Aaron Swartz, co-developer of RSS and Reddit, committed suicide. “When he tried to ‘liberate’ data from an academic website, US authorities responded fiercely. He faced a fine of up to $1m and 35 years in jail. Then he took his own life (Day, 2013).” Some of the reasons behind what happened are that he hacked documents from the government run PACER, and he committed computer fraud in Boston, illegally obtaining documents from protected computers,” he also stole online documents from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Martinez, 2013).” This says that U.S. law can be very harsh, but is also particular in who is sanctioned. I feel that the sentence of 35 years in prison is too extreme for this type of offense. But on the other side of it, I feel as though he should have learned his lesson after being arrested the first few times after committing the offense.
Day, E. (2013, June 1). Aaron swartz: hacker, genius..martyr?. The Guardian-The Observer. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/jun/02/aaron-swartz-hacker-genius-martyr-girlfriend-interview
Martinez, M. (2013, March 7). Internet prodigy, activist aaron swartz commits suicide. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/12/us/new-york-reddit-founder-suicide/