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Government The Courts

Aaron Swartz Prosecution Team Claims Online Harassment 429

twoheadedboy writes "Members of the legal team responsible for prosecution of Aaron Swartz have claimed they received threatening letters and emails, and some had their social network accounts hacked, following the suicide of the Internet freedom activist. Following Swartz's death, his family and friends widely lambasted the prosecution team, who were accused of being heavy-handed in their pursuit of the 26-year-old. He was facing trial for alleged copyright infringement, accused of downloading excessive amounts of material from the academic article resource JSTOR. U.S. attorney for Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz, who headed up the prosecution, and another lead prosecutor, Stephen Heymann, have reportedly become the target of 'harassing and threatening messages,' and their personal information, including home address, personal telephone number, and the names of family members and friends, was posted online. Heymann also received a postcard with a picture of his father's head in a guillotine."
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Aaron Swartz Prosecution Team Claims Online Harassment

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  • So sad (Score:5, Funny)

    by T.E.D. ( 34228 ) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @09:34AM (#43356719)
    Being constantly harrassed like that must be hell. I'm sure Aaron Swart's family and friends have nothing but sympathy for those poor harried prosecutors.
  • Re:So sad (Score:4, Funny)

    by ameen.ross ( 2498000 ) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @09:56AM (#43356937)

    I just hope that this horror won't lead any of them to do an unthinkable act, like *gasp* suicide!

  • by WGFCrafty ( 1062506 ) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @10:19AM (#43357123)

    Reading the article helps. He was arrested for "downloading excessive material". In other words, he had a legal JSTOR account, he wasn't accessing it illegally, he just downloaded more material than they wanted him to. Really? That's a crime now?

    Where were you when we went over this in all its gory detail? Yes, this is Slashdot and everything The Man does is evil, so I get the whole simplification thing. But the real situation was actually a bit complicated. He basically tried to download every article they had, which went beyond the terms of use of the service. His downloads impacted other users of the service at the time by slowing them down because - wait for it - he was trying to download everything and chewing up resources to do it. His plan was to make all these articles available for free when access to them required a paid service. He also hid the computer doing the work in a closet and took actions to hide his face from security cameras when going to the closet to check on his equipment. From a legal standpoint, this can be interpreted to mean he knew his actions were wrong. There's a lot wrong with how the prosecutors handled this, but he was hardly some innocent school boy who got bullied for no reason.

    I never knew.


  • Re:So sad (Score:4, Funny)

    by RivenAleem ( 1590553 ) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @10:42AM (#43357345)

    An eye for an eye leaves one man with one eye, and we know already that in the land of the blind, the one-eye'd man is king.

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