Hundreds of mourners gathered on Capitol Hill Monday to celebrate the life of Internet activist Aaron Swartz and to advocate changes to federal anti-hacking law.
Although the event functioned as a critique on the federal criminal justice system, it also served as a memorial service attended by high-profile lawmakers, academics and activists angered by Swartz's prosecution on federal hacking charges. Such an event is extraordinarily rare in the Capitol complex, especially one honoring a private citizen whose suicide has made him a symbol of federal prosecutorial power.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) spoke at the event, as did Reps. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.). Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) also attended.