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Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz dies at 26

Published on Jan 13, 2013 7:07 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Aaron Swartz, an Internet genius who helped deliver new Web content to users by co-developing Reddit and RSS before later becoming a digital activist, has committed suicide. He was 26.

Ellen Borakove, spokesman for New York's chief medical examiner, said Swartz hung himself and was pronounced dead late Friday in the city's Brooklyn borough.

At the time of his death, Swartz, who had gone on to press for free public access to Web content, was just weeks away from being put on trial on accusations of stealing millions of scientific and literary journal articles from the subscription-only JSTOR service.

He faced decades in prison and US$1 million in fines if convicted. Following the activist's 2011 arrest, anti-censorship group Demand Progress said the prosecution "makes no sense." "It's like trying to put someone in jail for allegedly checking too many books out of the library," the group's executive director David Segar said in a statement then.

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