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

Startup's software can find a photo that fits the mood Implanted microchips give Jedi powers to lifelong Star Wars fan The trick to choosing a password that's easy to remember but hard to crack WhatsApp 'betrays' users by sharing data with Facebook, here's how to opt out New Zealand Gaming Championship is eSports' watershed moment in NZ Frustration over slow rural broadband sparks petition Panic over nude images shaped the web as we know it Apple on Tim Cook's watch: Five years of change Anaesthetist slams Greenpeace for 'spam attack' aimed at his councillor wife Internet usage is increasing, but swap to high speed fibre is still buffering

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