Lawyers for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the digital library JSTOR continue to press their fight to intervene in a public records lawsuit to assert control over the scope of information the government is planning to release about the late Aaron Swartz.
In the dispute in Washington federal district court, MIT and JSTOR argue they should have some say over the ability to keep certain details secret before the government provides any information to the public. Wired investigative reporter Kevin Poulsen sued the Department of Homeland Security in April under the Freedom of Information Act. The suit now tests just how big a voice a third party can have in a public records case.
MIT's attorneys at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr said in a court filing Tuesday night that the university, which provided information to law enforcement in the investigation of Swartz in a computer crimes case, "manifested an expectation" that the government would refrain from disclosing confidential information.
Much of the information MIT provided to the authorities, Wilmer lawyers said in their court filing, was in response to grand jury subpoenas amid the Swartz investigation. Swartz was ultimately charged in Boston federal court in connection to his downloading of millions of JSTOR articles via MIT networks. In January, while the case was still pending, he committed suicide.