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The Overzealous Prosecution of Aaron Swartz

Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- The tragic suicide last week of Aaron Swartz, the visionary Internet activist who helped create Reddit, is being blamed in part on the zeal of the U.S. attorney whose office was prosecuting him for supposed computer crimes.

Professor Lawrence Lessig of Harvard Law School described his close friend Swartz as having been “driven to the edge by what a decent society would only call bullying.” Others pointed out that Swartz’s alleged offense -- downloading scholarly papers without paying for them -- was essentially victimless. The owner of the database from which the papers were taken chose not to pursue the matter.