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Friday, September 9, 2011

News Website Down After Publishing Mugshots of Anonymous Hackers

Posted By on Fri, Sep 9, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Not so tough without the mask
  • Not so tough without the mask

Bay Area commuters, fresh off yet another BART protest and downtown San Francisco station shutdown last night, might be interested to see some of the faces behind the shadowy hacking group that has helped organize repeated demonstrations against the transit agency.

The political news site Talking Points Memo has learned the identities of 14 of the "hacktivists" affiliated with the group Anonymous. Through a federal Freedom of Information Act request, TPM obtained mugshots of the alleged hackers and posted them on its website.

However, it now appears that TPM's website is experiencing technical difficulties. (We can't open the site at all.) It's still unclear if this is retaliation by Anonymous for the article. Gawker has also published a collection of the mugshots here.

TPM got the information from the FBI, which arrested the men and women (mostly men; only two of the 14 images are posted are women) for launching a cyberattack on PayPal.

If, in fact, Anonymous has taken down the TPM site as retribution for publishing photos of its members, we gotta say: Give us a break, guys (and minority of girls). This is the same group that posted photos of the genitalia of BART spokesman Linton Johnson. Now they're going to get sensitive about their faces being available for public viewing?

We can understand some degree of embarrassment over the outsize representation of goatees in this small sample of alleged Anonymous members -- six out of 14, to be exact -- but laying into good journalists for doing their job is crossing the line.

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Peter Jamison

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