Aaron Swartz's Father Blames Feds at Funeral

Amid Tears, Accusations Fly Over Internet Activist Suicide

By Forward Staff

Published January 16, 2013.
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The heartbroken father of internet activist Aaron Swartz blamed the government for his son’s suicide in an emotional eulogy at his funeral in suburban Chicago.

Aaron Swartz
Aaron Swartz

“Aaron did not commit suicide — he was killed by the government,” Robert Swartz said to 200 mourners packing Central Avenue Synagogue in Highland Park, Ill., the New York Post reported.

“Aaron did something that wasn’t illegal and was destroyed by it,’’ Robert Swartz added. “He could have done so much more.”

Aaron Swartz, 26, credited as a founder of the Reddit web site and the RSS feed, hanged himself Friday in his Brooklyn apartment.

He was facing federal charges stemming from his effort to hack into J-Stor, a massive online database of academic articles at the Massachusetts Institute of technology.

Robert Swartz bitterly lashed out at MIT over its efforts to push the case against Aaron Swartz. The prestigious school has ordered a review of its actions in the wake of the suicide.

As the feds bore down, Swartz became consumed by the case, said his weeping girlfriend, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman at the funeral.

“Aaron wanted so bad to change the world,” she said, according to the paper. “He believed you had to see the world for how it really was to change it.”


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