Highland Park ‘hacktivist’ Aaron Swartz eyed as HBO film subject

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An HBO movie is in the works about Aaron Swartz, the Highland Park native who killed himself at age 26 while awaiting federal trial on hacking charges.

Deadline reports that Elliott Lester, who made HBO’s 2015 film “Nightingale”starring David Oyelowo, will direct “Think Aaron” from a script by “Trust” co-writer Andy Bellin.

At the time of his death in 2013, Swartz wasfacing 35 years in prison on a charge of stealing scholarly journal articles from an MIT computer network. As a teenager, Swartzhelped create RSS, a family of Web-feed formats allowing people to get automatic updates online from blogs, news headlines, audio and video.

He became an activist for free content online and went on to co-found the hugely popular social news website Reddit, later sold to media giant Conde Nast.

The Deadline report says he’ll be depicted in “Think Aaron”as “his generation’s most important and influential ‘hacktivist,’ a political activist using his expertise in technology to fight for open and equal access to educational information on the internet.”

Earlier, Swartz was the subject of an acclaimed 2014 documentary, “The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz.”

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