Anonymous, the online coalition of hacktivists, has declared a war of secrets with our United States government. By hacking into the U.S. Sentencing Commission website (ussc.gov), and leaving an ominous video, stating a docket of state secret files have been stolen from government computers, and will be released to the public, if the United States government does not revise certain laws; Anonymous has laid down the gauntlet.
The video threatens that a massive file known as (US ' DOJ ' LEA ' 2013. AEE 256) contains state secrets powerful enough to cause massive chaos within our society. The reason Anonymous has gone on the attack, according to their video, is to get justice for Aaron Swartz, the hacktivist who took his own life, in wake of facing 35 years in federal prison for accessing knowledge on the internet.
Anonymous claims the Justice Department perverted justice and distorted facts to fit hastily written laws, which are incomprehensible to the average U.S. citizen in pursuit of Aaron Swartz. I cannot argue that the Justice Department was overly zealous in their case against Aaron Swartz, and did try to use laws to coercive ends unfairly; but to threaten the government to change laws without due process in also a perversion of justice.
Anonymous warns that if these laws are not eliminated, updated, or made relevant they will release the bevy of sensitive government information, which they have already seeded on numerous torrent sites around the globe. If it is true Anonymous has relevant state secrets that could profoundly impact society, why are they sitting on it?
To me, this makes them no better than the state they fighting against, who also are just sitting on this information, which leads me to believe the information is not that earth shattering. While I hope I get to review the files Anonymous has, I doubt I will find anything that will cause our society to fall into chaos.
But this brings about a more important issue, how do we change or remove laws that are incoherent and used to prosecute cases in victimless crimes? Our justice system is broken, or at the very least, severely hampered by corruption and cronyism, which Anonymous is shinning a big ole' light on now.
One thing is for sure, in this new age of digital warfare, transparency might become the best defender of any attacks in the future, but that would require a complete paradigm shift in the way our government chooses to share information with the citizens it "serves".