BOSTON (AP) – The state is backing off after telling a Massachusetts blogger he could face jail time for publishing information about where people spend federal food stamps.
The Department of Transitional Assistance mistakenly released the information to Michael Morisy after his website, MuckRock, made a records request.
On Thursday, a department spokeswoman said they’d contacted Morisy out of concern the federal government would hold him liable, and never meant to “raise the specter of prosecution.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has said it merely told the state not to release such restricted data in the future.
Morisey said he won’t remove the information because the public is entitled to see it.
First Amendment attorney Robert Ambrogi told The Boston Globe that MockRock did nothing wrong, calling the data “exactly the kind of information that should be made public.”
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