Internet activist Aaron Swartz dies aged 26

  • Aaron Swartz, an Internet freedom activist and early developer of the website Reddit, has died at the age of 26.

    The celebrated activist and programmer took his life in his New York apartment, a relative and the state medical examiner said. His body was found in his home on Friday.

    Swartz began computer programming as a child. At the age of 14 co-authored an early version of the RSS specification.

    After leaving Reddit, Swartz became a staunch supporter of Internet freedom. He was facing hacking charges at the time of his death.

    The charges related to the downloading of millions of academic papers from online archive JSTOR, which prosecutors claim he intended to distribute for free.

    He denied the charges and his trial was due to begin next month.

    Swartz's lawyer Elliot R. Peters confirmed the news of his death in an email to the MIT university newspaper, The Tech.

    A spokeswoman for New York's medical examiner later confirmed that Swartz had hanged himself.

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