Aaron Swartz Estate Blocked From Releasing Court Records

The judge fears people will be angry at his persecutors


 A federal judge has rejected attempts by the estate of the late Aaron Swartz to disclose confidential court documents that could have revealed key details about MIT's role in his prosecution.

U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton in Boston ruled today that the possibility of violence aimed at MIT officials—some have reportedly received threats, and the campus was locked down in February after a gunman hoax—outweighed the public's right to access court records that would have identified which professors, university attorneys, or staff members were involved.

"The estate's interest in disclosing the identity of individuals named in the production, as it relates to enhancing the public's understanding of the investigation and prosecution of Mr. Swartz, is substantially outweighed by the interest of the government and the victims in shielding their employees from potential retaliation," Gorton wrote.

MIT, JSTOR, and the U.S. Attorney's office headed by Carmen Ortiz had requested that the court not permit the disclosure of the identities of anyone who worked at any of those organizations.