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Internet activist, programmer Aaron Smith commits suicide

Internet activist and programmer Aaron H. Swartz committed
suicide in New York City on January 11. Swartz, 26 who co-authored early
version RSS feeds was indicted in July 2011 by a federal grand jury for
allegedly downloading millions of documents from JSTOR through the MIT network
— using a laptop hidden in a basement network closet in MIT’s Building 16 —
with the intent to distribute them.

Internet activist and programmer Aaron H. Swartz committed
suicide in New York City on January 11. Swartz, 26 who co-authored early
version RSS feeds was indicted in July 2011 by a federal grand jury for
allegedly downloading millions of documents from JSTOR through the MIT network
— using a laptop hidden in a basement network closet in MIT’s Building 16 —
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, founded Infogami which later merged with 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.”

Aaron H. Swartz was not just a computer programmer but also
a prolific writer, archivist, political organizer, and Internet activist.

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