Wired more thoroughly explains the Aaron Swartz hacking case that we’ve followed on Slacktory — wherein the activist is accused of breaking into an MIT computer to download the JSTOR scholarly article database, at one point using a bike helmet as a mask to hide from security cameras.
Sez Wired: Swartz pleaded not guilty and he’s due back in court in September. Current consensus is that he wanted the docs as a data set for a paper (like this Stanford Law Review piece.) It’s just the federal government bringing these charges. JSTOR says they didn’t take it to the Feds, and that they got all their documents back. So why is this worth an investigation?
See also the 2009 NY Times article about Swartz releasing millions of court documents to the public, as the government accuses him of planning in the current JSTOR case (via kottke.org). That time, Swartz was investigated by the FBI, even surveilled at his home, but apparently never charged with a crime.
Cool to know the government’s still keeping us safe from the dangerous free-information hacker hippies. I’ll give ‘em credit, they did finally catch a member of LulzSec oh wait that was the UK cops.
Wired’s disclosure: Swartz used to work for their fellow Condé Nast property Reddit, and has helped Wired. My disclosure: Once I ate lunch with the guy and he seemed really bored.