Aaron Swartz To Be Inducted Into The Internet Hall Of Fame
Aaron Swartz was announced as a posthumous inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame yesterday. As part of only the second class of inductees, the technical innovator and open internet advocate joins the ranks of internet pioneers and icons like Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Al Gore.
At the age of 15, Swartz was instrumental in developing Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds. He eventually dropped out of college to work on a company that merged with influential social news site Reddit. Later, Swartz turned to activism, advocating for more open access to data and more transparent government operations, in particular leading the opposition to the failed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) of 2012.
In 2011, Swartz was accused by federal prosecutors of downloading academic articles from the site JSTOR after accessing a restricted computer. He faced numerous felony charges, and up to 50 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
On January 11, 2013, Swartz was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment of an apparent suicide.
Other open-source internet advocates in this year’s class of inductees include John Perry Barlow, founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
The Internet Hall of Fame is sponsored by The Internet Society, a global think tank and advocacy group that works “to ensure the Internet continues to grow and evolve as a platform for innovation, economic development, and social progress for people around the world.” The Hall of Fame was created “to publicly recognize a distinguished and select group of visionaries, leaders and luminaries who have made significant contributions to the development and advancement of the global Internet.”
What do you think of Swartz’s induction?