Anonymous Takes Down DOJ & MIT In Tribute To Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz keynote - "How we stopped SOPA" at F2C:Freedom to Connect 2012, Washington DC on May 21 2012.

The websites of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) were knocked offline on Sunday, and the work is being attributed to the hacktivist collective, Anonymous. and were both back online Monday morning.

The action was taken as a tribute to the late Aaron Swartz, a co-founder of the site and at the age of 14, co-developed the RSS web protocol that is the key component of much of the internet's publishing infrastructure.

In another tribute, hundreds of academics worldwide have begun tweeting links to their copyright-protected research in Swartz's honor, using the hastag #pdftribute. Links from Twitter posts with the hashtag are being collected at The links appear to be to academic papers.

In a statement about his death, Aaron’s family and partner wrote in part:

"Aaron’s insatiable curiosity, creativity, and brilliance; his reflexive empathy and capacity for selfless, boundless love; his refusal to accept injustice as inevitable—these gifts made the world, and our lives, far brighter. We’re grateful for our time with him, to those who loved him and stood with him, and to all of those who continue his work for a better world..."

"Aaron’s death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office and at MIT contributed to his death...Today, we grieve for the extraordinary and irreplaceable man that we have lost.”

Aaron’s funeral will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, January 15th at Central Avenue Synagogue, 874 Central Avenue, Highland Park, Illinois 60035. Announcements about memorial services in other cities will be posted here in coming weeks.

If you ever have thoughts of suicide please speak to someone, in the USA call 1-800-273-8255 or find numbers for your country here.


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