MIT Vows to Investigate Its Role in Aaron Swartz's Death

The school plans to review its actions or lackthereof in JSTOR investigation

The tragic death of internet activist Aaron Swartz has at least spurred plenty of discussions, some of them actually about the important topics. Given his track record, it's probably more than he would have hoped.

Plenty of people have reacted to the circumstances around his suicide and, thankfully, some are actually doing something in his name.

On the one hand, MIT has started an investigation into its role in the two-year federal investigation/harassment campaign surrounding Swartz's "liberation" of millions of (publicly available) documents from an MIT database.

Whether this is just so it doesn't look like MIT is doing nothing or the school is actually concerned remains to be seen. Up to this point though, the MIT hadn't shown any willingness to stand up for Swartz or defend his actions.

"Now is a time for everyone involved to reflect on their actions, and that includes all of us at MIT. I have asked Professor Hal Abelson to lead a thorough analysis of MIT's involvement from the time that we first perceived unusual activity on our network in fall 2010 up to the present," MIT president L. Rafael Reif wrote.

"I have asked that this analysis describe the options MIT had and the decisions MIT made, in order to understand and to learn from the actions MIT took. I will share the report with the MIT community when I receive it," he said.

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