This is a touchy situation...anybody who commits suicide, kills himself should not be considered a hero. However, in this case, Aaron died because of his beliefs. He worked to keep the internet flowing freely. He pushed for politicians to be exposed and forced them to do the right thing for everyone. He pushed for education.
Aaron Swartz should be considered a modern day hero. He believed strongly in internet freedoms and transparency. His 'crimes' involved releasing intellectual papers and ideas into the public. For this, the Justice Department attempted to crucify him and threatened him with decades of prison time, which is monumentally disproportionate to the crime. He should be regarded as an internet freedom fighter.
Anybody who commits suicide is a complex figure. Schwartz certainly was that and more. He was a man who wanted to keep the Internet a free-flowing place of ideas. He helped create a site like Reddit, which gives web surfers much more control over the content at their finger tips. Sure, he also "stole" millions of articles from MIT, but the legality of those charges is still pending.
Aaron fought for equal right and equal opportunity for everybody. His alleged crime was making educational material open for all. Since Aaron fought against the privilege of a select few to turn a profit at the expense of many, he should be considered a hero for his actions. He certainly is my hero.
Aaron Swartz should be and is considered a hero by many people in the technology and internet field. He stood up for what he believed was right when it came to internet censorship and access. He was unfairly bullied by the Justice Department for what he stood for. Aaron Swartz fought for all of us.
He committed suicide. End of story. That is "A permanent solution for a temporary problem." Suicide does not solve anything. Yes he pushed for freedom of speech and internet freedom. That was a good thing. However, suicide sets a bad example for children and other people who don't understand the concept. Suicide is never an option.