WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Hackers claiming to be with the group Anonymous threatened to release sensitive U.S. Justice Department documents as retaliation for the death of Aaron Swartz.
The group posted a message on the U.S. Sentencing Commission's website homepage early Saturday stating that if the commission does not reform federal sentencing guidelines, the group would release incriminating information to news outlets, CNN reported.
The message was prompted by the Jan. 11 suicide of Internet activist Aaron Swartz. His death, which Anonymous blamed on the justice system, "crossed a line," the message said.
Swartz, 26, was facing federal computer fraud charges that carried up to a 35 year prison sentence. Anonymous said he "was killed," because he "faced an impossible choice."
His family says federal charges over allegations he stole millions of online documents -- most of which were scholarly papers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- contributed to Swartz's decision to take his own life.