Anonymous Hack MIT Website In Honor of Aaron Swartz

Internet activists associated with the group Anonymous took credit for hacking into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology website to eulogize Reddit founder Aaron Swartz, who reportedly took his life on Friday. Swartz, a proponent of open access to information, was indicted in 2011 on charges that he accessed MIT's computer networks to improperly download 4.8 million documents from JSTOR, an online subscription service which archives academic journals. Though JSTOR balked at charging Swartz, the U.S. Attorney's Office pursued the case. If convicted, Swartz faced up to $4 million in fines and more than 50 years in prison. Anonymous' post on the MIT hacked website called the government's prosecution of Swartz "a grotesque miscarriage of justice" and it wants "this tragedy to be a basis for reform of computer crime laws, and the overzealous prosecutors who use them." Swartz's family took a more direct approach in attacking MIT with a statement released on Saturday. "Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's office and at MIT contributed to his death. The U.S. Attorney's office pursued an exceptionally harsh array of charges, carrying potentially over 30 years in prison, to punish an alleged crime that had no victims," the statement said.

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