Web activist's dad blames govt for death

2013-01-16 09:39
Aaron Swartz hanged himself after pleading not guilty to the charge of stealing scientific journals from a computer archive at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in an attempt to make them freely available. (Pernille Ironside, ThoughtWorks, AP

Aaron Swartz hanged himself after pleading not guilty to the charge of stealing scientific journals from a computer archive at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in an attempt to make them freely available. (Pernille Ironside, ThoughtWorks, AP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Highland Park - Internet freedom activist Aaron Swartz was "killed by the government", his father told mourners on Tuesday during his son's funeral in suburban Chicago.

Swartz, who help create Reddit and RSS, the technology behind blogs, podcasts and other web-based subscription services, was found dead on Friday in his New York apartment. He was facing federal charges that alleged he illegally gained access to millions of articles from a Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer archive.

Robert Swartz said during the service in Highland Park that his son was "hounded by the government, and MIT refused him", the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

"He was killed by the government, and MIT betrayed all of its basic principles," he said.

Swartz, 26, was facing charges that carried a maximum penalty of decades in prison. His trial was scheduled to begin in April.

US Attorney Carmen Ortiz had no comment about Robert Swartz's remarks, Ortiz spokesperson Christina DiIorio-Sterling said.

Swartz's family also lashed out against prosecutors on Saturday, saying the death was "the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach".

Swartz's case highlighted society's uncertain, evolving view of how to treat people who break into computer systems and share data not to enrich themselves, but to make it available to others.

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the internet, and Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, director of the Safra Centre for Ethics where Swartz was once a fellow, both spoke at the funeral.

"We felt the indictment was nonsense and that he would be acquitted," Berners-Lee told the newspaper after the service.
- AP
Read more on:    us  |  cybercrime  |  internet
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may be bothering you. A flooded mind and impulsive reactions are not a good combination as you are not thinking clearly....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.