Imagine Strong Bad rummaging through a wiring closet at MIT

The indictment against Aaron Swartz on charges he used MIT networks to download 4.7 million documents from an online database of academic papers has some details of interest to net geeks, such as his use of pseudonyms like "Gary Host" and "Grace Host" (because he was using a "ghost" laptop, which he might have bought at Micro Center) and his preference for the Python scripting language.

And it also contains alleged observations of physical breaking and entering at an MIT basement wiring closet:

On January 4, 2011, Aaron Swartz was observed entering the restricted basement network wiring closet to replace an external hard drive to his computer.

On January 6, 2011, Swartz returned to the wiring closet to remove his computer equipment. This time he attempted to evade identification at the entrance to the restricted area. As Swartz entered the wiring closet, he held his bicycle helmet like a mask to shield his face, looking through ventilation holes in the helmet. Swartz then removed his computer equipment from the closet, put it in his backpack and left, again masking his face with the bicylcle helmet before peering through a crack in the double doors and cautiously stepping out.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

How do they know that he

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How do they know that he intended to share the files on some filesharing site or BitTorrent? From yesterday's article, the fact he can be sentenced to 30+ years for this seems pretty absurd. The only real costs he incurred to MIT and JSTOR are the bandwidth for downloading all this stuff- certainly punishable, but he caused no additional damage. Worthy of a fine and a few months in the pokey at most. You get less jail time for armed robbery and rape.

2011, not 2001

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You have the wrong year for the January 4th incident.