Technology

Anonymous Plans to Defend Aaron Swartz's Funeral from Westboro Baptist Church Protests

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Hacker group Anonymous is planning to defend Aaron Swartz's funeral from Westboro Baptist Church's planned protest on Tuesday. 

According to Salon, Anonymous announced Monday that #OpAngel will thwart the church's plans to picket his open funeral in Chicago. 

In a statement, the group said: "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."

They also acknowledged that the church's interest in his funeral is likely related to their previous attacks on WBC. 

"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," they said. 

The rest of the statement urges people who would like to form human shields near his funeral to "listen closely for any announcement by the family on this action and respect their wishes." They also urged people who have intel on the cults to e-mail that information to [email protected].

Once Swartz has been put to rest, they explained that #OpAngel will have a second phase:

Partnering with other organizations, Anonymous intends to pursue reform within the DoJ and other government agencies to prevent the kind of unnecessary harassment that Aaron Swartz was victim to. Some of the brightest men and women in the fields of information technology and security are being targeted by agencies that lack a basic understanding of the so-called crimes they are accusing people of. We will do this for Aaron Swartz and everyone like him.

The launch of the operation speaks volumes of how passionate Swartz was about activist and hacker networks. 

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