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Sunday, 13 January 2013

Aaron Swartz As Committed Suicide



Former Reddit co-owner and founder of DemandProgress, Aaron Swartz committed suicide at the age of 26 in New York City yesterday, according to reports . Swartz had been battling criminal charges related to his attempts to make JSTOR archives public and had been facing up to 35 years in prison and $1 million dollars in fines at the time of his death.

Police found Swartz's body in his Brooklyn, New York, apartment on Friday, according to a spokeswoman for the city's chief medical examiner, which ruled the death a suicide by hanging.


Swartz faced a variety of charges in a Massachusetts federal court, including computer intrusion, wire fraud and data theft stemming from allegations that he stole millions of scholarly articles and documents from an MIT subscription-based service called JSTOR.
If convicted, Swartz, whose intentions allegedly were to make the articles and documents freely available, could have been hit with a 35-year jail sentence and a US$1 million fine. Swartz had been involved in previous efforts to "liberate" government documents whose access require fees, such as those in the PACER database of court filings.
"Stealing is stealing whether you use a computer command or a crowbar, and whether you take documents, data or dollars," Carmen Ortiz, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said in a statement when the indictment was unsealed in July 2011. "It is equally harmful to the victim whether you sell what you have stolen or give it away."


Swartz had discussed his history with depression in the past, including on his private website.
Surely there have been times when you’ve been sad. Perhaps a loved one has abandoned you or a plan has gone horribly awry. Your face falls. Perhaps you cry. You feel worthless. You wonder whether it’s worth going on. Everything you think about seems bleak — the things you’ve done, the things you hope to do, the people around you. You want to lie in bed and keep the lights off. Depressed mood is like that, only it doesn’t come for any reason and it doesn’t go for any either. Go outside and get some fresh air or cuddle with a loved one and you don’t feel any better, only more upset at being unable to feel the joy that everyone else seems to feel. Everything gets colored by the sadness.

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