Well known Internet activist Aaron Swartz died over the weekend after committing suicide. His funeral will take place today, and Westboro Baptist Church has made it clear that it plans to picket at it. Anonymous isn’t going to let that happen.
The hacktivist group, who most recently hacked MIT in honor of Swartz, announced on Monday that its starting #OpAngel to protect Swartz’ funeral from members of the WBC who have threatened to protest at the funeral. Here’s Anonymous’ plan:
Twenty-four hours after the death of Aaron Swartz was announced to the world, a heartless cult announced their intention to picket his funeral. In response, Anonymous has launched Operation Angel.
Before discussing the operation, there is something that needs to be said to Aaron’s family and his friends: We’re sorry. It is likely that our continuous condemnation and attacks against this cult is the very reason Aaron is being targeted by them. We would do anything to stop them from attending Aaron’s services. Aaron deserves peace and we will not allow this cult to overpower what should be the media’s focus, the monsters at DOJ who ruthlessly targeted your son.
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.
Operation Angel has a number of goals. First, we mean to facilitate the flow of information regarding the cult’s movements. We are encouraging the public and any members of Highland Park law enforcement with intel on the cults to e-mail that information to OpAngel@hushmail.com. You can use an anonymous e-mail address. You will not receive a response. You will not be exposed.
After the funeral, Anonymous will initiate phase two of #OpAngel. The second phase will “pursue reform within the DOJ and other government agencies to prevent the kind of unnecessary harassment that Aaron Swartz was victim to.” Swartz’ family said much the same thing over the weekend by blaming his suicide on “a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach.”[h/t: Salon]