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Swartz indicted for breaking and entering

Aaron H. Swartz, the former Harvard ethics fellow who allegedly orchestrated a mass download of JSTOR documents from an MIT network closet, was indicted a second time yesterday, this time in Middlesex Superior Court.

A grand jury handed up indictments yesterday for breaking and entering, larceny over $250, and unauthorized access to a computer network.

Swartz had previously been indicted in Federal District Court in July on four counts: wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer.

JSTOR is an electronic archive of academic journals. Swartz is alleged to have hidden a laptop in the 16-004t network closet and plugged it into the network there, running “keepgrabbing.py” and “keepgrabbing2.py.”

JSTOR said in a statement in July that they “had no interest in this becoming an ongoing legal matter.”

Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said in a statement that Swartz “violated the trust of a not-for-profit organization by taking advantage of his contrived electronic anonymity and stealing an astounding amount of academic journals over several months, going so far as to physically break into a MIT server room in order to continue his theft undisturbed.”

But the 16-004t closet may not have been locked. Aside from ephemeral load on the servers and the network, the immediate damage from Swartz downloading the documents was minimal.

Swartz will be arraigned on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn.

—John A. Hawkinson