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Hass Associates

Hass Associates

Communication, Community, Education

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  • Hass and Associates news blog - Aaron Swartz: hacker, genius… martyr?

    Communication, Environmental Design

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    Aaron Swartz: hacker, genius… martyr?

    Aaron Swartz was a tech whiz-kid and political activist devoted to a free and open internet. When he hacked a website to 'liberate' data, US authorities responded fiercely. He faced a fine of up to $1m and 35 years in jail. Then he took his own life. Here, his former girlfriend talks about the circumstances of his death

    Aaron Swartz had always been ambiguous about marriage. But last December, having dated his girlfriend Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman for 18 months, he seemed to be changing his mind. "He said, sort of out of the blue, in the context of some conversation: 'Maybe we should get married?'" says Stinebrickner-Kauffman, sitting at a table by an open window in Heller's bakery in Washington DC, the humid breeze catching strands of her hair. "I was just so shocked. I asked: 'Where did that come from?' because he had never expressed anything positive about the idea of marriage before."

    The 26-year-old Swartz was frequently described as a technological genius. At the age of 14, having dropped out of high school, Swartz helped to author the RSS web syndication specification that provided a standardised format to publish frequently updated works, such as blog entries, news headlines, audio and video content. At 19, he co-programmed the social news and entertainment website Reddit, which was sold to Condé Nast in 2006 for an undisclosed sum thought to be between $10m and $20m. In 2008, he co-wrote the Guerilla Open Access Manifesto, which called for activists to "liberate" information locked up by corporations or publishers. In 2010, at the age of 23, he co-founded Demand Progress, an online advocacy group that successfully campaigned against internet censorship bills and attracted more than a million members. By 24, Swartz was a Harvard research fellow conducting studies on political corruption.

    The 26-year-old Swartz was frequently described as a technological genius. At the age of 14, having dropped out of high school, Swartz helped to author the RSS web syndication specification that provided a standardised format to publish frequently updated works, such as blog entries, news headlines, audio and video content. At 19, he co-programmed the social news and entertainment website Reddit, which was sold to Condé Nast in 2006 for an undisclosed sum thought to be between $10m and $20m. In 2008, he co-wrote the Guerilla Open Access Manifesto, which called for activists to "liberate" information locked up by corporations or publishers. In 2010, at the age of 23, he co-founded Demand Progress, an online advocacy group that successfully campaigned against internet censorship bills and attracted more than a million members. By 24, Swartz was a Harvard research fellow conducting studies on political corruption.

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Hass Associates

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Hass Associates

portsmouth, England AB101BE
United Kingdom

Contact Hass Associates
http://hassassociates-online.com/

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