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Mayor of West New York and Son Arrested for Hacking Recall Site

by on25 May 2012 1872 times

animal_farm-pigsRemember how we told you about Jim Conte and his plan to make anonymous posting a thing of the past (and in some cases illegal)? When we covered that we talked about the technological and financial barriers to doing this as well as some of the implications of the law. Well we have an actual example of how removing anonymity from the web can be abused (and how it directly relates to the section about political commentary).

It seems that the Mayor of West New York was a tad upset about a website that was calling for a recall. This website was setup using a protected ID service (that blocks people from linking a site to the owner). We would assume it was due to the owner not wanting to be harassed and the fact that another partner in the site is a competing politician. The site (www.recallroque.com) was used by some to express their displeasure with Roque’s administration.

Felix Roque, and his Son Joseph Roque then decided that enough was enough and began planning to hack into the website with the goal of taking it down and gaining access to user information through the sites email account. According to the FBI the Roques wanted to intimidate those that operated and were associated with the website. According to the timeline by February 8th Joseph Roque had completed the hack and shut the site down he also gained access to some of the accounts used to access the site. Felix Roque the MAYOR of West New York began to harass those people and attempted to intimidate them as well.

Right now both Roques have been arrested and charged with  by complaint with gaining unauthorized access to computers in furtherance of causing damage to protected computers; causing damage to protected computers; and conspiracy to commit those crimes. They face up to 11 years in prison and $750,000 in fines.

Can you imagine how much easier it would have been for them to gain this information if the law requiring websites to track and police users was in place? They would have had the power (and right) to demand the information or for the posts to be removed. As the US Attorney involved with the case said: “In this case, the elected leader of West New York and his son allegedly hacked into computers to intimidate constituents who were simply using the Internet to exercise their Constitutional rights to criticize the government”

Now we just need to keep them from passing a law that would allow them suppress the Constitutional right to criticize the government…

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Last modified on 25 May 2012
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