The 26-year-old hacker and information activist had faced charges for his alleged role in making MIT academic journal articles public.
Aerial view of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Computer activist Aaron H. Swartz committed suicide in New York yesterday.
The news was reported by the newspaper The MIT Tech, citing both his uncle and his lawyer. Swartz was 26.
Police arrested Swartz in July 2011. It ‘been accused of stealing 4 million documents from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and JSTOR, an archive of scientific journals and academic papers. The authorities claimed that he broke into a restricted computer wiring closet at MIT and access the network without permission.
JSTOR said the downloadable content included “more than 4 million articles, book reviews and other content from academic journals our publisher partners” and other publications. ‘
If convicted, Swartz faced a maximum of $ 4 million in fines and more than 50 years in prison after the government increased the number of charges against Swartz from 4 to 13.
News of the suicide Swartz came just days after Jstor announced this week that would make it “more than 4.5 million items” available to the public free of charge.
A couple of years ago, Swartz has sold a company founded called Infogami to Reddit. E ‘was also the founder of Demand Progress nonprofit group, which was active in the anti-SOPA battle.
Cory Doctorow, a friend of Swartz, said today that Swartz had battled depression for several years.
“To the world, we have all lost someone today, which took a lot of work to do, and that has made the world a better place when he did,” wrote Doctorow.