Harvard Ethics Fellow Hacked Electronic Document Store
What kind of ethics are they teaching at Harvard these days anyway?
BOSTON (AP) — A Harvard University fellow who was studying ethics was charged with hacking into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s computer network to steal nearly 5 million academic articles.
Aaron Swartz, 24, of Cambridge, was accused of stealing the documents from JSTOR, a popular research subscription service that offers digitized copies of more than 1,000 academic journals and documents, some dating back to the 17th century.
In an indictment released Tuesday, prosecutors say Swartz stole 4.8 million articles between September 2010 and January after breaking into a computer wiring closet on MIT’s campus. Swartz, then a student at the Harvard’s Center for Ethics, downloaded so many documents during one October day that some of JSTOR’s computer servers crashed, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors say Swartz intended to distribute the articles on file-sharing websites.
Swartz turned himself in Tuesday and was arraigned at U.S. District Court, where he pleaded not guilty to charges including wire fraud, computer fraud and unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer. He was released on $100,000 unsecured bond and faces up to 35 years in prison, if convicted.
If he doesn’t spend too long in prison, he might be on the verge of a promising career in politics!