan Tittle



Computer activist and Reddit co-owner Aaron Swartz committed suicide Friday in New York City.

News of the 26-year-old’s suicide broke on MIT’s Tech newspaper Saturday morning through word from Swartz’s uncle Michael World and was later confirmed by Swartz’s attorney, Elliot R. Peters.  

Swartz dedicated his life to sharing data and information online, developing and popularizing standards for the free and open sharing of information. His resume included:

- co-authoring RSS 1.0 at the age of 14,
- co-founding Creative Commons,
- co-founding Demand Progress, which launched the primary campaign against Internet censorship bills (SOPA/PIPA), and
- being a member of the Harvard University Ethics Center Lab.

But Swartz’s successes were not without their pitfalls. In September 2012, he was charged with 13 counts of felony hacking, after being arrested for allegedly stealing 4 million MIT papers from the JSTOR online journal archive for mass redistribution. He was potentially facing 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

RT: “JSTOR is a company that provides digitized copies of academic journals and ... they’ve already come out saying that they did not refer this case to the feds ... David Segalin, executive director of Demand Progress, said, ‘It’s like trying to put someone in jail for allegedly checking out too many books out of the library.’”

His death comes two days after a JSTOR announcement making the archives of more than 1,200 journals available for the public. According to Library Journal, this is an expansion of their Register & Read program, which added more than 4.5 million articles to the programs initial offerings. Laura Brown, JSTOR’s managing director, told the publication:

“Our goal is for everyone around the world to be able to use the content we have put online and are preserving … We have a deep commitment to test new approaches that expand access, while also sustaining the JSTOR online library and preserving this content long into the future.”

And while no one has suggested that the announcement has anything to do with his possible motivations, a writer for ZDNet believes its not a leap to think that the indictment may have something to do with Friday’s tragedy.

“Swartz's last published blog post discusses the struggle against institutional corruption in the premise of The Dark Knight, and could be seen as a parallel with the DoJ's campaign against him. He also wrote a significant amount about working toward optimism, such as getting better at life, where he encouraged readers to 'cherish mistakes.'”

But some believe Swartz’s suicide might have reflected a deeper, longer-running issue. In a 2007 blog post, Swartz discusses his battle with depression and other health issues.

Regardless of the reason, open-access and computer activists are mourning his loss.

“...It’s never easy to hear of someone taking their own life. You could easily say the man was a genius. … We can all look beyond the negative and look back on what he achieved in such a short time. RSS is an Internet standard, widely used by many sites, and Reddit might not be what it is now if not for his contributions. RIP.”

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