By Jesse Brown - Monday, January 14, 2013 - 0 Comments
When I spoke to Aaron Swartz in 2009, he had just learned that he’d been investigated by the FBI for “stealing” public court documents from a library and sharing them on the Internet. They had a file on him. They had staked out his mom’s house. He thought it was hilarious.
“The whole thing strikes me as ridiculous,” he said of his FBI file, which he had obtained through a Freedom of Information request. “Suspect lives on a heavily wooded dead-end street,” he read in a super-serious Dragnet voice, “making continued surveillance difficult.”
“Who are you,” I asked, “Jason Bourne?”
It was no joke. His brilliant PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) hack put him on the FBI’s radar and likely contributed to the persecution he suffered when he struck again. Continue…