RIP Aaron

Aaron Swartz

The internet lost one of it’s poster boys over the weekend.  Aaron Swartz, a 26-year-old computer programmer and Internet activist, committed suicide by hanging himself last Friday (Jan 11th, 2013).  Aaron was a large advocate of preserving internet freedom of speech laws and fought hard against any attacks on such freedoms.  Ironically Aaron was suffering from depression which, in some part, was due to his abuse of internet privacy abuse.  Swartz was accused of breaking into MIT’s computer system in order to access
academic articles and make them available for free on the Internet.

I find it ironic that Aaron, often considered the poster boy for personal internet freedoms, ended up demonstrating exactly how the internet is being abused.   His own actions almost nullify his previous messages and ends up serving only to justify why certain forces are working so hard to control how and what we can do online.  It’s hard to imagine that the consequences for his actions, a 35-year prison sentence on federal data theft charges for illegally downloading articles from the subscription, didn’t play a role in his personal battle with depression.

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