Aaron Swartz, co-founder of Reddit, accused of stealing data from MIT

Aaron Swartz, the 24-year-old co-creator of popular Internet community Reddit, has been charged with stealing data from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.

The charges against Swartz include computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information, wire fraud and recklessly damaging a protected computer.

In a press release first picked up by The New York Times, a U.S. attorney said Swartz entered a restricted computer closet and used his access to steal unspecified information from the university’s archive of academic papers.

“Stealing is stealing whether you use a computer command or a crowbar, and whether you take documents, data or dollars,” the release said.

Swartz also blogs for The Huffington Post as founder the activist group Demand Progress, which promotes Internet policy reforms.

The full indictment was available online (PDF link).

Image credit: Reddit.com.

Written by | Stephen C. Webster

Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.

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