MIT orders investigation into Aaron Swartz charges

  • The president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ordered an internal investigation into its role in Aaron Swartz's prosecution on Monday.

    Swartz, an Internet activist and developer, hanged himself in his New York apartment on Friday.

    He was facing hacking charges in the United States at the time of his death.

    The charges related to the downloading of millions of academic papers from online archive JSTOR, which prosecutors claim he intended to distribute for free.

    He denied the charges and his trial was due to begin next month.

    If found guilty, Swartz could have faced up to 35 years in prison along with a fine of $1 million for downloading material from the subscription-only research archive.

    He had intended to plead not guilty to the charges.

    Swartz's family has issued a statement stating that actions of both MIT and the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's office had contributed to his death.

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