- Photo: Reuters
The hacker group known as Anonoymous announced its plans in a new video released this week. They plan to protect the funeral of Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz from the Westboro Baptist Church, who plans to protest at the memorial.
"We would do anything to stop them from attending Aaron's services," said the hacker group in the video. "We encourage organizations who would like to form protective human shields near Aaron's funeral to listen closely for any announcement by the family on this action and respect their wishes."
Anonymous launched the video on Monday with the codename #OpAngel, short for Operation Angel.
"Twenty-four hours after the death of Aaron Swartz was announced to the world, a heartless cult announced their intention to picket his funeral," said Anonymous. "In response, Anonymous has launched Operation Angel."
The hacker group also indicated that its recent attacks on the Westboro Baptist Church could be the reason it plans to protest Aaron's Funeral.
"It is likely that our continuous condemnation and attacks against this cult is the very reason Aaron is being targeted by them," they said.
The group encourages viewers to email information regarding the Westboro Baptist Church's movements to OpAngel@hushmail.com.
Anonymous also announced its second phase of #OpAngel that involves it partnering up with other organizations to "pursue reform within the Department of Justice and other government agencies to prevent the kind of unnecessary harassment that Aaron Swartz was victim to."
Swartz, 26, committed suicide last Friday. He was facing possible jail time after allegedly stealing 4 million MIT papers from the JSTOR online journal archive for massive redistribution.
Swartz was well known in the technology world for co-authoring RSS 1.0 at the age of 14, co-founding Creative Commons, co-founding Demand Progress, being a co-owner of Reddit, and being a member of the Harvard University Ethics Center Lab.
He was an advocate for the free and open sharing of information.