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Anonymous hacks Oakland officials in retaliation for OWS crackdowns

Published time: February 07, 2012 16:17
Edited time: March 07, 2012 12:24
A masked hacker, part of the Anonymous group (AFP Photo / Jean-Philippe Ksiazek)

A masked hacker, part of the Anonymous group (AFP Photo / Jean-Philippe Ksiazek)

Concerned with the continuous acts of police brutality perpetrated by law enforcement in Oakland, California, the online group Anonymous has published the personal details of some of the city’s leading officials.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Police Chief Howard Johnson and several members of the City Council are targeted in the loose-knit collective’s latest release, which is being touted as retaliation for the ongoing unjust actions by way of the Oakland Police Department and the mayor herself directed at Occupy Oakland. Since its inception, the Occupy Wall Street offshoot in the city of Oakland has undergone intense police scrutiny and spawned several city-wide demonstrations, repeatedly marred by violence made possible by an overzealous police response that often involves the deployment of weaponry to disrupt peaceful protests.

In the latest posting by an alleged member of Anonymous, the city’s actions are called into questioned. “Since the inception of Occupy Oakland, we have been actively monitoring your behavior and exposing the identities and sensitive information of Officers of the Oakland Police Department; as they have continued to act in an unprofessional and violent manner,” a member writes on a website affiliated with the group. “You tear gassed us. You shot us with your weapons. You arrested us. You beat us. You also did this to our friends and to our families.”

Several protesters have been injured during the last few months in Oakland, including Scott Olsen, an Iraq War veteran who suffered a fractured skull after being hit with a police-fired projectile. Despite injuries, the movement has only swelled and Oakland-area protesters continue to take to the streets.

On Monday, Mayor Quan hosted a rally against Occupy Oakland. The minuscule crowd was dwarfed by hundreds of Occupy protesters themselves. Police responded to the counter-protests clad in riot gear though no injuries were reported.

In their latest release, Anonymous questions authority in Oakland who continue to condemn the movement. Though a message recently published by the hacktivist collective does not make any call for action, it does post the personal details of Mayor Quan and others, which includes home addresses, telephone numbers and birthday.

“The people on this list are supposed to represent the best of what the city of Oakland has to offer. If they are the best, why is there so much trouble within the police department and in the city of Oakland?” asks an Anonymous operative.

Sue Piper, a spokesperson for the mayor, tells the San Francisco Chronicle that all of the information released by Anonymous was previously made public.

The latest release from Anonymous comes days after the group temporarily took down the website of the US Department of Homeland Security and released a treasure trove of emails from the servers of attorneys Puckett and Faraj, the legal team that represented Sgt. Frank Wuterich. Wuterich had admitted his role in a 2005 Haditha, Iraq massacre that left two dozen people dead, including civilians, although was sentenced to no time in jail.

“When justice cannot be found within the confines of their crooked court systems, we must seek revenge on the streets and on the internet – and dealing out swift retaliation is something we are particularly good at,” the group wrote of that release.

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