The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Anonymous: Department of Justice Sentencing Commission System Hacked

The death (self-inflicted) of computer expert/technological/developer Aaron Swartz continues to causes tsunami like reverberation across the internet.  Two weeks ago we published two pieces related to Swartz's suicide and possible depression induced impetus for his terminal decision. 

Linked I.  (January 12, 2013)
Linked II. (January 14, 2013)

We at the TPI are ambivalent on issues related to Swartz's death.  From Daniel Ellsberg's Pentagon Papers Through Julian Assange's Wikileaks, we recognize the value of information in a supposedly free society. Unless, and of course, if the information posses a national security risk.   Ellsberg's Pentagon Papers was a critical item as Richard Nixon's Watergate burglars pilferaged through office at the Watergate Hotel. Richard Nixon's eventual resignation from the US Presidency illustrates the critical nature of information and how it contributes to a free and open society. 

On the other side of my cognitive dichotomy is the ever-present appreciation intellectual property.  Intellectual property with regard to the Watergate scandal, takes on a very different perspective as we look back at a corrupt presidential administration   Julian Assange's Wikileaks factually reveals information that helps to inform minds.  Informed minds tend to provide a barrier against tyranny and totalitarianism (and all things associated). We offer the following as a basic example with no connection to use of the word tyranny.  Mitt Romney's Boca Raton, Florida 47% fundraiser address.  The power of information! No, Romney's inner thoughts to his potential wealthy subjects/donors was not an example of stolen intellectual property (except for the person who illicitly recorded the address), but it is an example of information that shaped the 2012 election results. 

I remain torn!

Swartz as an information activist and internet technologist/developer has become a posthumous folk hero comparable to the fabled Robin Hood. I see the good in his acts, yet I see the legal violations of his acts.

CNN and other news sources are reporting the hacktivist group Anonymous has released information about an Anonymous operative (s) hacking  the (DOJ) United States Sentencing Commission (
Anonymous threatens Justice Department over hacktivist death

A screenshot at 3:35 a.m. ET on January 26, 2013, of the homepage of the United States federal sentencing website after it had been hacked by a group that identified itself as

A screenshot at 3:35 a.m. ET on January 26, 2013, of the homepage of the United States federal sentencing website after it had been hacked by a group that identified itself as "Anonymous."
(CNN) -- In anger over the recent death of an Internet activist who faced federal charges, hackers claiming to be from the group Anonymous threatened early Saturday to release sensitive information about the U.S. Department of Justice.

They claimed to have one such file on multiple servers ready for immediate release.

The hackers apparently hijacked the website of the U.S. government agency responsible for federal sentencing guidelines, where they posted a message demanding the United States reform its justice system or face incriminating leaks to select news outlets.

The lengthy, eloquently written letter was signed "Anonymous."

Richard McFeely, executive assistant director of the FBI's Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, said the bureau was immediately aware of the threat and is "handling it as a criminal investigation."

"We are always concerned when someone illegally accesses another person('s) or government agency's network," he said.
Tech Crunchies reports as follows with the embedded video released from Anonymous.

The Anonymous attacks against DOJ is subject to personal perspectives in the group and its activities. It should go without argument, the group has accomplished good. The Stubenville Ohio rape case is the most recent example of vigilantism with good results.  The groups attacks against white supremacist system servers were, of course, noteworthy and subject to applause. The groups actions against the Westboro Baptist Church post Newtown, NY (mass school shooting) has received positively with an exception for a brief Twitter term take-down of an Anon Facebook page.   I suppose my bias shows.

We plan to publish a couple of follow-up pieces about Anonymous and legal entanglements over the next few days.  Therefore, we will leave this report at this point. 

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