Yet Another Ivory Tower Fall from Grace ~ MIT’s Whitewash of its Role in Pushing Activist to Suicide

July 30, 2013



This morning, MIT released a report into Aaron Swartz’s death. Here is the statement I just released in response:

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Brett Abrams : 516-841-1105 :

Aaron Swartz’s Partner Slams MIT Report As a Whitewash

Statement by Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, on MIT’s report, released today, on the University’s actions in the Aaron Swartz case:

“MIT’s behavior throughout the case was reprehensible, and this report is quite frankly a whitewash.

Here are the facts: This report claims that MIT was “neutral” — but MIT’s lawyers gave prosecutors total access to witnesses and evidence, while refusing access to Aaron’s lawyers to the exact same witnesses and evidence. That’s not neutral. The fact is that all MIT had to do was say publicly, “We don’t want this prosecution to go forward” – and Steve Heymann and Carmen Ortiz would have had no case. We have an institution to contrast MIT with – JSTOR, who came out immediately and publicly against the prosecution. Aaron would be alive today if MIT had acted as JSTOR did. MIT had a moral imperative to do so.

And even now, MIT is still stonewalling. Wired reporter Kevin Poulsen FOIA’d the Secret Service’s files on Aaron’s case, and judge ordered them to be released. The only reason they haven’t been is because MIT has filed an objection. If MIT is at all serious about implementing any reforms to stop this kind of tragedy from happening again, it must stop objecting to the release of information about the case.”


You should follow me on Twitter here.

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  17.  naeblisecho reblogged this from tarensk and added:

    Agreed with most parts, but no, the fact that he is dead is not on MIT or anyone else but him.

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  22.  joseph-ratliff reblogged this from tarensk and added:

    Just read this response about MIT ‘s report… enough said.

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    I have stated that I have concerns that the MIT administration is not being fully forthcoming in their own internal…

  41.  nivair reblogged this from tarensk and added:

    That ass-covering parenthetical sums up a lot for me, and I find that framing of the situation so massively offensive…

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  45.  dirty-irish reblogged this from tarensk and added:

    Keep this spreading, keep awareness going. Aaron’s death did not need to happen, and the people who are responsible…

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