CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com/AP) – A Massachusetts Institute of Technology sophomore could be in hot water for using the Aaron Swartz case to play a prank on students.
A fake e-mail went out to all MIT dorm rooms at 1 a.m. Wednesday. The letter said it was from MIT President Rafael Reif and that school was called off Wednesday because of "threatening requests" regarding the Swartz case.
The e-mail was actually sent by Delian Asparouhov. He told MIT's newspaper The Tech that he was just joking around and was sorry for using a serious subject like the Swartz suicide as a prank.
On his own website, Asparouhov called his actions "completely inappropriate," and said he feels terrible for scaring and upsetting people.
Asparouhov said the hoax started as an argument between friends about how easy it was to send a spoof email from anyone, but what he intended as a prank backfired.
"I wasn't even thinking about the Aaron Swartz case," Asparouhov wrote.
The school e-mailed all students after 4 a.m. to confirm the e-mail was a hoax and to say that classes would take place as scheduled.
An MIT spokeswoman did not say whether Asparouhov is facing punishment.
Swartz was an Internet freedom activist facing federal prosecution for allegedly hacking into MIT's computer system. He killed himself in January.
Statement posted on Delian Asparouhov's blog:
Earlier today I sent out an email to most of MIT which alluded to a very controversial situation and spoofed as if it was sent from the president of MIT. This email produced fear and caused many people to be angry that someone would take such a serious matter so lightly. I'd like to apologize for the damage I caused to the MIT community, especially in light of the recent events that have caused large amounts of strife, which I only added to.
I made a lot of people mad, and made many people very scared, and for that I feel terrible. MIT has already gone through a lot in the last few months, and my actions were completely inappropriate. I should have never written the email, and especially not sent it out to the entire school.
Below, I've documented what happened and an explanation of the severity of my actions:
Earlier today, I made the mistake of sending out the following email to MIT: (Pulled from this article)