The Grauniad has this article on freedom of information activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life on Friday – RIP Aaron:
The family of celebrated internet activist Aaron Swartz has accused prosecutors and MIT officials of being complicit in his death, blaming the apparent suicide on the pursuit of a young man over “an alleged crime that had no victims”.
In a statement released late Saturday, Swartz’s parents, Robert and Susan, siblings Noah and Ben and partner Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman said the Redditt builder’s demise was not just a “personal tragedy” but “the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach”.
They also attacked the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for not supporting the internet activist in his legal battles and refusing to stand up for “its own community’s most cherished principles”.
The comments came a day after the 26-year-old killed himself in his Brooklyn apartment on Friday night.
A committed advocate for the freedom of information over the internet, Swartz had been facing a trial over allegations of hacking related to the downloading of millions of documents from the online research group JSTOR. Swartz pleaded not guilty last year; if convicted, he could have faced a lengthy prison term.