Wednesday, January 16, 2013

US Internet Activist Aaron Swartz Buried in Chicago

US internet activist Aaron Swartz buried in Chicago

Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:23AM GMT

US internet activist Aaron Swartz, who was an outspoken critic of US President Barack Obama’s policies and was recently found hanged in his apartment, has been laid to rest in Chicago.

The 26-year-old blogger and computer prodigy was found dead in his apartment in Brooklyn, New York City, on January 11.

Swartz died weeks before he was scheduled to face a trial on accusations of hacking a website and downloading millions of academic papers.

Brooklyn’s chief medical examiner ruled the death a ‘suicide by hanging,’ but no further details were available about the mysterious death.

Last year, Swartz openly criticized Washington and the Tel Aviv regime for launching joint cyber attacks against Iran.

He was also critical of Obama’s “kill list,” a list of individuals who are suspected of terrorism by the US and are listed for targeted killing after final approval by the US president himself.

Swartz was also widely credited for co-authoring the specifications for the Web feed format RSS 1.0 (Rich Site Summary) at the age of 14. RSS is designed to deliver content from sites that change constantly, such as news pages, to users.

He was critical of the monopoly of information by corporate cartels and believed that information should be shared and available for the benefit of the society.

“Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves,” Swartz wrote in an online “manifesto” in 2008.

Based on that belief, the computer prodigy founded the nonprofit group DemandProgress.

The group launched a successful campaign to block a 2011 bill in the US House of Representatives called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Had it been approved, the bill would have allowed court orders to restrain access to some websites considered to be involved in the illegal sharing of intellectual property.

DemandProgress argued that the thwarted SOPA would have broadly authorized the US government to censor and restrict legitimate Web communication.