Yesterday, Aaron Swartz, former co-owner of Reddit, was arrested for downloading upwards of 4.5 million articles from the JSTOR academic archive, willfully evading MIT's attempts to stop him. The charges, according to Ars Technica, allege that Swartz "unlawfully obtain[ed] information" and "recklessly damag[ed]" a protected computer. Considering JSTOR is an academic, electronic library and most schools pay for unlimited access, these charges straddle a weird line between Swartz's potentially authorized uses and his suspected unauthorized intent.
David Segal, an executive from the advocacy group Demand Progress that Swartz helped found, likened the charges to "trying to put someone in jail for allegedly checking too many books out of the library." While this may technically be the case, Swartz's methods of downloading this articles were decidedly suspicious, and clearly, defiantly against the wishes of MIT.