Anonymous Hacks MIT Website in Honor of Aaron Swartz

Swartz Anonymous

Message left by Anonymous on MIT Website

Following the death of Aaron Swartz, Anonymous is claiming credit for hacking the Massachusetts Institute of Technology website yesterday.

Swartz was the cofounder of Reddit, the PCCC and Demand Progress, and a co-author of RSS feed technology. He was being prosecuted by the Justice Department for his attempt to download and publicly release 5 million scientific documents from JSTOR, a digital library of articles from academic journals he felt the public had already paid for but was being denied access to.

The charges brought by the Justice Department carried possible penalties of 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines.

The page that Anonymous put up on the MIT website read:

Whether or not the government contributed to his suicide, the government’s prosecution of Swartz was a grotesque miscarriage of justice, a distorted and perverse shadow of the justice that Aaron died fighting for — freeing the publicly-funded scientific literature from a publishing system that makes it inaccessible to most of those who paid for it — enabling the collective betterment of the world through the facilitation of sharing — an ideal that we should all support.

Neither MIR nor JSTOR wanted to press charges against Swartz. It was the decision of the Department of Justice alone to do so.

Jonathan Turley writes today about how the Obama Administration “hammered” Swartz.  And Kevin Gosztola has more at The Dissenter.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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