Aaron Swartz (FBI)

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.


From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

All records on, about, mentioning, or concerning Internet activist and DemandProgress co-founder Aaron H. Swartz (November 8, 1986 – January 11, 2013). Swartz's death from suicide on January 11, 2013 has been widely reported:

From The MIT Tech (http://tech.mit.edu/V132/N61/swartz.html): "Computer activist Aaron H. Swartz committed suicide in New York City yesterday, Jan. 11, according to his uncle, Michael Wolf, in a comment to The Tech. Swartz was 26. “The tragic and heartbreaking information you received is, regrettably, true,” confirmed Swartz’ attorney, Elliot R. Peters of Kecker and Van Nest, in an email to The Tech."

From boingboing (http://boingboing.net/2013/01/12/rip-aaron-swartz.html): "My friend Aaron Swartz committed suicide yesterday, Jan 11. He was 26. I got woken up with the news about an hour ago. I'm still digesting it -- I suspect I'll be digesting it for a long time -- but I thought it was important to put something public up so that we could talk about it."

From Mashable (http://mashable.com/2013/01/12/aaron-swartz-suicide/): "Aaron Swartz, online activist and founder of Infogami, a service later merged with Reddit, has committed suicide in New York City on Jan. 11, the Tech reports."

From Gawker (http://gawker.com/5975410/reddit-cofounder-digital-activist-aaron-swartz-dead-from-suicide-at-26): "Aaron Swartz, a programmer and Internet activist who co-founded a company that would eventually grow into Reddit, committed suicide Friday in New York City"

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.


Shawn Musgrave

From: Sobonya, David P.

Dear Mr. Musgrave,

The FBI has received your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request and it will be forwarded to Initial Processing for review. Your request will be processed under the provisions of FOIPA and a response will be mailed to you at a later date.

Requests for fee waivers and expedited processing will be addressed once your request has been assigned an FOIPA request number. You will receive written notification of the FBI’s decision.

Information regarding the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy is available at http://www.fbi.gov/ or http://www.fbi.gov/foia/. If you require additional assistance please contact the Public Information Officer.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 12, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Sobonya, David P.

Dear Mr. Musgrave,

Thank you for your inquiry regarding the status of your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request. A review of your request has determined the following.

The request is presently assigned to a Disclosure analyst who is reviewing the records to determine if any redactions are required pursuant to subsections of Title 5, U. S. Code, Section 552 and 552a. Upon completion, the records are forwarded to a supervisor for review. If approved, a release will be forthcoming. However, the supervisor may send the records back for further review which may delay the release.

You can now check the status of your request online at: http://www.fbi.gov/foia/, and click on the ‘Check Status of Your FOI/PA Request’ link under the Records Available Now section. Online status reports are updated weekly.

Additional information regarding the FOI/PA is available at http://www.fbi.gov/. If you require further assistance please contact me.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: Shawn Musgrave


I have received the 21 pages of responsive documents. Thank you for sending. Could you please clarify whether these were previously processed, as well as whether any additional documents exist with regard to Aaron Swartz? In addition to the PACER case, he was the subject of more recent investigations.

Shawn Musgrave

From: Sobonya, David P.

Dear Mr. Musgrave,

The 21 pages is all of the material responsive.

If you are not satisfied with the results of your request you may file an appeal with the Office of Information Policy (OIP), United States Department of Justice. Please follow the instructions below when submitting your appeal to OIP.

Please note: Do not submit your appeal to the FBI.

Appeals should be directed in writing to the following:

Office of Information Policy (OIP)
U. S. Department of Justice
1425 New York Avenue, N. W., Suite 11050
Washington, D, C. 20530-0001.

Your appeal must be received by OIP within sixty (60) days from the date of your letter in order to be considered timely. The envelope and the letter should be clearly marked, “Freedom of Information Appeal.” Please cite the FOIPA Request Number assigned to your request so that it may be indentified easily.