The website belonging to the United States Sentencing Commission is down this morning, following a hack by Anonymous overnight. The site, which normally bears information about sentencing guidelines for federal crimes, instead showed a nearly 10 minute long YouTube video and the same message typed below it.
The hacktivist collective claims its takedown of the site belonging to the U.S. Department of Justice is in response to the suicide of Reddit programmer Aaron Swartz. At the time of his death, Swartz faced up to 35 years in prison on federal computer fraud charges. According to Anonymous, Swartz was "killed" and a "line was crossed":
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.
The "game" involves releasing a file ("warhead") containing sensitive information about the Justice Department. What that information is, Anonymous isn't saying.