Hackers working under the name of the Anonymous hacktivist collective hit a U.S. government website on Saturday, replacing its home page with a 1,340 word text detailing its frustrations with the way the American legal system works and a threat to release “secrets” gathered from U.S. government websites, reports PC World. The website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission was offline for much of Saturday as a result of the attack. “This mornings cyber attack on the Commissions website www.ussc.gov brought it down temporarily, but the site now has been restored,” the commission said.
The site and timing of the attack was not random, according to the message that replaced the home page before it was taken offline. “Two weeks ago today, a line was crossed,” the message read. “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.” Swartz committed suicide on Jan. 11, apparently over an upcoming trial on computer intrusion, wire fraud and data theft charges that carried a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison. “This website was chosen due to the symbolic nature of its purpose — the federal sentencing guidelines which enable prosecutors to cheat citizens of their constitutionally guaranteed right to a fair trial, by a jury of their peers…” the message said.