In response to news media requests, the FBI released Steve Jobs' FBI file a few weeks ago. News outlets focused on Jobs' past drug use, aspersions cast on Jobs' character by past colleagues and a 1985 bomb threat against Apple that was investigated by the FBI. Also of interest:
Much of the information in the file is drawn from public records. (Unlike a pure public records search, however, the findings from these searches were followed up by field agents.)
A Nexis (described as a "computerized news retrieval service") search was conducted by FBI agents as was a canvass of court indexes. And, like many public records researchers, the FBI agents searching for a stockholder suit against Apple found that large parts of the case file were missing when they went to retrieve it at the local court.
When you read the Jobs file think about investigative reporter Seth Rosenfeld who fought a multi-year FOIA battle with the FBI. Rosenfeld's determination focused attention on the FBI's tendency to release records in a painfully slow manner and paved the way for the speed with which the FBI can now move.
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