<p>Strange message in my e-mail inbox: For real -- Aaron was just arrested. Apperently civil rights activist Aaron Swartz was arrested for, and this is it: <strong>looking up too many articles online at a library</strong>. Will have to follow up on this, but very strange and unnerving news!</p>
I just received this shocking email from the civil liberties activism group Demand Progress.
Shocking news: Moments ago former Demand Progress Executive Director Aaron Swartz was indicted by the US government. As best as we can tell, he is being charged with allegedly downloading too many journal articles from the Web. The government contends that downloading so many journal articles constitutes felony computer hacking and should be punished with time in prison. We disagree.
Will you click here to show your support for Aaron?
The charges are made all the more senseless by the fact that the alleged victim has settled any claims against Aaron, explained they’ve suffered no loss or damage, and asked the government not to prosecute.
James Jacobs, the Government Documents Librarian at Stanford University — where Aaron did undergraduate work — denounced the arrest: “Aaron’s prosecution undermines academic inquiry and democratic principles,” Jacobs said. “It’s incredible that the government would try to lock someone up for allegedly looking up articles at a library.”
Please click here to show your support for Aaron’s cause: