He is also the director of Demand Progress and a co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, two liberal political groups.
In a statement, David Segal, the executive director of Demand Progress, characterized the situation as putting "someone in jail for allegedly checking too many books out of the library."
“Aaron’s career has focused on serving the public interest by promoting ethics, open government, and democratic politics,” he said. “We hope to soon see him cleared of these bizarre charges.”
But in the press release announcing the indictment, U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz stressed the severity of the allegations.
“Stealing is stealing whether you use acomputer command or a crowbar, and whether you take documents, data, or dollars," Ortiz said. "It is equally harmful to the victim whether you sell what you have stolen or give it away.”
—Staff writer Naveen N. Srivatsa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Staff writer Xi Yu can be reached at email@example.com.
This article has been revised to reflect the following clarification.
CLARIFICATION: July 20, 2011
An earlier version of this July 19 article said in the headline and article that Aaron Swartz co-founded Reddit. Swartz says on his website that he co-founded Reddit. However, in an email, co-founder Alexis Ohanian said that Swartz was not a co-founder of the popular website. In its early months, Reddit acquired Swartz's company Infogami, Ohanian said in a Google Plus post. Tweets from The Crimson circulating this article have also referred to Swartz as a "Reddit co-founder."