Ryan Singel reports:
When Aaron Swartz, a 22 year-old programmer, decided last fall to help an open government activist amass a public and free copy of millions of federal court records, he did not expect he’d end up with an FBI agent trying to surveil his house.
But that’s what happened, as Swartz found out this week when got his FBI file through a Freedom of Information Act request. A partially-redacted FBI report shows the feds mounted a serious investigation of Swartz for helping put public documents onto the public web.
The Great Court Records Caper began last year when the judiciary and the Government Printing Office experimented with giving away free access to PACER at 17 select libraries around the country. Swartz decided to use the trial to grab as many of the public court records as he could and, perversely, release them to the public.
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