Anonymous hackers have released a video to announce the start of the second phase of OpAngel, the campaign initiated after members of the Westboro Baptist Church threatened to picket the funerals of Reddit founder and hacktivist Aaron Swartz.
The first phase of the operation has been a success, but now the hacktivists say they’re “preparing for a longer and more extensive battle within the U.S. legal system.”
“The charges against Swartz are only one example of malicious prosecution by U.S. Attorney’s in a history of unequaled viciousness against those accused of cyber crimes. It is clear that the punishment Swartz faced was not proportional to the crimes of which he was accused,” Anonymous said.
“We cannot pretend that our system is just when perpetrators of violence are dealt lighter sentences than those whose alleged crimes are essentially victimless. It is our conclusion that dubious laws such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act serve only to provide prosecutors with the means to selectively target and unfairly punish online activists.”
This phase of OpAngel involves three main actions. First, the hacktivists want to make sure that changes are made to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
They say that Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren’s “Aaron’s Law” is a step in the right direction, but they’re not certain it’s enough.
Secondly, as with all Anonymous operations, it will involve some hacking. Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Department of Justice websites will be taken down and defaced.
In particular, the hackers plan on focusing on websites linked to the prosecutors in the Aaron Swartz case.
Finally, live demonstrations will take place on January 25 in Boston and Washington DC.
Here is the video announcing phase 2 of OpAngel: