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Hackers angry over the suicide of Internet activist Aaron Swartz took over the website of the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) twice over the weekend, finally infecting the homepage with a playable version of the classic arcade game "Asteroids."
The hackers, claiming affiliation with the online movement Anonymous, also claimed to release a list of people in the federal Witness Security Program, also known as the Witness Protection Program, but that was quickly discovered to be a hoax.
The attack began late Friday (Jan. 25), when the homepage of the USSC, which sets sentencing guidelines for federal courts, was defaced with a video regarding the prosecution of Swartz.
"We have seen the erosion of due process, the dilution of constitutional rights, the usurpation of the rightful authority of courts by the discretion of prosecutors," said a voiceover on the video. "We have seen how the law is wielded less and less to uphold justice, and more and more to exercise control."
WASHINGTON (AP) ? The hacker-activist group Anonymous says it hijacked the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission to avenge the death of Aaron Swartz, an Internet activist who committed suicide.
The website of the commission, an independent agency of the judicial branch, was taken over early Saturday and replaced with a message warning that when Swartz killed himself two weeks ago "a line was crossed."
The hackers say they've infiltrated several government computer systems and copied secret information that they now threaten to make public.
Family and friends of Swartz, who helped create Reddit and RSS, say he killed himself after he was hounded by federal prosecutors. Officials say he helped post millions of court documents for free online and that he illegally downloaded millions of academic articles from an online clearinghouse.