Hacking Defendant's Suicide Spurs Debate Over Prosecutorial Overreach

, The National Law Journal


Political activist Aaron Swartz was charged in 2011 in Boston federal district court with the unauthorized use of a university's networks to download millions of articles from the online archive JSTOR. His suicide last Friday instantly triggered a wave of criticism aimed at prosecutors' alleged overzealousness in the pursuit of criminal charges.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Continue to Lexis Advance®

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at customercare@alm.com

What's being said

  • Dissident

    Isn't President Obama the chief prosecutor? What has he said about this matter?

  • CV

    Such a black and white approach to the law is appalling. Mr. Swartz may have acted unwisely and rationalized his principles versus the reasonableness of his actions, but he caused no actual "damage" - at least none that JSTOR felt worth of pursuing in a civil court. And civil court would have been a much more civilized approach to his hacking activities. 13 felonies on his record for life? That's ridiculous based on the information in this article. Certainly his "rebellion" against structure and stricture should not have cost his life.

  • TC

    All the rationalisations in the world fail to compute the existential bankruptcy of the ethics of wielding a war criminal hammer against a legally-underequipped genius.

Comments are not moderated. To report offensive comments, click here.

Preparing comment abuse report for Article #1358090761316

Thank you!

This article's comments will be reviewed.