Aaron Swartz's Lawyer Explains Why He Would Have Won The Data Theft Case

aaron swartz

Photo: Flickr/Creative Commoners

Aaron Swartz, the 26-year-old Reddit cofounder, committed suicide this weekend, months before he was scheduled to go to trial for the alleged theft of scholarly articles at the MIT campus.Copyright reform advocates including Lawrence Lessig have condemned prosecutors for aggressively pursuing the charges against Swartz, who could have gone to prison for 35 years.

In the weeks before Swartz’s death, his lawyers were trying to suppress evidence they say was illegally obtained without a search warrant, including his laptop.

The Secret Service failed to get a search warrant for the laptop until 34 days after they seized it, Swartz’s lawyers argue.

“We had a very strong argument to suppress the laptop and USB drive, due to an undue delay in getting the warrant,” his lawyer, Elliot Peters, told Business Insider in an email message. “The gov was really in trouble there.”

Peters added:

“Moreover, since the MIT network was open, it would have been very hard to prove that Aaron gained unauthorised access to it. And he was no fraudster. I believed this was a case we could and would win.”

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