Arrest Raises Questions About Hacker Crackdown

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Over the past month, British and American law enforcement agencies have made about two dozen arrests connected to computer hacking.

A British teen was arrested for allegedly taking part in Lulzsec, a group accused of hacking into Sony Playstation user accounts and the CIA.

Also caught up in the recent crackdown: 24-year-old Aaron Swartz.

The former Harvard fellow is accused of hacking into and downloading four million academic journal articles from JSTOR, a subscription service that costs universities up to $50,000 a year. Swartz now faces the possibility of 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines.

Nicco Mele, a supporter of Swartz and lecturer at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government tells Here & Now's Robin Young that Swartz is being unfairly targeted.

Mele says it's unclear that Swartz stole anything, since he accessed the articles through MIT's subscription service.

And Mele says the government should instead focus on catching those who commit crimes like hacking into credit card accounts.


  • Nicco Mele, lecturer at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government

This segment aired on August 4, 2011.


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