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Anonymous Says They’re Responsible for Taking Down U.S. Sentencing Commission Site

Continuing a string of threats and attacks following the death of Aaron Swartz, Anonymous claims to be responsible for taking down the United States Sentencing Commission website yesterday. They also claim that is not the only government website they currently control. Shortly after the attack the site was taken down, and now appears to be running normally. In the message they posted on the site, Anonymous also claims to have sensitive government information that it will leak to the media.

The message, though removed from, can be read in its entirety on Reddit. Anonymous says they have an encrypted file of sensitive government information they call “Warhead – U S – D O J – L E A – 2013 . A E E 256” which they say is “primed and armed.” The author of the post says the file is already stored on several mirrors sites, and calls on other members of Anonymous to host it elsewhere as widely as possible.

The file is encrypted, but the post also claims that Anonymous has already begun sending heavily redacted pieces of the information to the media. It seems that Anonymous is trying to ransom the government to meet its demand by threatening it with the release of the information.

They’re calling for a reform of the Justice system, which they call “outdated and poorly-envisioned legislation,” with heavy focus on the proportionality of punishment relative to the crime. The nature of the information they claim to have has not been disclosed, but perhaps the redacted version being sent to the media (Geekosystem has not received any information from Anonymous) could allude to at least the subject of the full contents.

There have also been encrypted files named after members of the Supreme Court being distributed by Anonymous, but they haven’t released a key or said if those files are copies of the information. Despite the wide circulation of the encrypted file, Anonymous said in the message that “It is our hope that this warhead need never be detonated.”

It’s not likely that the government will give in to the demands made by Anonymous, so it may only be a matter of time before we all find out what’s really in their “warhead.”

(via Ars Technica, image via Schuilr)

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Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.