back to article UK cops charge alleged Anonymous hacker

A man has been charged by police investigating web attacks allegedly carried out by hacking collective Anonymous against firms deemed to have acted against the whistleblower website Wikileaks. Scotland Yard named student Peter David Gibson, 22, of Castleton Road, Hartlepool, Cleveland as one of the individuals alleged to have …


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  1. JakeyC

    Not once, but twice!

    "PayPal, Amazon, Mastercard, Bank of America, PayPal and Visa"

    Well, if he's going to attack PayPal twice he dserves all he gets!

    1. Clare (web specialist)
      Thumb Down

      OMG yet another travesty of justice

      Another young man's life is ruined because a few organisations can't run their web sites properly.

      I have no doubt that this lad will have psychological problems as well. The police reaction to this sort of thing is appalling. He does seem to have been undertaking a valid protest, and when was that made illegal?

      So no just because he 'attacked' PayPal twice he doesn't deserve this sort of heavy handed police brutality. He can't of done that much to PayPal it seemed to be working fine last night.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        OMG he choose to use an attack tool!

        He knew it was illegal, he didn't think he'd get caught.

        He has been caught, if found guilty by a jury of his peers then he has to pay the price for the actions he committed of his own free will. I find it funny that your saying that it's a travesty of justice before he's even put a foot in a court room, given that no justice has actually been handed out yet.

        From your previous posts your view seems to be that nobody breaking the law via a computer should be held accountable for their crimes? Would you like to explain why you beleive this, and only comment on stories of no longer anon people being caught?

        1. Scorchio!!
          Thumb Up

          Re: OMG he choose to use an attack tool!

          Perhaps the OP would like to serve this individual's sentence, if convicted. That way she could truly be said to have the courage of her (ahem) convictions.

  2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


    "do an unauthorised act in relation to a computer, with intent to impair the operation of any computer or prevent or hinder access to any program or data held in a computer or to impair the operation of any such program or the reliability of such data,"

    ...on the one hand, it follows that a hacker using his own computer to hack into someone else's does nothing wrong because his actions on his computer are authorised (by himself).

    on the other hand, if you argue that his action is not authorised on the target computer or program or data, then it means that by removing a newly found virus from your own machine you will commit a crime (as the virus writer certainly did not authorise you to hinder access to or impair operation of his virus program).

    Laywers + computers = disaster

    1. Stephen McLeod Blythe


      I think you'll find that Legal language + people who aren't lawyers trying to be smart = bigger disaster


      The 'unauthorised act' relates to the context, and is a term which will be used with a specific meaning, defined later on in the Act or elsewhere in references Statute.

      Nice try though.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


        Lawyers - sense of humour = facepalm

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          @Danny 5

          Don't worry if found guilty he should be charged. There is a sufficient precedent in UK law of DDOS prosecutions under the Computer Misuse Act.

          The only real concern might be the sentences tend to be a bit light. But apart from that, and subject to whatever psychological disorder his mother will be claiming, if charged he will be spending some time at the behest of HMP.

          1. Graham Marsden
            Big Brother

            @Titus Technophobe

            "if found guilty he should be charged."

            Erm, I think you'll find that you have to be charged *before* you can be found guilty! (Well, unless you write for certain Tabloids...)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      I'd still take a real laywer over an airchair one any day.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Misquote of the day

        "I'd still take a real laywer over an airchair"

        She'd have to be really, really cute.

        (scared of lawyers)

        How did you do that! Those typo's are like a subliminal "lay her over an armchair?"

        Maybe I just need something, Its friday, but... My heads going to explode.


    3. Danny 5
      Thumb Up

      i think you'll find

      that government + computers = disaster too.

      police + computer =? yep, you guessed it, disaster!

      I'm still wondering what this trial will look like. Are UK courts even able to handle such cases? in dept technical knowledge will most likely be necessary to understand all the ins and out of this case. I'm a techy and i'd probably have a hard time getting through this, let alone a laymen.

      I'm keeping an eye on this one, that's for sure!

      1. Thomas 4
        IT Angle

        I don't know why.....

        But after reading your post I suddenly had a vision of that scene from The Holy Grail involving ducks, bridges and truly mind bending leaps in logic.

        "So because he's a student, he must have a computer...."

        "And therefore....?"

        "A WITCH!"

        1. Scorchio!!

          Re: I don't know why.....

          BURN HIM! BURN HIM!

          Um, the one with a megaphone sticking out of the pocket please.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Thumb Up


            Nice .... I do think that (when convicted) these folks get away with far too little in the way of punishment.

            I sometimes wonder if the legal system should be revised so that there could be a 'Not Guilty', 'Guilty', and an 'Unequivocal Guilty' verdict. If found to be 'Unequivocal Guilty' a defendant could then be subject to a whole range of extended penalties (1) beyond the usual for being convicted as 'Guilty'.

            This would nicely get around the danger of excessive punishment for somebody subsequently found wrongly convicted. What with the extended penalties involving less gaol time the tax payer gets a nice saving as well.

            (1) penalties along the lines of a slightly more robust version of Sharia law.

            1. Scorchio!!

              Re: @Scorchio

              Interestingly punishment in legal systems does serve a number of functions, deterrence being among them. Fear of consequences reduces the probability of re-offending, and of first time offending in others.

              The line being taken at the moment is that this looting and breakdown of civil order is a fundamental threat to the communities that make up what we call 'civilisation'.

              For sure people were murdered, among them an elderly man, but Sh'aria? Hmm. What about a reversion to Saxon law? Guilt could be determined by making the suspect take a quantity of rice into their mouths and, if unable to spit it out, guilt would be certain. Also certain offenders could be declared 'outlaw', and thus be killed on sight and, yes, good old Saxon ducking stools for Arthurian pretenders.

              Returning to the point, I see that some people regard attacking websites, IOW business concerns, to be a legitimate protest. The same could be said here, but the CPS take a different perspective:


  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another one bites the dust

    Them not so anonymous Anonymous members are dropping like flies.

    1. salada2k


      Oh, the irony, A.C.....

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another one bites the dust

      Anonymous aren't strictly anonymous though. As they constantly state, 'WE are anonymous', meaning 'we are ALL members' (you, me, everyone) whether we participate in their actions or not. Thus they are both anonymous and yet not at the same time! Clever...

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Dropping like flies?

      How many thousands of people using LOIC does it take to DDoS a website, especially one as big as PayPal, Visa or Mastercard? And how many of those thousands have been arrested? A couple of dozen, maybe?

      Looks to me like you're more likely to die a in a car crash than get arrested for using LOIC on a major website. The likelihood of dying in a car crash doesn't deter people from getting in cars every day. Likewise, a few token "let's make an example of 'em" arrests isn't going to deter Anonymous, now or in the future. The filesharing community has already demonstrated this principle against the MAFIAA lawsuits many times over.

      Somehow I think we can expect to see the imminent release of a few more police officers' names and addresses on Pastebin...

  4. disfit

    UK cops charge alleged Anonymous LOIC user


  5. Sir Barry

    There has to be a title so here is a title "sigh"

    His mum is going to be sooooo cross.

  6. Steen Larsen

    Phone thieves bevare!

    I just realise that the computer crime laws appear to be offering great protection to smart phone owners.

    If somebody steals my phone that must surely be covered by "do an unauthorised act in relation to a computer".

  7. Marcus Aurelius

    And the moral of the story is

    If you're going to fire a weapon at someone, make sure that someone else can be blamed and you have plausible deniability......


    1. DavCrav


      How do you know they didn't?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    bloody hell...

    "do an unauthorised act in relation to a computer, with intent to impair the operation of any computer or prevent or hinder access to any program or data held in a computer or to impair the operation of any such program or the reliability of such data,"

    Hmm wonder if the lass in todays news hammering the cr*p out of an ATM with a high heel could end up getting done for this.. it seems pretty obscure..

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