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Aaron Swartz’s Father Responds To MIT Report On Son’s Death

David Isenberg, founder of Freedom to Connect speaks during the memorial service for Aaron Swartz in January in New York. (AP/Mary Altaffer)

David Isenberg, founder of Freedom to Connect speaks during the memorial service for Aaron Swartz in January in New York. (AP/Mary Altaffer)

On Tuesday MIT released a report that said it did not target Aaron Swartz or “call in the feds” or even encourage them to prosecute him. Swartz was charged with hacking into MIT’s computer network and was being prosecuting by the U.S. attorney’s office when he committed suicide. 

The MIT report concluded that the university was neutral in the Swartz case and acted appropriately — even if it could have advocated more forcefully in this case for academic freedom and access to scholarly information.

But Aaron’s father, Robert Swartz, a consultant with MIT’s Media Lab, disagrees. He says that MIT did not take responsibility for his son’s death and should have.

“Had they not called in law enforcement, there would never had been a prosecution,” he said. “Had they not fully cooperated with the U.S. attorney and the Secret Service, they would not have been able to make a case.”

Swartz says he has plans to meet with MIT President L. Rafael Reif to discuss what happened and to ask the university to make changes in handling hacking cases in the future.

“So this tragedy does not happen again,” he said.

Guest

Robert Swartz, father of Aaron Swartz and consultant at the MIT Media Lab


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