World News

Hackers Take Over US Government Website

This screen shot shows the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission after it was hijacked by the hacker-activist group Anonymous to avenge the death of Aaron Swartz, an Internet activist who committed suicide, January 26, 2013.
This screen shot shows the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission after it was hijacked by the hacker-activist group Anonymous to avenge the death of Aaron Swartz, an Internet activist who committed suicide, January 26, 2013.
VOA News
International computer hacking group Anonymous is threatening to release secret U.S. government information after hijacking the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, an independent agency of the nation's judicial branch.

The group says it took over the website to avenge the death of Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide two weeks ago.

Hackers took control of the commission's site early Saturday, replacing it with a message warning that "a line was crossed" with Swartz's death.

The 26-year-old computer prodigy, who helped create RSS feeds and the social news site Reddit, had been set to go on trial later this year on federal charges that he stole millions of scholarly articles from the online archive and journal distribution service JSTOR. He had downloaded the articles to make them free to the public online and could have served 35 years in prison.

Swartz's family said in a statement that his death is the "product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach."

JSTOR did not press charges against Swartz once it reclaimed the articles from him. But U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz reportedly would not drop the case. She is quoted as saying "stealing is stealing, whether you use a computer command or a crowbar, and whether you take documents, data or dollars."
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: rino from: jakarta
January 29, 2013 3:05 PM
for a young hacker -> boastful activity
for a retired computer savvy -> useless

by: Mark DePaulo from: Chatham, VA
January 27, 2013 8:00 PM
Three things are obvious:
#1: The Federal authorities are helpless to thwart the hackers at Anonymous.
#2: Anonymous will not stop with one takeover.
#3: This may be the exposing of the wizard behind the curtain scene so to speak in regards to the public's perception of the Grand Wizard (US Government)

Conclusion: This has been badly mishandled by mid-level bureaucrats. Heads will roll.

by: Jonathon
January 27, 2013 2:46 AM
"stealing is stealing, whether you use a computer command, a crowbar, or a government produced redistribution law, and whether you take documents, data or dollars."

by: Jonathon
January 27, 2013 2:39 AM
The fact of the matter is that government does not like competition.

by: Frank Gerlach from: Garden City Idaho
January 26, 2013 5:35 PM
I have been following this story for some time and feel that the prosecutor Carmen Ortiz was more concerned with getting publicity for her office than seeing justice done. Actually more concerned with getting publicity for herself than anything or anyone else. She never mentioned how small any of the penalties could be until after the young man had committed suicide! Up in-tell then it was all about the FULL extent of the law and the FULL penalties.

by: ken from: bakersfield
January 26, 2013 2:16 PM
Threatening to publish them OR what? Just publish them. The freaky embrassing of power to improve goverment carreers is no stranger to me. I KNOW that people are murdered to enhance a justice carreer. Threatening seems complacent to me.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs