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MIT Aaron Swartz report to be released “in a few weeks”

Following the death of Aaron Swartz on Jan. 11, 2013, President L. Rafael Reif announced that Hal Abelson PhD ’73 — Electrical Engineering & Computer Science professor and a founding director of Creative Commons and the Free Software Foundation — would be leading a “thorough analysis of MIT’s involvement” from Fall 2010 to the present, specifically describing “the options MIT had and the decisions MIT made.” The report resulting from the analysis will be made public.

Obtained through the MIT News Office, the official charge from Reif to Abelson appears on page 5, along with a letter to the MIT community from Abelson.

The review will be conducted in two phases, writes Abelson. The first phase will be completed “in a few weeks,” with a report that gives a “clear record” of what happened and provides “insight into what MIT did or didn’t do, and why.” Upon the conclusion of that phase MIT will enter a second phase of analyzing the implications of the findings.

MIT will refrain from commenting on the situation until the release of the report.

Members of the MIT community can suggest questions for Abelson’s analysis via http://swartz-review.mit.edu.

—Anne Cai