The hacktivist group Anonymous defaced the web site of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for its role in the events that led to the alleged suicide of online activist Aaron Swartz.
The cyber attack came hours after MIT president Rafael Reif said the school would investigate MIT’s involvement in the events that led to the prosecution of Swartz, a Reddit co-founder who allegedly killed himself on Friday. He had been arrested in July 2011 and accused of stealing 4 million documents from MIT and Jstor, an archive of scientific journals and academic papers. If convicted, he could have faced $4 million in fines and 50 years in prison.
The Anonymous message (posted above) said that the government’s prosecution of Swartz, whether it contributed to his suicide or not, was a “grotesque miscarriage of justice, a distorted an perverse shadow of the justice that Aaron died fighting for — freeing the publicly funded scientific literature from a publishing system that makes it inaccessible to most of those who paid for it.”
Anonymous called for a reform of computer crime laws, copyright and intellectual property laws, and a renewal of a commitment to a “free and unfettered internet.”
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