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Aaron Swartz, online activist and RSS co-creator, commits suicide

(JTA) — Aaron Swartz, an online activist and co-creator of RSS who was facing federal hacking charges, reportedly committed suicide.

Swartz, 26, was found dead in New York City on Jan. 11, according to reports. His death was confirmed by his uncle Michael Wolf to The Tech, the student newspaper of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Swartz, who also founded a company that merged with the social media site Reddit, reportedly had suffered from depression. 

In 2011, the U.S. Justice Department charged Swartz with wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer and recklessly damaging a protected computer. He pleaded not guilty last year to the charges, which carried prison time of up to 35 years and a $1 million fine.

The indictment stemmed from Swartz breaking into a computer network at MIT and downloading 4.8 million documents from JSTOR, a subscription service of academic articles.

 

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