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Anon Takes Down Government Site Over Aaron Swartz's Death

By - Source: The Inquirer | B 71 comments

United States Sentencing Commission responsible for issuing sentencing guidelines for US federal courts.

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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  • 28 Hide
    JamesSneed , January 28, 2013 11:01 PM
    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
  • 26 Hide
    ikyung , January 28, 2013 11:38 PM
    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.
  • 22 Hide
    dark_wizzie , January 28, 2013 10:15 PM
    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...
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    dark_wizzie , January 28, 2013 10:15 PM
    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...
  • 8 Hide
    Chetou , January 28, 2013 10:22 PM
    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
  • 21 Hide
    James296 , January 28, 2013 10:31 PM
    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.


    must be nice seeing everything in Black and White
  • 15 Hide
    Anonymous , January 28, 2013 10:44 PM
    Civil rights protesting was illegal. Should the protesters have just stayed home because they knew the risks? The guy downloaded academic papers, most of which were not even copyrighted, from a database that he had legal student access to. He faced 35 years because he allegedly wanted to distribute that information so that people would be better educated.
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , January 28, 2013 10:52 PM
    I do not think anyone can say with a straight face that what this guy was doing was wrong (not illegal, just wrong). I don't think anyone can say with a straight face that what the prosecution was doing was right (not legal, but right). I don't think anyone can sit with a straight face and say that the companies in control of any copyright on the material the guy was attempting to distribute act more righteously than he did, and those companies wrote the law that he was being prosecuted under. See a problem? If you do not, then you are blind.
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , January 28, 2013 10:56 PM
    sacre, you are totally right. We should have lynched Robin Hood- stealing from them fine rich folks to give to the nasty poor. Ghandi was a damn criminal- they should have punished him with death, not some pussy jail. Don't even get me started on Mother Teresa, with all her illegal border crossings she should have been in jail for at least a half century.
  • 28 Hide
    JamesSneed , January 28, 2013 11:01 PM
    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
  • 8 Hide
    kingnoobe , January 28, 2013 11:04 PM
    To be honest I'm on the fence with anon. I agree with some of the stuff they do, but just as much I think is absolute BS.

    But either way this video was cool lol.
  • 20 Hide
    blurr91 , January 28, 2013 11:06 PM
    String em upsacre, you are totally right. We should have lynched Robin Hood- stealing from them fine rich folks to give to the nasty poor. Ghandi was a damn criminal- they should have punished him with death, not some pussy jail. Don't even get me started on Mother Teresa, with all her illegal border crossings she should have been in jail for at least a half century.


    Correction: Robin Hood did not steal from the rich to give to the poor. Robin Hood took back what the government stole from the people and returned it to the rightful owners.
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , January 28, 2013 11:16 PM
    While I do think the charges against him were absurd considering the material that was distributed, it was his choice and he made it. He wasn't murdered by the justice system, he killed himself. This case would've generated so much controversy that you can be certain he would've had the best lawyer money can buy (for free since this case would be all over the news) as well as the support from the American public. There is no way he would've ever been sentenced to 35 years. He probably would've had no jail time at all. Our legal system is not black and white, that is why we have trials.

    If he really wanted to change things, he should have gone to trial. The outcome would've been in his favor and it would've been a major victory against unfair copyright laws. But, he cracked and killed himself. By the way I'm not trying to be mean, just trying to put this whole thing into perspective for a lot of people who are blaming "the system".
  • 26 Hide
    ikyung , January 28, 2013 11:38 PM
    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.
  • -5 Hide
    getochkn , January 28, 2013 11:38 PM
    Was supposed to be "stole her passport" not password. lol.
  • 13 Hide
    tobalaz , January 28, 2013 11:51 PM
    This is so screwed up.
    We live in a world where a CEO can bone employees, close the doors of the company, steal millions in pension and benefits from said employees, and get off with 5 years in Club Fed then keep the money while a kid who downloads music or videos gets millions in fines.
    Scammers and identity thieves walk all the time unless they target a known athlete, CEO or high ranking government official.

    Guess its ok to steal if you steal from those the government steals from all the time just so long as you're not stealing from the people lining the pockets of the government.

    But seriously, 35 years for breaking a TOA? That shit should have been thrown out the window the second it happened. If anything there should have been a fine, but REALLY?
  • 17 Hide
    subtleendowment , January 28, 2013 11:52 PM
    Is it unreasonable that this made me cry? Good god, how much longer do we have..
  • -8 Hide
    thechaver , January 29, 2013 12:58 AM
    This would be real good and nice if it was actually real. Not to say that what happened to David Swartz was good and nice, but what Anonymous is doing was REAL.

    CIA CIA CIA CIA CIA CIA.

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