Anonymous Targets U.S. Dept. of Justice

National News Jefferson County PostThe U.S. Department of Justice has been targeted by the online hacker syndicate, Anonymous. Anonymous is a group of activists who have participated in multiple criminal activities and instances of cyber terrorism since their formation in 2003. It is important to note that there is no true organized Anonymous, as there is no hierarchy. Members simply begin operating under the collective identity. Referring to themselves as “hacktivists,” the group often targets those who they believe have wronged the innocent or threatened the freedom of internet users. In their most recent movement, Anonymous threatened the U.S. Department of Justice, claiming that the department aided in the suicide of Aaron Swartz, an internet activist who was charged with stealing millions of online documents. Almost all of the documents were from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which both Anonymous and Aaron Swartz believed should have been made free to the public. Swartz could have possibly been sentenced with 35 years in a federal prison, which contributed to his decision to commit suicide on January 11, 2013. In response to what they considered excessive persecution and “crossing a line” regarding the Swartz case, Anonymous threatened to leak sensitive information regarding the U.S. Department of Justice. The threat was made using a lengthy letter, which was posted to the United States’ Sentencing Commission’s webpage. In addition to the letter, a YouTube video was also linked from the site, showing many Cold War images, as well as pictures of nuclear bombs, which were used as metaphors for sensitive information. Each bomb was named after the individual the information concerned, such as Supreme Court Justices. Anonymous claims it has enough information for multiple “warheads,” and would also target the appropriate executive branches tied to the Department of Justice. Upon posting the letter to the Sentencing Commission’s webpage, they then posted an editable version of the site, allowing and encouraging all visitors to edit and humorously deface the site. No information is currently known regarding what particular members of Anonymous might have led the attack, though the FBI is launching a criminal investigation into the matter.

Source: Jake Depew, Assistant Editor