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."
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.