Swartz's father says US govt killed son

Last updated 13:13 16/01/2013
Aaron Swartz
Reuters
INTERNET ACTIVIST: Aaron Swartz's funeral was held today in Chicago.

Related Links

Swartz Prosecution Anti-hacking law

Relevant offers

Digital Living

Sparks fly over 4G coverage ad claims New internet cable's legal hurdle So what's the internet actually like in North Korea? Privacy will be considered a luxury in 2025 Who the internet loves more: Cats or dogs? US mum as North Korean internet goes dark Californians advised to boycott $80m health system over privacy Pirate Bay flag flies again, sails to Moldova South Korea preps for cyberattack after nuclear reactor data leaks BitTorrent offer to distribute The Interview

Internet freedom activist Aaron Swartz was "killed by the government," his father told mourners during his son's funeral in suburban Chicago.

Swartz, who help create Reddit and RSS, the technology behind blogs, podcasts and other web-based subscription services, was found dead on Friday in his New York apartment.

He was facing federal charges that alleged he illegally gained access to millions of articles from a Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer archive.

Robert Swartz said during the service in Highland Park that his son was "hounded by the government, and MIT refused him," the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

"He was killed by the government, and MIT betrayed all of its basic principles," he said.

Swartz, 26, was facing charges that carried a maximum penalty of decades in prison. His trial was scheduled to begin in April.

US Attorney Carmen Ortiz had no comment about Robert Swartz's remarks, Ortiz spokeswoman Christina DiIorio-Sterling said.

Swartz's family also lashed out against prosecutors on Saturday, saying the death was "the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach."

Swartz's case highlighted society's uncertain, evolving view of how to treat people who break into computer systems and share data not to enrich themselves, but to make it available to others.

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, and Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, director of the Safra Center for Ethics where Swartz was once a fellow, both spoke at the funeral.

"We felt the indictment was nonsense and that he would be acquitted," Berners-Lee told the newspaper after the service.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content