— Update —
I may be late with this, but I wanted to update this with some more news. First, this appears to have gone nowhere, and I thought I’d go do some reading to find out why. Anonymous themselves are reporting that this was not them, and it was in fact, most likely fraudulent. Whether it was or wasn’t, it certainly doesnt seem to have done a damn thing, so whatever.
— end —

So, today the Hacktivist group Anonymous took down the US Sentencing Commission website, and then released a video not only claiming responsibility, but also claiming a foothold on many government systems, and calling for change in how justice is currently being carried out in the US. This was all triggered by the death of Aaron Swartz. The story goes, and I’m sure this is covered much better elsewhere, that Aaron was caught “Stealing” academic work, with the intention of sharing the data for free. The punishment for this? A possible 35 year prison sentence, and up to $1 Million in fines. This reportedly combined with depression, caused Aaron to take his own life.

Aaron was a co-founder of Reddit, wrote the RSS spec, and was involved in the foundation of Demand Progress. An organization which helped spawn a massive movement against SOPA, and PIPA in 2010.

I’m sitting here, right now, watching a special episode of Hak5, where Darren is doing his best to hold it together while he remembers Aaron and talks about his life, and the litigation which lead up to his death.

Anonymous (and many others) believe that the US was attempting to make an example out of Aaron, like they have done with many others, in order to deter others from this sort of hacktivism.

Here’s the video, hosted on YouTube.

This is, in my opinion, a pretty big deal. If Anonymous really has the power that they tout, we could be in for a pretty big shake up. I almost hesitate to post this blog entry, for fear that in some sort of paranoid broad-sweeping effort on the government’s part to bring members of anonymous to justice… I may somehow be falsely identified as a member… Welcome to 1984? Maybe I’m just feeling a bit too paranoid. I do call myself a hacker, and I do keep an interest in security, and privacy circles. How far removed from a political hactivist am I? Creepy thought.

At any rate, we’ll see how this pans out. For now, I’ll call myself very interested in these events. I hope it affects positive change (in any form) and not more draconian legislation further hampering our freedoms.