Praising Swartz’s work toward “open government and free access to the people,” Issa told The Huffington Post that the government’s case against Swartz is problematic enough to warrant further investigation.
I’m not condoning his hacking, but he’s certainly someone who worked very hard. Had he been a journalist and taken that same material that he gained from MIT, he would have been praised for it. It would have been like the Pentagon Papers.
Issa said he didn’t have enough information to say whether the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts overprosecuted Swartz. He said he had dispatched an investigator to gather more facts.
Issa has been one of a handful of congressional Republicans to take an active role defending Internet freedom issues. He was the first Republican to speak aggressively against the Stop Online Piracy Act, a bill that Swartz led opposition to as an activist.