As an Internet activist, Aaron Swartz fought to make information freely available on the web. The 26-year-old from Highland Park, who committed suicide on Jan. 11, founded Demand Progress, an organization devoted to Internet activism and fought expanded government oversight of the Internet. He also helped create the RSS feed and co-founded the social news website Reddit.
Similarly, Julian Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks, which publishes classified or confidential documents in the name of openness, is still pushing for more of an open web.
Patch wants to know: Do you support activists, such as Swartz and Assange, pushing to make information freely available on the web?
Both Swartz and Assange have landed in trouble with the government for their actions.
In 2011, Swartz was indicted for gaining illegal access and downloading nearly the entire library of JSTOR, a subscription-based service that distributes academic journals. Prosecutors alleged that Swartz hoped to release the information for free. .
The government still wants to question Assange over his whistle-blowing website, The Guardian reported. In 2010, WikiLeaks posted thousands of secret documents on the Iraqi war and classified Pentagon documents on the Afghan conflict, The New York Times reported. Among the leaked information was a video showing U.S. air crew shooting down Iraqi civilians, The Guardian reported.
Related Coverage of Swartz
- Aaron Swartz Remembered as Internet Activist who Changed the World
- Internet Activist Aaron Swartz's Teachers Remember 'Brilliant' Student