Anon Takes Down Government Site Over Aaron Swartz's Death

In response to the death of Aaron Swartz, activist group Anonymous have hacked a U.S. government website. The group embedded a video statement on the homepage of the United States Sentencing Commission, which is an agency of the U.S. government. However, the website itself has been unavailable since Saturday. The USSC is responsible for issuing guidelines on sentencing for U.S. federal courts.

The statement -- part of an attack dubbed "Operation Last Resort" -- is based on the death of Aaron Swartz, an internet activist (pictured right) who killed himself earlier in January.

"Two weeks ago today, a line was crossed," the statement reads. "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."

Anonymous Aaron Swartz


Swartz, who was 26, had faced hacking charges; his federal trial was due to be held in February. If he was found guilty of the allegations, he faced up to 35 years in prison.

"The federal sentencing guidelines... enable prosecutors to cheat citizens of their constitutionally-guaranteed right to a fair trial, by a jury of their peers [and] are a clear violation of the 8th amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishments," Anonymous continued.

Following his death, Swartz's family said a statement that it blamed "intimidation" and "prosecutorial overreach" from the criminal justice system.

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  • Intriguing video. To sum up the link from Chetou.

    Threaten the president = 5 years prison max
    Assault a Supreme Court Justice = 10 years prison max
    Armed bank robbery = 20 prison years max
    Help terrorist develop a nuclear weapon = 25 prison years max
    Download educational documents violating vendors TOS = 35+ years prison
    28
  • Seems like 90% of the people commenting on this has no idea what happened.

    1) This man downloaded files from a PUBLIC website. The rule he broke was, on the TOA (Terms of Agreement) he was limited to downloading a certain amount. This being a public website, there was absolutely no files that contained any top-secret agenda.

    2) He was charged with multiple counts of FELONY for breaking the TOA. Now, think about this for a second. Do any of you even read the TOA when you register to a website, game, or any software for that matter? I'll let that sink in for a minute.

    3) The reason this case caused such an uproar was because the prosecutor had their own agenda and used this man for political issues. The politician working in this case wanted to seem like she had a strong stance against issues regarding hacking and other online policies to GATHER votes. So basically this man was used as a political asset so some retarded politician can get more votes in to stay in office.

    Now, think about how this court case would have/could have affected you. If Aaron Swartz pleaded guilty to receive a reduced sentence, then there could be a chance that breaking a simple online Terms of Agreement can lead to felony charges against YOU. TERMS OF AGREEMENT. Remember? The 25 page thing that you don't even take a second glance at and just press the "accept" button so you can enjoy the contents of the actual product.

    So please stop saying ignorant things like "derp derp don't break the law" because technically he didn't break the law. He broke a terms of agreement on a public website and was used as a political asset to garner votes from the public.
    26
  • sacre"faced hacking charges"Well stop hacking peoples stuff.Its always sad to see someone take their own life, but this kid dug his own grave. Stop doing illegal shit and you'll be fine.

    WTF is wrong with you? The magnitude of punishment did not balance according to what he did! A kid dies because people are computer-phobic. He would have gotten a lighter sentence if he killed somebody.

    I stole a piece of candy when I was 6. Do I deserve 35 years in prision? Stop stealing shit and you'll be fine, you say...
    22
  • Other Comments
  • "faced hacking charges"

    Well stop hacking peoples stuff.

    Its always sad to see someone take their own life, but this kid dug his own grave. Stop doing illegal shit and you'll be fine.
    -25
  • sacre"faced hacking charges"Well stop hacking peoples stuff.Its always sad to see someone take their own life, but this kid dug his own grave. Stop doing illegal shit and you'll be fine.

    WTF is wrong with you? The magnitude of punishment did not balance according to what he did! A kid dies because people are computer-phobic. He would have gotten a lighter sentence if he killed somebody.

    I stole a piece of candy when I was 6. Do I deserve 35 years in prision? Stop stealing shit and you'll be fine, you say...
    22
  • sacre"faced hacking charges"Well stop hacking peoples stuff.Its always sad to see someone take their own life, but this kid dug his own grave. Stop doing illegal shit and you'll be fine.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoPgFA5AkUY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a91WYyhnCP0
    8