Anonymous Hijacks U.S. Sentencing Commission Website Over Internet Activist’s Death

Anonymous, the hacker-activist group, said it hijacked the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s website in order to avenge Aaron Swartz’s death. Swartz, who was an Internet activist, recently committed suicide.

The commission’s website, which is a single entity of the judicial branch, was hijacked early Saturday morning and had a warning message on it that read that Swartz’s death was a crossed line.

Here is part of the message from Anonymous:

“Citizens of the World,

Anonymous has observed for some time now the trajectory of justice in the United States with growing concern. We have marked the departure of this system from the noble ideals in which it was born and enshrined. We have seen the erosion of due process, the dilution of constitutional rights, the usurpation of the rightful authority of courts by the “discretion” or prosecutors. We have seen how the law is wielded less and less to uphold justice, and more and more to exercise control, authority and power in the interests of oppression or personal gain.”

According to Anonymous hackers, they were able to break into several government computers and make copies of top-secret information that they are threatening to release to the public.

Swartz’s family and friends said upon continuous hounding from the federal prosecutors, the co-creator of RSS and Reddit, committed suicide.

Officials have said Swartz posted millions of court documents on the Internet for free and that he illegally downloaded academic articles from an Internet clearinghouse.

The website, by mid-Saturday morning, was taken offline.

FBI’s Executive Assistant Director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch Richard McFeely said the instant the attack happened, the agency knew about it and is currently handling the matter as a criminal investigation. He said the agency is always concerned when somebody gains access to another person’s or entity’s computer illegally.

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