Swartz May Have Been a WikiLeaks Source

Organization tweets that he 'assisted' and spoke to Julian Assange

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 21, 2013 8:35 AM CST
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(Newser) – Aaron Swartz may have been a WikiLeaks source, the group said on its Twitter feed over the weekend. In a series of tweets, WikiLeaks said that activist and hacker Swartz, who committed suicide earlier this month while awaiting trial on computer fraud charges, "assisted" the organization and "was in communication with Julian Assange, including during 2010 and 2011," Mashable reports. But the tweets did not go so far as to name Swartz as a WikiLeaks source, only saying, "We have strong reasons to believe, but cannot prove, that" he was.

WikiLeaks also noted that its disclosure was due to the Secret Service's involvement—it had taken over the investigation two days before Swartz was arrested, the Verge reported last weekend. Now, the Verge also notes that these tweets from WikiLeaks could be implying that the Secret Service was targeting Swartz in order to attack WikiLeaks, but that "taking that implied claim at face value would be irresponsible without more evidence"—because it could also just be a grab for attention by WikiLeaks. (The website also notes that WikiLeaks may have just violated its own policy regarding anonymity.)

This Dec. 8, 2012 photo provided by ThoughtWorks shows Aaron Swartz in New York.
This Dec. 8, 2012 photo provided by ThoughtWorks shows Aaron Swartz in New York.   (AP Photo/ThoughtWorks, Pernille Ironside)
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