Here's The MIT Surveillance Video That Got Aaron Swartz Arrested

The surveillance tape that got Aaron Swartz arrested has been made public after Wired’s Kevin Poulsen filed a Freedom of Information Act request.

Aaron Swartz was a programmer and activist prior to his death in January. He was notably tied up in a court case with MIT surrounding how he used JSTOR, a searchable collection of academic articles online that the university subscribes to for its students. Swartz was downloading articles in bulk, at times very aggressively.

MIT traced the downloads to a laptop Swartz had left behind in a server room. Police encouraged the university to leave it untouched so they could set up a camera to see who came back for it. That’s how this video was captured, leading to Swartz’s arrest shortly thereafter.

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