Reddit Co-founder Aaron Swartz Found Dead

Aaron Swartz, a computer programmer, writer, archivist, political organizer, and Internet activist. who fought to make online content free to the public has been found dead.

According to sources… the 26-year-old co-founder of Reddit, a social news website hanged himself in his Brooklyn apartment on Friday.

Swartz, co-founder of the non-profit political action group Demand Progress that campaigns against Internet censorship..  He co-authored the “RSS 1.0″ specification of RSS Feeds and built the Website framework web.py and the architecture for the Open Library.

RIP, Aaron Swartz

On January 6, 2011, Swartz was arrested in Boston  in connection with systematic downloading and stealing of millions of academic journal articles from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston as well as computer fraud.

He plead not guilty to the charges of computer fraud in a pre-trial hearing and his federal trial was to begin next month.

If convicted, he could have faced more than 50 years in prison and up to $4 million in fines.

The family and partner of  the computer genius created a memorial Web site and  issued a statement, saying “He used his prodigious skills as a programmer and technologist not to enrich himself but to make the Internet and the world a fairer, better place.”Swartz was eulogized by his friend and sometime attorney, Lawrence Lessig, calling his prosecution an abuse of proportionality and noting, ‘the question this government needs to answer is why it was so necessary that Aaron Swartz be labeled a “felon.”‘

Donations to Demand Progress or GiveWell in Aaron’s memory so that his work for civil liberties, civil rights, and government reform can continue.

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