R.I.P. Aaron Swartz.
The news labels him as merely the co-founder of Reddit. What they forget, is he was a fiery young man spearheading the internet freedom movement.
Demand Progress, whether one likes them or not, almost singlehandedly defeated the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the Protect-IP Act (PIPA), and the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).
Without the internet, the liberty movement is severely crippled. Without a free and open internet, you wouldn’t be reading this. Without a free internet, my organization, PANDA, wouldn’t exist. If not for Aaron and DP, those bills may just have killed it.
I have never personally met him, but that does not diminish the gratitude I have for his work. In maintaining the freedom of the World Wide Web, he helped to preserve, for now, what is possibly the greatest tool for preserving our great Republic.
May he rest in peace, but let us never forget who drove him to this point. The United States Government’s relentless persecution of a patriot, the hallmark of our tyrannical regime, is the reason he is no longer with us.
This is the reason we must keep fighting. His untimely death shall not be in vain. The best way to celebrate his legacy, is to fight to preserve it.
Rest In Peace, Aaron Swartz. Be assured that your life was not in vain.