Aaron Swartz: Demand Progress Founder Arrested for MIT Data Theft
Aaron Swartz Arrested for MIT, JSTOR Hack
Aaron Swartz, 24-year-old founder of Infogami and Demand Progress, was arrested on charges of data theft, following allegations that he broke into MIT's network to steal nearly five million publications from JSTOR.
Aaron Swartz has been inaccurately reported to be a co-founder of Reddit. Infogami, Aaron Swartz's startup, was acquired by Reddit shortly after Reddit launched, and was fired in 2007. Reddit was founded by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian in 2005. It is now owned by Conde Nast.
Swartz went on to found Demand Progress, a nonprofit group.
Aaron Swartz was arrested for allegedly breaking into an MIT server room and hooking his laptop directly into the university's network. He then allegedly used a script to automatically download 4.8 million articles from the JSTOR database.
While Demand Progress characterizes the charges as Swartz being arrested for "checking out too many library books", there's more to it than that. Swartz is charged with physically breaking into the campus and compromising MIT's network, against the JSTOR's express terms of service. As an affiliate of Harvard, Aaron Swartz had front-end access to JSTOR.
The charges against Swartz include wire fraud, computer fraud, obtaining information from a protected computer and criminal forfeiture. he faces up to 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine if convicted.