MIT Hoax 'Tipster' Said Gunman Wanted To Avenge Aaron Swartz's Death

Aaron SwartzAaron Swartz co-founded Demand Progress, an advocacy group.

Photo: Selfagency via Flickr

A person who called MIT Saturday to report a supposed gunman on campus wearing body armour said that person was seeking revenge for the suicide of Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz, the Boston Herald reports.The caller said the gunman was a staff member who was targeting MIT President Rafael Reif, the university said in a campus-wide email sent out Wednesday, according to the Herald.

Rafael ReifMIT was locked down Saturday morning following what turned out to be a false report that a man wearing body armour and holding a long rifle had entered one of the university’s buildings.

On Saturday, police told the Boston Globe that the call was apparently a hoax.

The bogus call at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday came to the university through a Sprint relay message used by people with hearing or speech problems, MIT said in the campus-wide email sent out Wednesday.

MIT came under fire for cooperating with authorities who prosecuted Swartz for illicitly downloading JSTOR academic articles from the MIT campus.

Reif, MIT’s president, has promised the university would investigate its role in the 26-year-old’s prosecution.

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