Aaron Swartz's FBI and Secret Service files


On page 9 of 26 in the file

They give Aaron Swartz’s social security number, but redact several phone numbers. Looks like the NSA now thinks of our phone number as the privacy key that cannot be revealed, while social security numbers are just something to throw around.


They redacted a lot of social security numbers as well, and there was discussion in the documents about SSNs being redacted from the data that was downloaded from PACER. It begs the question of why the data was made public before redacting PII in the first place. I won’t speculate too much on why Arron’s SSN was left in, beyond him being dead.

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Because we really need to keep the social security number of a dead man secret.

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Identity thieves might disagree, but I have a feeling using Aaron’s SSN to start a new life or fake credit would be a really bad idea.


I’m confused as to why anything relating to the investigation of a dead person would need to be kept secret. His so called crimes are a matter of public record. We all know what happened to him.

I know they wish to protect their own asses, since they hounded a man to suicide through abuse of the judicial system, but I really think they should have an annual character limit on redactions - maybe 1000 characters/year per prosecutor. That’s enough to cover any really secret information, but not enough to cover misconduct.


So… which part is confusing? That seems crystal clear to me.

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