Hundreds honor information activist-online prodigy Swartz in NYC

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08:11 AM January 20th, 2013

By: Jennifer Peltz, January 20th, 2013 08:11 AM

This Dec. 8, 2012 photo provided by ThoughtWorks shows Aaron Swartz, in New York. Swartz, a co-founder of Reddit, hanged himself Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, in New York City. Since his suicide, friends and admirers have eulogized the 26-year-old free-information activist as a martyred hero, hounded to his death by the government he antagonized. AP/ThoughtWorks, Pernille Ironside

NEW YORK— Hundreds of friends and supporters of Aaron Swartz are gathered in New York City to pay tribute to the free-information activist and online prodigy who killed himself last week.

The 26-year-old Swartz hanged himself in his apartment in Brooklyn the month before he was to go on trial in Boston.

Federal prosecutors accused him of breaking into a computer wiring closet at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010 and tapping into the university’s computer network to get millions of paid-access scholarly articles.

Swartz’s family has blasted prosecutors’ handling of his case, saying overreaching led to his death.

A grandson of activist folk singer Pete Seeger read a message from Seeger praising Swartz.

The statement said it was “a tragedy for this brilliant young man to be so threatened that he hanged himself.”

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