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Judge Orders The Secret Service to Release Their File on Aaron Swartz

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Abby Ohlheiser
The Atlantic
July 9, 2013

We might be about to learn a lot more about the Secret Service investigation into Aaron Swartz, the political and internet activist who committed suicide earlier this year. That’s because a federal judge, in response to a FOIA lawsuit, has ordered the Department of Homeland Security (the parent organization of the Secret Service) to start releasing thousands of pages of documents, ASAP.

That request comes from Wired’s Kevin Poulsen, who sought documents relating to the Secret Service’s 2011 investigation into the activist’s downloading of JSTOR articles in bulk. Those downloads were central to the mounting legal troubles the Swartz faced just before his death, afterMassachusetts Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Heymannrefused to offer Swartz a plea deal without jail time. Here’s what Poulsen says about the request:

That criminal case was formally dismissed after Swartz’s death. Yet in February, the Secret Service denied in full my request for any files it held on Swartz, citing a FOIA exemption that covers sensitive law enforcement records that are part of an ongoing proceeding. Other requestors reported receiving the same response.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 10:30 am

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