News Column

Anonymous Hacks MIT, Calls for New Cybercrime Laws

Jan. 14, 2013

The hacking group Anonymous took credit for posting messages to Massachusetts Institute of Technology websites calling for an overhaul of computer crime laws.

Anonymous hackers said they also posted tributes to RSS co-founder Aaron Swartz, 26, an outspoken advocate of open information in a legal battle over digital copyright who was found hanged during the weekend in his New York apartment, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Besides being involved in the technology behind RSS, which alerts users to real-time updates on websites, Swartz also had an early role at Reddit and founded the advocacy group Demand Progress.

He believed the articles on the digital library JSTOR should be more widely available, the Post said. He hacked into the database's systems and downloaded articles using a computer hidden in a closet at MIT.

When found, Swartz was charged with felony hacking charges and his trial was to begin this spring.

In the messages Sunday, Anonymous called for an overhaul of intellectual property and computer crime laws and said Swartz' death should wake up Internet freedom advocates.

"We call for this tragedy to be a basis for a renewed and unwavering commitment to a free and unfettered Internet, spared from censorship with equality of access and franchise for all," the group said.

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: Copyright United Press International 2013

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