The tech and legal communities this week are debating the suicide of 26-year old computer genius (and that is not too strong of a word by any means) Aaron Swartz, who was found to have hanged himself last Friday in his Brooklyn apartment. The Wall Street Journal gives background on legal troubles Swartz, who was believed to be suffering from clinical depression, was facing:
A few years ago, Mr. Swartz caused a stir by downloading some 20 million pages of court documents from the fee-charging Pacer website by exploiting free access given to libraries. No charges were ever brought, and no crime was committed, his lawyer said. But his efforts to make online content available for free ultimately brought him into conflict with federal prosecutors.
He was arrested in 2011 and charged in a scheme in which he allegedly logged into the computer network at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and using it to download millions of academic journal articles from a database called JSTOR, owned by a nonprofit group.