Parents of Reddit co-founder Swartz blame government for son’s death

Posted at 11:05 PM, Jan 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-16 06:38:14-05

A funeral service was held Tuesday morning, Jan. 15,  for Internet activist Aaron Swartz.

Mourners gathered at an Illinois synagogue. Swartz died Friday of an apparent suicide in a New York City apartment. 

The 26-year-old is known as one of the creators of the indispensable web feed system known as RSS and the social media site Reddit.

He was facing trial on federal charges for allegedly stealing millions of academic articles online from Massachusetts Institute of Technology archive.

Supporters who gathered outside the funeral say that may have led him to take his own life.

“Yes, he stole information, but it was not quite worth how much they were putting him through. They drove him over the edge and made him kill himself. That is over the line, way too much. I mean, yes, he should have been punished, but not to the extent they were going after.”

Swartz’s parents released a statement blaming MIT and prosecutors for their son’s death.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Massachusetts has formally dropped the charges.

The president of MIT says the school is launching an investigation to examine its role in the prosecution.

“It pains me to think that MIT played any role in a series of events that have ended in tragedy,” said L. Rafael Reif, MIT President.

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