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article imageAnonymous hits MIT website in honor of Aaron Swartz

By Justin King     Jan 11, 2014 in Internet
The Anonymous collective staged at least one high-profile website attack on Friday. The day marked the one-year anniversary of Aaron Swartz’s suicide.
Swartz committed suicide while awaiting prosecution for downloading articles from JSTOR using a Massachusetts Institute of Technology website.
Anonymous defaced the institute's website with a short message reading:
The message left to MIT on their website.
The message left to MIT on their website.
Swartz believed in open access to education and information. In pursuit of his ideology, he downloaded millions of academic articles via MIT’s open network. It was alleged that he planned to share those educational resources with the world through a file sharing service. This never happened.
Instead he was brought up on federal charges, and faced 30 years in prison for intending to share academic articles. Unlike recent leakers, none of the information Swartz intended to share was secret or had to do with national security. Rather than face three decades in prison, Aaron Swartz took his own life. The case has made Swartz an open-information icon, and his case became the example of Federal prosecution gone awry. Lawmakers are still demanding answers from the Department of Justice about the case.
Aaron Swartz  who downloaded 4.8 millions files from JSTOR and fought against keeping scholarly mate...
Aaron Swartz, who downloaded 4.8 millions files from JSTOR and fought against keeping scholarly material behind pay walls, committed suicide on January 11, 2013. He was 26 years old.
Twitter via Think Progress
MIT released a report claiming their neutrality in the prosecution. Anonymous believes otherwise. Swartz’s father also wants the school to admit their role in his child's prosecution and ultimately his death. Swartz’s fellow hackers and family are not the only ones who see MIT’s culpability in the hacktivist’s death. Noam Chomsky, who has been intimately involved with the Institute, spoke out saying
The MIT investigation seemed to me reasonably well done. MIT's contribution to the tragedy was mostly negative: It didn’t take aggressive measures to try to free him from the charges, or at least mitigate them, as it should have.
The actual owner of the articles, JSTOR, opposed the prosecution. JSTOR, which stands for Journal Storage, has even started sharing 1,200 of the world’s most prominent journals for free online.
An Anonymous affiliated group based in Korea claimed responsibility for taking down the website; however it appears that claim was a hoax.
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