Aaron Swartz’s Prosecution in violation of International Law and Equity

Death of a crusader!

English: Aaron Swartz at a Creative Commons event.

English: Aaron Swartz at a Creative Commons event. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aaron Swartz was a champion of the cause of free information. More so the freedom from intermediaries. First about his recent cause. JSTOR is a website which holds more than 1,400 journal titles in more than 50 disciplines from about 800 Universities, in a digital format. The authors of these articles get nothing from sharing their content but the JSTOR pays to the Publishers for participating the content in its database. BTW JSTOR also charges a fee for accessing its content.
Aaron was bulk downloading the contents via Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s  data network. JSTOR discovered and caught hold of Aaron. The matter was settled and Aaron returned the downloaded content to JSTOR. After the civil dispute between the affected parties was over, FBI arrested Aaron alleging wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer and claiming to be acting under Computer Fraud and Abuse Act {18 U.S.C. § 1030}. The question is:

Was prosecution of Aaron, even if legal, justified in overall circumstances? or was it a persecution to deter him from being a crusader of free information cause? Continue reading