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MIT Pledges Support for Students Who Created 'Tidbit'

February 18, 2014

L. Rafael Reif, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, issued a statement on Saturday expressing support for the MIT students behind the start-up Tidbit, which involves the controversial alternative currency Bitcoin. New Jersey authorities are investigating the company, and have demanded extensive documents (including code) from the students. Some at MIT were concerned last week that the institute was not backing the students, a concern reflected in the continued soul-searching at MIT over the suicide of Aaron Swartz. The letter from Reif said MIT was helping the students, and their lawyers. And Reif said he was asking MIT officials to create a system so that MIT student entrepreneurs could find "independent legal advice" when they need it.

"I want to make it clear that the students who created Tidbit have the full and enthusiastic support of MIT," Reif wrote. He said that the case "highlights issues central to sustaining the creative culture of MIT."

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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