After a busy weekend hacking a bunch of white nationalist websites, the cyberterrorist group Anonymous decided to expand their reach on Tuesday January 31st, 2012, and hack the Salt Lake City Police Department's website. As a result, SLCPD voluntarily took their website offline until it can be repaired.
SLCPD explained that although the names and email addresses of people who signed up for department press releases or daily summaries of notable incidents in the city may have been compromised, no confidential information was taken from the site. The website was built as a standalone communication feature to increase dialogue about public safety issues in a proactive manner, and was deliberately excluded from integration with other SLCPD or City databases.
Anonymous is unhappy with Utah SB107, authored by Senator Karen Mayne (D-West Valley City). The bill amends Utah Code 76-6-107 to make possession of graffiti tools such as spray paint a class B misdemeanor if the person intends to deface property. Since this is not a strict liability amendment, this means intent would have to be proven in court. But this did not deter Anonymous, which issued a statement explaining their actions. They characterize SB107 as resolving an inconvenience with a flamethrower. They spew a bunch of paranoid conspiracy nonsense about how law enforcement supposedly functions as a "mindless machine led by InfraGard, PERF, and other domestic civil intelligence networks". They fantasize about how this will lead to corporations selling miniature drones to police officers chasing 13-year-olds. And of course, like all progressives, they blame vandalism and grafitti on "poverty" rather than individual character deficiency. They also brag about their activity on Twitter.
In a separate statement, Sen. Mayne explained that she sponsored the bill after being approached by frustrated police agencies that said their hands were legally tied to do anything to obvious would-be taggers or graffiti vandals. She said the bill is now in the hands of the legislature.
Apparently there are some Anonymous sympathizers who've praised them and made excuses for them in the KSL comments section. Perhaps none of them operate websites or understand the frustration of rebuilding a hacked website. The bottom line -- because Anonymous has done this so often and has targeted anyone with whom they disagree, compromising their First Amendment rights, Anonymous can best be described as cyberterrorists. The best punishment for them, when caught, would be five years in a corrective labor camp at hard labor. This means working 12 hours per day, six days per week. They'll be so tired they won't have the energy to hack anyone else.