Regarding our SNAP (food stamp) data

Written by

We thought you should know that we received the following e-mail from the Department of Transitional Assistance on Monday:

Dear Mr. Morisy:

I am writing to inform you that certain information found on the website, which lists individual retailer redemptions for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is posted in violation of federal law.. [sic] This information was erroneously released by the Department of Transitional Assistance to Spare Change News. Federal law prohibits release of such information under 7 U.S.C. 2018(9)(c), and 7 CFR 278.1(q).

Failure to remove this information may result in fines or imprisonment. 7 U.S.C. 2018(9)(c) (“any person who publishes, divulges, discloses, or makes known in any manner or to any extent not authorized by Federal law (including a regulation) any information obtained under this subsection shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both).

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. If I should be addressing this communication to someone else, I would also appreciate you letting me know. Thank you.

Koren Christensen Acting General Counsel Department of Transitional Assistance 600 Washington Street Boston, MA 02111

We have engaged legal counsel to advise us on this issue, and in the meantime we have not removed from our site any of the documents (here and here) provided to us by the DTA.