Bill would require free access to federally funded research

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Swartz was an accomplished programmer and political organizer who argued that more online information should be free to the public. At the time of his death, he was facing federal hacking charges for allegedly breaking into a computer network at MIT and downloading 4.8 million documents from JSTOR, a subscription service of academic articles.

Many of the articles on JSTOR are supported, at least in part, by government funding. The service costs thousands of dollars each year for full access to its archive of materials.

The charges against Swartz carried a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison.

His death has sparked outrage and calls for policy reforms among Internet activists and on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) is drafting Aaron's Law, a bill that would narrow the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the hacking law that prosecutors charged Swartz with violating. 

Dinkel noted that Doyle had been pushing for his bill long before Swartz's death, but he said the goal of the legislation is "certainly something [Swartz] supported."

—Updated at 2:15 p.m.

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