Anonymous has hacked the US Sentencing Commission’s website in retaliation for the suicide of internet activist and Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz, and as of now, the site is still displaying in its compromised state.
More on this breaking story as it develops. Statement below from Anonymous on the decision to hack USSC.gov.
[Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that Anonymous’ attack affected the Supreme Court’s website, when in actuality, it is the US Sentencing Commission’s website as stated above.]
In addition to the defacing of the site with a video, a statement on Swartz’s death and the government’s alleged harassment of the activist and a Nyan Cat graphic, instructions were disseminated via Twitter and on Pastebin for supporters to assist in promoting the message added by the activist group.
As of 3AM EST, the attack on the site remains viewable at USSC.gov.
Below, a statement from Anonymous posted in full on the Sentencing Commission’s site, as well as the video currently embedded there.
“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” of 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.
We have been watching, and waiting.
Two weeks ago today, a line was crossed. Two weeks ago today, Aaron Swartz was killed. Killed because he faced an impossible choice. Killed because he was forced into playing a game he could not win — a twisted and distorted perversion of justice — a game where the only winning move was not to play.
Anonymous immediately convened an emergency council to discuss our response to this tragedy. After much heavy-hearted discussion, the decision was upheld to engage the United States Department of Justice and its associated executive branches in a game of a similar nature, a game in which the only winning move is not to play.
Last year the Federal Bureau of Investigation revelled in porcine glee at its successful infiltration of certain elements of Anonymous. This infiltration was achieved through the use of the *same tactics which lead to Aaron Swartz’ death. It would not have been possible were it not for the power of federal prosecutors to thoroughly destroy the lives of any hacktivists they apprehend through the very real threat of highly disproportionate sentencing.
As a result of the FBI’s infiltration and entrapment tactics, several more of our brethren now face similar disproportionate persecution, the balance of their lives hanging on the severely skewed scales of a broken justice system.
— #OpManning (@OpManning) January 26, 2013
We have felt within our hearts a burning rage in reaction to these events, but we have not allowed ourselves to be drawn into a foolish and premature response. We have bidden our time, operating in the shadows, adapting our tactics and honing our abilities. We have allowed the FBI and its masters in government — both the puppet and the shadow government that controls it — to believe they had struck a crippling blow to our infrastructure, that they had demoralized us, paralyzed us with paranoia and fear. We have held our tongue and waited.