Documents show that the U.S. Secret Service played a role in the federal investigation of free-information activist Aaron Swartz and watched his case until he committed suicide.
Swartz died in New York City in January as he faced trial on charges he hacked into a Massachusetts Institute of Technology archive of scholarly articles with the aim of making them freely available.
The Secret Service documents, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show the agency's Boston field office secured documents and electronic devices seized during a search of Swartz's home and research office at Harvard University.
Agents also joined local police who interviewed Swartz's associates, including a San Francisco woman who told them that he called her after he was arrested and asked her to call his lawyer to arrange bail.
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