Daily Outline


  • Report to the President: MIT and the Prosecution of Aaron Swartz. Review Panel: Harold Abelson, Peter A Diamond, Andrew Grosso, Douglas W. Pfeiffer. Some learnings: “Before Aaron Swartz’s suicide, the MIT community paid scant attention to the matter, other than during the period immediately following his arrest.  Few students, faculty, or alumni expressed concerns to the administration. In preserving MIT’s stance of neutrality and limit ed involvement, MIT decision-makers did not inquire into the details of the charges until a year after the indictment, and did not form an opinion about their merits. MIT took the position that U.S. v. Swartz was simply a lawsuit to which it was not a party, although it did inform the U.S. Attorney’s Office that the prosecution should not be under the impression that MIT wanted jail time for Aaron Swartz. (MIT did not say it was actually opposed to jail time.) Among the factors not considered were that the defendant was an accomplished and well – known contributor to Internet technology; that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is a poorly drafted and questionable criminal law as applied to modern computing, one that affects the Internet community as a whole and is widely criticized; and that the United States government was pursuing an overtly aggressive prosecution. MIT’s position may have been prudent, but it did not duly take into account the wider background of information policy against which the prosecution played out and in which MIT people have traditionally been passionate leaders.”
  • ZTE Quadruples Lobbying After U.S. House Blacklisting. By Jonathan D. Salant & Kathleen Miller in Bloomberg.