/// Amid Activist Outcry, U.S. Attorney Defends Prosecution of Aaron Swartz

January 17, 2013  |  All Things Digital


Photo: U.S. Attorney's office, Massachusetts Nearly five days since news first broke of a well-known Web activist’s death, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Massachusetts issued a public statement on Wednesday evening, defending the office’s actions in pursuing charges of computer and wire fraud against Aaron Swartz. “I know that there is little I can say to abate the anger felt by those who believe that this office’s prosecution of Mr. Swartz was unwarranted and somehow led to the tragic result of him taking his own life,” the statement, written by U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz , read. “I must, however, make clear that this office’s conduct was appropriate in bringing and handling this case. The career prosecutors handling this matter took on the difficult task of enforcing a law they had taken an oath to uphold, and did so reasonably,” Ortiz wrote. The statement comes after days of widespread Internet outcry over the 26-year-old activist’s death, ruled a suicide last Saturday. At the time of his death, Swartz was being prosecuted by the Department of Justice for allegedly downloading nearly 5 million academic journal articles from the Web site JSTOR in 2010, using a laptop hooked in to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus network. After Swartz handed over a number of hard drives, JSTOR decided not to pursue charges. But many have placed the blame on Attorney Ortiz and assistant U.S

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Amid Activist Outcry, U.S. Attorney Defends Prosecution of Aaron Swartz


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