Head to your favorite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now write a short story based on the article.
The article I chose is from the BBC online news. The headline reads: Aaron Swartz Investigation Launched.
Aaron Swartz was the 26 year old wunderkind developer of Reddit and RSS who killed himself on Friday last. He was being aggressively prosecuted by the United States government for hacking charges, computer fraud, and wire fraud because he downloaded scientific material from a subscription-only research archive. The scientific research had been paid for by public funds and Swartz believed that the public should have access to the research it had paid for. He was scheduled to go to trial next month and faced up to 35 years in prison and a fine of more than $1 million.
Since he used the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) networks to download the materials, MIT’s president has called for an investigation into its role in Swartz’s prosecution. The president praised Swartz’s creativity and idealism and said it pained him to think that MIT played a role in the events that led to his death. Swartz’s parents have spoken out against MIT and the Massachusetts US Attorney who they believe contributed to his death.
Many academics have taken to blogs and Twitter with tributes to Swartz and sharp criticism of Ortiz, the US Attorney, who they blame for Swartz’s death and have released their own research as a tribute to Swartz.