Feds Asked Aaron Swartz's Friends About His 'Guerilla Open Access Manifesto,' A Call For Liberating Data From Private Hands

Jim Edwards | Business Insider | August 13, 2013

The U.S. Secret Service released the first 104 pages of the federal government's 14,500-page file on Aaron Swartz, the internet activist and MIT fellow who committed suicide after being charged in both federal and state court with hacking and fraud.

Swartz was the author of the “Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto,” which called for information to be freely available and not "locked up by a handful of corporations" behind copyright-enforced paywalls. He was accused of hacking MIT's network — to which he had authorized access — so that it bulk-downloaded 4 million articles from JSTOR, the academic journal archive, in January 2011. Swartz had previously used a free access terminal in a federal courthouse to download 20 million pages of documents from PACER, the federal judiciary 's database of court records.

The newly released documents show that the feds asked questions about Swartz's manifesto and its "human rights" applications.