Menu

JSTOR “Regretted” Fraud Case

After the suicide of Reddit developer Aaron Swartz, JSTOR says it regrets being involved in the federal computer fraud case against him.  

Jan 14, 2013
Beth Marie Mole

Aaron SwartzWIKIMEDIA, SAGE ROSSComputer programming prodigy Aaron Swartz, an early developer of the popular social news site Reddit, was found hanged on Friday (January 11), in an apparent suicide in his New York City apartment. His untimely death came amid federal hacking charges claiming he had gained illegal access to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) computer networks and JSTOR—a subscription-only, online journal database—allegedly downloading 4.8 million scholarly articles and documents. Though he later returned the stolen files and JSTOR did not press charges, Swartz, 26, still faced criminal charges, up to 35 years in prison, and $1 million dollars in fines. Family and friends claim that the impending trial, which was set for April, and the potential penalties contributed to Swartz’s death. JSTOR has since released a public statement saying it “regretted” ever being involved in the case.

“He was a truly gifted person who made important contributions to the development of the internet and the web from which we all benefit,” JSTOR said in a statement. “The case is one that we ourselves had regretted being drawn into from the outset.” In the statement, JSTOR also offered condolences to Swartz’s family.

Swartz’s family and business partner released their own statement, linking the pending trial to Swartz’s death. “Aaron’s death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office and at MIT contributed to his death. The US Attorney’s office pursued an exceptionally harsh array of charges, carrying potentially over 30 years in prison, to punish an alleged crime that had no victims.”

Swartz, who helped create RSS software when he was 14 years-old, was an unwavering defender of open-access information and internet freedom. Technology heavyweights have posted public condolences and tributes to the late programmer across the web, including Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, who posted a poem, in which he referred to Swartz as “a mentor, a wise elder.”

January 2019

Cannabis on Board

Research suggests ill effects of cannabinoids in the womb

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

FORMULATRIX® digital PCR technology to be acquired by QIAGEN
FORMULATRIX® digital PCR technology to be acquired by QIAGEN
FORMULATRIX has announced that their digital PCR assets, including the CONSTELLATION® series of instruments, is being acquired by QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN, Frankfurt Stock Exchange: QIA) for up to $260 million ($125 million upfront payment and $135 million of milestones).  QIAGEN has announced plans for a global launch in 2020 of a new series of digital PCR platforms that utilize the advanced dPCR technology developed by FORMULATRIX combined with QIAGEN’s expertise in assay development and automation.
Application of CRISPR/Cas to the Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice
Application of CRISPR/Cas to the Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice
With this application note from Taconic, learn about the power that the CRISPR/Cas system has to revolutionize the field of custom mouse model generation!
Translational Models of Obesity, Dysmetabolism, Diabetes, and Complications
Translational Models of Obesity, Dysmetabolism, Diabetes, and Complications
This webinar, from Crown Bioscience, presents a unique continuum of translational dysmetabolic platforms that more closely mimic human disease. Learn about using next-generation rodent and spontaneously diabetic non-human primate models to accurately model human-relevant disease progression and complications related to obesity and diabetes here!
BiochemAR: an augmented reality app for easy visualization of virtual 3D molecular models
BiochemAR: an augmented reality app for easy visualization of virtual 3D molecular models
Have you played Pokemon Go? Then you've used Augmented Reality (AR) technology! AR technology holds substantial promise and potential for providing a low-cost, easy to use digital platform for the manipulation of virtual 3D objects, including 3D models of biological macromolecules.