Ethics fellow hacks millions of MIT papers

2011-07-19 23:01

Boston - A Harvard University fellow studying ethics has been accused of using the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's computer network to steal nearly 5 million academic articles.

A federal indictment released on Tuesday accused 24-year-old Aaron Swartz of stealing the documents from JSTOR, a subscription service that offers digitised copies of articles from more than 1 000 academic journals.

Prosecutors say Swartz hacked into MIT's system between September and January after breaking into a computer wiring closet on campus. The indictment says Swartz was a fellow at Harvard's Centre for Ethics at the time.

Prosecutors say he intended to distribute the articles on file-sharing websites.

Swartz was released on $100 000 unsecured bond after pleading not guilty at his arraignment on Tuesday to charges including wire fraud.

He faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.

Read more on:    us  |  security  |  online privacy

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