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Activists claim to hack Sentencing Commission's website to avenge death

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By The Associated Press
Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, 6:10 p.m.

WASHINGTON — The hacker activist group Anonymous said it hijacked the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission to avenge the death of Aaron Swartz, an Internet activist who committed suicide two weeks ago. The FBI is investigating.

The website of the commission, an independent agency of the judicial branch, was taken over early Saturday and replaced with a message warning that when Swartz killed himself, “a line was crossed.”

The hackers said they've infiltrated several government computer systems and copied secret information that they now threaten to make public.

Family and friends of Swartz, who helped create Reddit and RSS, said he killed himself because he had been hounded by federal prosecutors.

Officials maintain that he helped post millions of court documents for free online and that he illegally downloaded millions of academic articles from an online clearinghouse.

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