Hackers Deface Web Site of U.S. Justice Department

From Associated Press

Internet hackers infiltrated the Justice Department’s home page Saturday, altering the official Web site to include swastikas, obscene pictures and lots of criticism of the Communications Decency Act.

The official World Wide Web site-- changed to read “United States Department of Injustice” next to a red, black and white flag bearing a swastika.

The text of the page was written over a background of gray swastikas, and at the top declared in red letters: “This page is in violation of the Communications Decency Act.”

The page also included color pictures of George Washington and Adolf Hitler, who was labeled as the attorney general.

“Somebody did get into the Web page at the Justice Department,” said department spokesman Joe Krovisky, but the site was turned off after the sabotage was discovered Saturday morning.


The spokesman said Justice Department officials were not sure initially what statutes were violated.

Possibilities, he said, might be destruction or defacing government property--or perhaps trespassing.

Krovisky added that the department expected to have the page reconstructed and running again by today, or Monday at the latest.

The agency Web site is used to post public information, including government news releases and speeches, Krovisky said.

Hackers used the majority of the Web site to criticize the Communications Decency Act, signed in February, which makes transmitting sexually explicit material in ways children might see it a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

A federal appeals court declared the law unconstitutional.

“As the largest law firm in the nation, the Department of Justice serves to punish all who don’t agree with the moral standards set forth by [President] Clinton,” the altered page said.

“Anything and anyone different must be jailed.”

The altered Web site said the new law takes away privacy rights and freedom of speech.

“It is hard to trick hundreds of millions of people out of their freedoms, but we should be complete within a decade,” the page said.

The doctored page also had links to other Web sites, all unflattering, about Clinton, Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole and conservative commentator Patrick J. Buchanan.

Those sites, which are not the official campaign sites, were still operating Saturday.