New details have emerged about the events leading up to Aaron Swartz’s prosecution for downloading massive amounts of content from an online academic library using the MIT network. For example, early on the university wasn’t all that concerned about finding whoever was responsible for the downloads of 4.8 million articles, but the JSTOR library pushed the school to get authorities involved, according to a Boston Globe account.
One key tidbit:
“[MIT] knew for 2 1/2 months which campus building the downloader had operated out of before anyone searched it for him or his laptop — even as the university told JSTOR they had no way to identify the interloper.
And once Swartz was unmasked, the ambivalence continued. MIT never encouraged Swartz’s prosecution, and once told his prosecutor they had no interest in jail time. However, e-mails illustrate how MIT energetically assisted authorities in capturing him and gathering evidence — even prodding…
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