‘Anonymous’ threatens to leak copied secret data from U.S. Sentencing Commission
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The hacktivist group Anonymous on Saturday threatened to leak copied secret data from the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC) unless the justice system is reformed.
The group demanded the updating of the mid-1980s antihacking law “Computer Fraud and Abuse Act” and reform of the mandatory minimum sentencing to avenge the suicide of 26-year-old RSS feed and Reddit co-developer Aaron Swartz.
“There must be a return to proportionality of punishment with respect to actual harm caused, and consideration of motive and mens rea [criminal intent],” Anonymous said, according to CNET. “The inalienable right to a presumption of innocence and the recourse to trial and possibility of exoneration must be returned to its sacred status, and not gambled away by pre-trial bargaining in the face of overwhelming sentences, unaffordable justice, and disfavourable odds.”
The group warned that the files it will be making available for download and distribution to Anonymous members could be embarrassing to judges and federal employees.
Anonymous, like relatives and friends of Swartz, believe prosecutors were responsible for his death by threatening him with 35 years in prison and $1 million in fine for stealing millions of articles from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s database of academic journals. Swartz, who was planning to distribute the stolen articles for free, apparently got depressed and hanged in his Brooklyn, New York apartment on Jan. 11, five days after his arrest by FBI agents.