The hacker-activist group Anonymous says itÂ hijacked the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission to avenge the death ofÂ Aaron Swartz, an Internet activist who committed suicide on JanuaryÂ 11.
The website of the commission, an independentÂ agency of the judicial branch, was taken over early Saturday.
Hackers replaced the homescreen with aÂ message warning that when Swartz killed himself two weeks ago ‘a line wasÂ crossed.’
AnonymousÂ say they’ve infiltrated several government computer systems and copied secretÂ information that they now threaten to make public.
The message on the sentencing website partlyÂ read:
‘Citizens of the world,Â Anonymous has observed for some time now the trajectory of justice in the UnitedÂ States with growing concern.
‘We have marked the departure of this systemÂ from the noble ideals in which it was born and enshrined.
‘We have seen the erosion of due process, theÂ dilution of constitutional rights, the usurpation of the rightful authority ofÂ courts by the “discretion” or prosecutors.
‘We have seen how the law is wielded less andÂ less to uphold justice, and more and more to exercise control, authority andÂ power in the interests of oppression or personal gain.’
Family and friends of Swartz, who helpedÂ create Reddit and RSS, say he killed himself after he was hounded by federalÂ prosecutors.
Officials say he helped post millions of courtÂ documents for free online and that he illegally downloaded millions of academicÂ articles from an online clearinghouse.