independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Online activist Aaron Swartz dies

Internet activist Aaron Swartz (AP/The New York Times, Michael Francis McElroy)

A co-founder of the social news website Reddit and activist who fought to make online content free to the public has been found dead.

Aaron Swartz, 26, hanged himself in his Brooklyn apartment and was found on Friday, a spokeswoman for New York's medical examiner said.

Mr Swartz was a prodigy who as a young teenager helped create RSS. He co-founded Reddit and directed the political action group Demand Progress that campaigns against internet censorship.

In 2011, he was arrested in Boston and charged with stealing millions of scientific journals from a computer archive at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mr Swartz pleaded not guilty. His federal trial on computer fraud charges was to begin next month. If convicted, he could have faced decades in prison and a fortune in fines.

Press Association

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