Man accused of hacking millions of papers at MIT

July 19, 2011 - 2:14 PM

BOSTON (AP) — A Harvard University fellow studying ethics has been accused of using the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's computer network to steal nearly 5 million academic articles.

A federal indictment released Tuesday accused 24-year-old Aaron Swartz of stealing the documents from JSTOR, a subscription service that offers digitized copies of articles from more than 1,000 academic journals.

Prosecutors say Swartz hacked into MIT's system between September and January after breaking into a computer wiring closet on campus. The indictment says Swartz was a fellow at Harvard's Center for Ethics at the time. Prosecutors say he intended to distribute the articles on file-sharing websites.

Swartz was released on $100,000 unsecured bond after pleading not guilty at his arraignment Tuesday to charges including wire fraud. He faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.