Jan 16, 2013
Aaron Swartz, the 26-year-old Internet genius, was eulogized on Tuesday as a person who wanted to make the world better but was hounded into killing himself by harsh government policies.
Swartz was “killed by the government,” his father, Robert Swartz, said at the service at Central Avenue Synagogue in Highland Park, Ill., according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “He was killed by the government, and MIT betrayed all of its basic principles,” he said.
Facing the possibility of a long prison sentence if convicted of charges that he illegally downloaded millions of academic journal articles, Swartz hanged himself in his New York apartment Friday. The death of one of the founders of news and entertainment website Reddit and a longtime activist for an open Internet has ignited outrage among many in the electronic community who view him as a martyr to government prosecution.
“Today is the funeral of Aaron Swartz, who contributed so much to the launch of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and our technology during our first 20 months,” the group said in an email to reporters. “His suicide followed an over-zealous prosecution for a crime with no victims — by a Justice Department that has yet to prosecute the Wall Street bankers who destroyed our economy and harmed millions of lives. Our hearts go out to Aaron’s family and partner.”