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Crime The Courts United States Your Rights Online

Anonymous Warhead Targets US Sentencing Commission 252

theodp writes "Late Friday, Violet Blue reports, the U.S. Sentencing Commission website was hacked and government files distributed by Anonymous in 'Operation Last Resort.' The U.S. Sentencing Commission sets guidelines for sentencing in United States Federal courts, and on the defaced ussc.gov website Anonymous cited the recent suicide of Aaron Swartz as 'a line that has been crossed.' Calling the launch of its new campaign a "warhead," Anonymous vowed, 'This time there will be change, or there will be chaos.'" Adds reader emil: "Anonymous has not specified exactly what files they have obtained. The various files were named after Supreme Court judges. At a regular interval commencing today, Anonymous will choose one media outlet and supply them with heavily redacted partial contents."
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Anonymous Warhead Targets US Sentencing Commission

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  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @05:25PM (#42703277) Homepage Journal

    ..to who actually makes the law as it is practiced in united states.

    you'd think that the sentencing guidelines would be written to the law, but no??

  • Really Anonymous? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26, 2013 @05:38PM (#42703377)

    Methinks this is more hoax than serious threat. I checked Google's cache [googleusercontent.com] of the vandalized USSC site and found the instruction to create the "Warhead" file near the bottom of the page:

    $ cat Scalia* Kennedy* Thomas* Ginsburg* Breyer* Roberts* Alito* Sotomayor* Kagan* > Warhead-US-DOJ-LEA-2013.aes256 && rm -rf /

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26, 2013 @06:51PM (#42703801)

    Publishing means to put content into the public. It can only be public if people are aware that it exists. So some posturing is a necessary part of gaining media coverage, otherwise hardly anyone will bother even looking for the published material, let alone read it.

  • Re:Let's kowtow! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by geek ( 5680 ) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @07:45PM (#42704175)

    How about doing it because it's the right thing to do?

    Is it? Swartz broke the law, knowingly and willingly. The government didn't kill him. He killed himself. He was all set to have his day in court to fight the charges and bring about awareness to the issues. Instead, like the little coward he was, he killed himself.

    I feel bad for his family, but no one is responsible for his death but himself. I look at a coward like Swartz and I feel revulsion at his cowardice. I look at someone like Mandela (tho I disagree with his politics) and I see an extremely brave man that was willing to spend the majority of his adult life in prison for what he believed. Mandela didn't kill himself and his plight was far far worse than Swartz's.

    All this BS going on about Swartz is made up, Reddit media nonsense. A coward offed himself. End of story.

  • by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @08:14PM (#42704381) Homepage

    Otherwise, how is the blackmail strategy of Anonymous different from that of our governments.

    Do you know why our government uses threats, horsetrading, grandstanding, and blackmail? Because they work.

    Personally, I use different tools to work for what I believe in. But if I see a guy using tools I don't like to achieve good, and he's competing with a guy who is using those same tools to achieve evil, I cheer for the guy who is working to achieve good. If the only difference between Anonymous and our government is their objective, what else should I judge them on?

    As long as we continue to use our justice system in this abusive way, more and more people are going to resort to the same dirty tools and tactics that we use. The way to stop the spiral is not to chide them for sinking to our level, it is to stop abusing our justice system.

  • by lightknight ( 213164 ) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @11:18PM (#42705199) Homepage

    Indeed. The typical tactic is 'play for time, until the sniper gets into position.'

    Remember, the people they are playing against do not believe in any rules: they cheat, and will never stop; there is no reasoning with them, and every ploy is singularly meant to further their own ends. Or do we have some true believes in the crowd, who think that politicians & friends, against every shred of evidence, will not cheat given the opportunity?

    Remember, this is a government which was not afraid to set up its own version of concentration camps (the Japanese war camps), and is not afraid at all to experiment on its own people (the Syphilis and radiation experiments). It is also a government which employs the best of orators and spin-doctors to achieve its own ends. In short, if we judge it by its own laws, it's a maverick government; essentially a loose cannon.

  • by RanceJustice ( 2028040 ) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @11:35PM (#42705275)

    This is only the case if 1) You edit with such intent and change the meaning of the document and 2) Refuse to provide the complete document at a later date. I see no reason that Anonymous would follow either of these practices in this case, and furthermore they have a distinct history of doing the opposite. For instance, several documents from the Arab world that were released initially with redacted names in order to protect a number of opposition voices during various movements, but were revealed in their entirety later.

    If someone intends to distort credibility (especially of whistleblowers, as we've seen constantly in these past few years) its easy to say "You're redacting too much, you're not redacting enough, you're releasing too much, you're not releasing enough etc...". You can't make anyone happy, but especially when fighting against a massive foe with a huge disinformation and propaganda complex that is bent on swaying public, you have to make some strategic decisions. The biggest clarion call the US government issued to try Wikileaks in the court of public opinion (aside from calling Assange a rapist, of course) was to claim that because of the leaks, individuals with protected identities would die; the story of agents being revealed and being compromised/killed was a constant hypothetical in the media - despite the fact that proper investigation proved that not a single leaked document led to any vulnerability of the sort! However, it was part of the disinformation campaign to convince the public that whistleblowers and even those who presented leaks like Wikileaks and journalists were responsible for security breaches leading to compromise/death of Americans, repeated frequently enough, that convinced many to overlook the real content of the leaks and instead just have a "gut feeling" that somehow they were against national security - just as planned. Thus, at least an initial, smartly redacted release can provide a factual counterpoint to the propaganda and show that these releases were done "crossing the t's, dotting the i's".

  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @01:52AM (#42705705) Journal

    The Anon morons think that are fighting some noble battle against...who knows what...but all they really are is a bunch of stupid little cunts who like to stick their nose into other people's business

    I am not fanboys of the anon, but I got to say that at least they are doing something

    Mr. Aaron Swartz's death, although he has committed suicide, was inevitably linked to the way the US government's handling of the hacking community.

    As a former hacker --- although for old farts like me the term "hacking" is a little bit different from the script kiddies thingy that anon are doing nowadays --- I too personally mourn the death of Mr. Aaron Swartz

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."