Members of Anonymous yesterday released 1.7 GB of data apparently stolen from the Web site of the Bureau of Justice Statistics [BJS], part of the U.S. Department of Justice.

In a statement accompanying the release, the hackers wrote, "We are releasing data to spread information, to allow the people to be heard and to know the corruption in their government. We are releasing it to end the corruption that exists, and truly make those who are being oppressed free."

"The file, which has been uploaded as a torrent and posted on The Pirate Bay, reportedly contains internal e-mails as well as the website’s 'entire database dump,'" writes ZDNet's Emil Protalinski. "It remains to be seen if there’s anything incriminating in this leak. After all, the BJS is simply a federal government agency belonging to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that collects, analyzes, and publishes data relating to crime in the U.S. (including hacker attacks)."

Reuters' David Ingram and Lily Kuo report that a Justice Department spokeswoman has acknowledged that hackers were able to access a server that operates the Web site for the BJS. "The department spokeswoman declined to say when the alleged unauthorized access occurred or what data the hackers might have obtained," they write. "The department is looking into whether the unauthorized users broke criminal laws, she said."

"This isn’t the first time that Anonymous has hit cybersecurity data where it lives; back in February, Anonymous published an FBI conference call in which the problem of Anonymous was discussed," notes Geekosystem's Eric Limer. "If previous Anonymous hacks are anything to go by, the data from this little sortie is unlikely to contain anything earth-shattering and will, instead, be mostly a source of embarrassment."