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July 19, 2011

Former Reddit Employee Indicted For Data Theft

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Reddit LogoAaron Swartz, a former employee at popular link sharing website Reddit was indicted this week for data theft after it was found that he had stolen more than 4 million documents from MIT and the academic journal and paper archive JSTOR.

District of Massachusetts Carmen M. Ortiz filed charges against Swartz after determining that he had broken into MIT to steal the documents.

Among his various serious charges are wire fraud, computer fraud and “obtaining information from a protected computer” plus criminal forfeiture, charges which could place Swartz behind bars for up to 35 years, while slapping him with a $1 million fine.

When not committing random acts of crime Swartz is actually the found of a non-profit organization called Demand Progress which examined public policy and the internet.

Demand Progress has released a statement in which they state that they don’t believe their founder “broke into” MIT facilities, noting:

“As best as we can tell, he is being charged with allegedly downloading too many scholarly journal articles from the Web. The government contends that downloading said articles is actually felony computer hacking and should be punished with time in prison.” read more

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