We have some sad news today. Aaron Swartz has committed suicide aged just 26. Swartz was one of the co-founders of Reddit, but he accomplished so much more at a young age. At 14 he co-authored the RSS 1.0 Specification, worked briefly for Wired after selling Reddit, launched Jottit, created the web.py web application framework, co-founded the progressive advocacy group Demand Progress, and was a Harvard University fellow.
In 2009 he was investigated by the FBI after publicly sharing 20 percent of the PACER US federal court documents database. However, no charges were brought against him at that time. Then in July 2011 it was discovered he had been stealing data from MIT.
Swartz was indicted after stealing 4.8 million documents from JSTOR, a digital archive of scientific papers. He repeatedly broke into a secure and restricted area of MIT to hook up a laptop to get the records. JSTOR has since publicly released the archives, but Swartz faced up to 35 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
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