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.

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