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Secret Service documents show Cambridge police participated in 2011 political interrogation of Aaron Swartz associate

Photo credit: Jacob Appelbaum

The Secret Service has released 104 pages of documents pertaining to its surveillance and investigation of the late justice activist Aaron Swartz. 

Among the documents is a reference to a political interrogation that the Cambridge police department appears to have participated in alongside the Secret Service. Wired reports [emphasis mine]:

The heavily redacted documents released today confirm earlier reports that the Secret Service was interested in a “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto” that Swartz and others had penned in 2008. In May 2011, a Secret Service agent and a detective from the Cambridge police department interviewed a friend of Swartz and inquired specifically about the political statement. The friend noted that Swartz and his coauthors “believe that the open access movement is a human rights issue.”

The government released the documents as a first substantive response to Wired journalist Kevin Poulsen after having initially refused to release a single document. A court agreed with the Wired reporter's resulting FOIA lawsuit, ordering the Secret Service to begin releasing approximately 14,500 responsive documents on a rolling basis.

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.