Aaron Swartz, the co-developer of the specification of RSS – in which he was involved in at just age 14 – has committed suicide. He also developed Reddit.
The 26-year-old has hanged himself in his apartment. He was facing multiple years in prison due to his online activism.
If convicted, he could have faced a 4 million dollar fine as well as nearly 50 years in prison.
Swartz was plagued by legal problems due to his Internet activism, co-founding Demand Progress – a political action group promoting freedom on the internet.
In 2011, he was arrested in Boston for supposedly taking part in computer fraud as well as allegedly obtaining documents illegally.
Swartz’s family and partner have released a statement reminding all of his "commitment to social justice,"
According to the statement, the death of Aaron Swartz is "the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach."
"Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office and at MIT contributed to his death,"
Swartz was also a respected Wikipedia editor. Wikipedia has listed him in their “Deceased Wikipedians” tribute page. His user page can be seen here.
Rest in Peace freedom fighter.