Anonymous Hacks U.S. Government
The activist group, Anonymous, hacked the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission in an act of vengeance for the death of Aaron Swartz.
Swartz was an American computer programmer, writer, political organizer and Internet activist, who died earlier this month. He committed suicide in his Brooklyn apartment where he hung himself.
A week before his death, Swartz was arrested by federal authorities in connection with systematic downloading of academic journal articles from JSTOR. Swartz opposed the practice of compensating publishers, rather than authors, out of the fees it charges for access to articles. Swartz contended that the fees were limiting public access to academic work that was being supported by public funding.
Swartz was involved in the development of the web feed format RSS and and the social news site Reddit, He also voice his opinion against SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act.
The U.S. Sentencing Commission is an independent agency of the judicial branch. Its website was hacked early Saturday and the content was replaced with a warning message; “a line was crossed.”
In part, the message read:
“Citizens of the world,Anonymous claims they have comprised several government computer systems and have copies of secret information that they will make public.
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.”
By mid-morning, Saturday the website was offline.