Prosecutors, others involved in Swartz case express safety, privacy concerns
Ask that names of those involved in the case not be disclosed
Computerworld - The U.S government and two other entities involved in investigations leading to the indictment of the late Internet activist Aaron Swartz have asked a federal court in Boston to redact the names of people involved in the case from documents being sought by Swartz's estate and by some lawmakers.
In separate affidavits filed with the court last week, the Department of Justice, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Ithaka Harbors, a nonprofit organization that operates JSTOR, a large database of academic journals, cited privacy and security concerns as reasons for their redaction requests.
Swartz, 26, hanged himself in January apparently over concerns stemming from the prospect of spending up to 35 years in prison on hacking-related charges.
Federal prosecutors in Massachusetts had alleged that Swartz violated the provisions of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) when he misused his guest access privileges on MIT's network to systematically access and download 4 million documents from JSTOR. He was indicted on 13 counts of felony hacking and wire fraud related to the alleged theft.
Swartz claimed he had downloaded the scholarly documents in JSTOR solely to make them available for free to everyone on the Internet.
His death galvanized calls for a review of the use of the CFAA by federal authorities. Many blamed prosecutors for harassing Swartz and for trying to scare him into making a plea deal by hitting him with charges that carried long prison sentences. S
Swartz's family accused prosecutors of intimidation and overreach and asked for an investigation into the government's handling of the case. They have demanded to know the names of all those who were involved in the investigation in order to understand the role that "institutional players" had in Swartz's death.
Several lawmakers have asked the Department of Justice for more information on the Swartz prosecution.
In an affidavit filed last week, Jack Pirozzolo, first assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said the government agreed in principle to the unsealing of certain documents related to the case in accordance with the demands of Swartz's attorneys and Congress.
However, he argued that the documents be stripped of the names and other identifying information of individuals involved in the case for the sake of their privacy and security.
Pirozzolo claimed that U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, who oversaw the prosecution of the case, and assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Heymann both received harassing and potentially threatening emails in the weeks and months following Swartz's suicide.
"One such email I have seen states, among other things: ROFLMAO just saw you were totally dox'd over the weekend by Anonymous," Pirozzolo wrote referring to an email allegedly sent to Heymann. "How does it feel to become an enemy of the state? FYI, you might want to move out of the country and change your name."
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Who's Spying on You? You're aware of the threats of malware to your business but what about the ever-changing ground rules? Cybercriminals today are launching attacks against...
- Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready? Read "Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready?" now, and discover best practices and actionable steps to implementing a production-ready big data solution.
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Cybercrime and Hacking White Papers | Webcasts