On January 11th, internet activist, political organizer and computer programmer Aaron Swartz killed himself.
He helped write RSS 1.0 at 14 years old. He later helped build Infogami, a platform that hosts Open Library sites, which merged with Reddit in November 2005. After they were bought by Conde Nast, he worked for Wired for a short time. In 9/2007, he launched the web site creation platform Jottit and went on to join Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics through 2010 and 2011. Also in 2010, he launched Demand Progress, an internet activist group that specializes in petitions against anti-internet movements ie: SOPA/PIPA
In July 2011, Swartz was charged with wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer over MIT’s computer network for allegedly downloading 4 million academic articles from JSTOR. He faced a prison term of up to 35 years and a fine of up to $1 million if he were to be found guilty. JSTOR stated they would not pursue litigation, but MIT initiallly did not comment. On January 14th, MIT began looking into their role in the prosecution link