Reddit cofounder and political activist Aaron Swartz has been indicted on charges of stealing documents from MIT and online archive JSTOR, the New York Times reports.
Swartz was accused of breaking into a restricted area of MIT to access the documents. If convicted, Swartz could face 35 years in jail and a $1 million fine.
Swartz’s current work focuses on the “corrupting influence of big money on institutions including nonprofits, the media, politics, and public opinion,” according to his website. He analyses the work of those institutions after sifting through data and papers.
Demand Progress, the activist group he founded has responded to the charges (via Daring Fireball):
“This makes no sense,” said Demand Progress Executive Director David Segal; “it’s like trying to put someone in jail for allegedly checking too many books out of the library.”
“It’s even more strange because the alleged victim has settled any claims against Aaron, explained they’ve suffered no loss or damage, and asked the government not to prosecute,” Segal added.
Here’s a copy of the indictment via Hacker News: