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First 104 pages of Aaron Swartz Secret Service File Released - Who is the female on page 97? ~pj
Monday, August 12 2013 @ 06:49 PM EDT

Kevin Poulsen at Wired reports that the first 104 pages of Aaron Swartz's Secret Service files are available now, with a lot more to come, as a result of court ordered release. There are apparently 14,500 more pages to come.

Look at page 97. It's redacted so the identity of the woman is kept confidential, but it appears from the notation that a woman was in contact with authorities and informing them of conversations between her and Swartz.

The notation on that page reads:

[Redacted] said that she also spoke with Swartz after the search of his residence. [Redacted] said that Swartz told her that agents came into his house and took part of his book. [Redacted] said that Swartx also said that agents came into the Safra Center and took his controller for Rock Band. [Redacted] said that Swartz told her that the agents were frustrated and that they did not find what they were looking for. [Redacted] said that Swartz told her that the agents took his phones....[Redacted] said that Swartz started a Google Group called Guerilla Open Access.
So after the raid, Swartz spoke with a female friend, or someone he wrongly imagined was a friend, who then told the raiders what his reaction to the raid had been and told them about Guerilla Open Access. So. Who fits that description? What isn't clear is whether it was an informer in a traditional sense or someone contacted by them, as opposed to the other way around, just a person being interviewed in connection with the case.

For comparison purposes and to be thorough, here's the account by Quinn Norton, who was visited by the Secret Service after the raid:

In early March I was staying at a friend's loft in the Bay Area. Someone knocked at the door of the loft, and I ran downstairs, still dressed in my pajamas, and answered the door. It was a tall man and a short woman in blazers and unmatched trousers. They had the dowdy cleanliness of law enforcement. They said they were from the Secret Service and that they wanted to ask me a few questions. Shocked and unsure of myself, I let them in to talk to me. One should never, ever do this.

They asked about Aaron, I told them I didn't know anything. They pointed out that he'd called me, and asked what he told me. I told them I hadn't asked anything about his arrest, and they were incredulous.

Eventually I ran out of things to tell them, and they produced the real reason for their visit: a subpoena.

Either the woman on page 97 is a different friend, or Norton left out, or misremembered, some important details.

For us, outsiders to the case, it probably doesn't matter who it was. What we can learn, however, is what experts have said over and over again: don't speak to any police types without your lawyer present. Ever.


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