back to article Hacker jailed for 32 months for attack on abortion-provider site

A self-identified member of Anonymous was jailed for two years and eight months on Friday over a hacking attack against Britain's biggest abortion provider in March. James Jeffery, 27, from Wednesbury, West Midlands, swiped around 10,000 records of women who had registered with the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) in …

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  1. Daniel B.

    Conservatards

    I thought the Anonymous bunch were free from these kind of idiots. I actually like how they've gone against racists (BNP), wannabe fascists, islamophobes and more recently ultrarightwinger trolls in Mexico, but this is something I'd see more as a rightwingnutter action.

    FAIL.

    1. John A Blackley

      Re: Conservatards

      Did you truly think that this non-organised, come-one-come-all bunch of nuisances was really just an overweight, acne-infested version of Robin Hood and his merry men?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Conservatards

      Anyone can claim to be a member of Anonymous. By making the claim, they are. Anonymous is, at best, a loose collective. At worse, completely anarchic.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Conservatards

      1) Being opposed to abortion does not make one a 'conservatard'. There are those who view it as a human rights issue for the would-be baby rather than a reproductive rights issue for the mother. There are a great many people who would be considered liberal on all other civil rights who are opposed to abortion. It is just as valid a view as the reproductive rights view held by the pro-choice crowd. This isn't the black and white, obvious right-and-wrong issue that racism is. You have to weigh the fetus' right to live and be born against the mother's right to choose not to be a mother, and intelligence has little to do with which side you come down on.

      2) Anonymous draws all types. I would venture a guess that their ranks include everyone from pillars of their communities to neo-nazis and skinheads. As they get more and more press, this is becoming more and more true.

      1. Daniel B.

        1) Anti-abortionists are by default conservatives, in the sense that they do not tolerate any kind of abortion at all. Those who think about it as a human-rights issue have more leeway; support for first-trimester abortion exists among this people.

        2) Something I realized after posting. Yes, anyone can claim 'I am anonymous! hahaha!!' but most of the big cases have usually been related on either anti-corporativism (attacks against RIAA/MPAA or the DDoSers from India, ACS:Law) or anti-conservatives (Tea Party, BNP, Fox News) so it does seem weird to see someone with opposing views to claim that. In fact, it would be interesting to see what the collective Anonymous thinks about that. They're not too keen on their image being used for random stuff.

  2. Jeebus

    This absolutely is something only a right wing crackpot would do.

    Wouldn't surprise me if there's a whole wave of these type of "Anonymous" hacking and system breakages in the run up to the US election.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm guessing the others just shat themselves

    It's clear the UK government aren't taking any more hack shit. Anyone that's been downloading LOIC might be getting a visit soon from the law methinks.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: I'm guessing the others just shat themselves

      That would take more effort than collecting charity door-to-door.

      Better have another donut.

      Or how about solving crimes?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Best Judge quote ever in a hacking case

    "Judge: No excuse for targeting the vulnerable"

    That is priceless in a case against a hacker - what expliot did he use.

    1. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

      Re: Best Judge quote ever in a hacking case

      Unless the vulnerable happens to be a baby, I 'spose.

      1. Steve Knox Silver badge

        Re: Unless the vulnerable happens to be a baby, I 'spose.

        I believe you'll find that there is no excuse for infanticide, either.

        1. Chris Thomas Alpha
          Mushroom

          Re: Unless the vulnerable happens to be a baby, I 'spose.

          it's the mothers right, not yours and now you can get off her lawn....

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Unless the vulnerable happens to be a baby, I 'spose.

          "The baby never wrote me a letter of complaint regarding its treatment and I was off protesting about the clubbing of baby seals that day. The next day I was banning the killing of foxes and then I forgot."

          Its what happens when you and me baby aint nothin but mammals.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Unless the vulnerable happens to be a baby, I 'spose.

            ... almost certainly not the right action from the defendent either, though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Best Judge quote ever in a hacking case

      "No excuse for targeting the vulnerable..." Brilliant in its unintended irony - we won't mention the expediantly murdered (truly vulnerable) abortees will we?

      1. Martin Owens

        Re: Best Judge quote ever in a hacking case

        Since I believe its completely immoral to allow a collection of cells to form into a concious human which will have a hideous life. I can NOT condone anti-abortion. Any life is not good enough. Quality of life, safety and protection from suffering are far more important than mere aliveness.

        I can't condone the hacking and the boy is clearly two bob short of a funny farm, but I can't stand the moral righteousness of people who are actually utterly wrong morally.

  5. LinkOfHyrule
    FAIL

    Picking on women who have sought advice and services of this nature, LOW! or should I say l0w so you can understand it?

    Knobcheese

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    I can empathize with this protest. Whilst I am not entirely against abortion it is sickening to observe that in the same hospital where medical staff are fighting to save premature babies others are casually tossing others of similar age into a kidney dish, alive, for disposal.

    Now, if we cannot debate or protest about this, then we are indeed, living in dark times.

    I guess hacking has joined rioting as 'thought crimes'.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      You used the wrong icon mate, you were looking for 'Troll' and found 'Orwell'.

      You can debate all you like about whether abortion is right or wrong, but I'm fairly sure hacking peoples personal details at a particularly tricky part of their life and then threatening to publicise it is not a recognized debating technique.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        "not a recognized debating technique."

        In your humble opinion, I'm sure.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @In your humble opinion, I'm sure

          Or indeed an awful lot of peoples opinions. Humble or otherwise. Stop confusing the right to debate with doing what the fuck you like with no consequences.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      FAIL

      Foxy American Problems!

      "it is sickening to observe that"

      So you have actually observed that?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        Re: Foxy American Problems!

        "So you have actually observed that?"

        Yes, I have.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. ItsNotMe
          Mushroom

          @Colin Camper

          Well...next time...keep your eye closed, if you find a problem with it.

          It is NO ONE'S business, other than the woman involved, what she does on this matter...and I find it quit "amusing" that it is usually MEN who pontificate on this.

          Between the fucking religious nutjobs...and right-wing political arseholes in this world...you all should just mind your own god damned business...and stay out of the lives of others.

        3. Steve Knox Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Foxy American Problems!

          "It is sickening to observe that..."

          "So you have actually observed that?"

          "Yes, I have."

          So you are sick. QED.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Need for debate doesn't justify criminal behaviour

      I also empathize with this protest. Perhaps the hacker genuinely believed his own children were being murdered by these clinics. If I'd ever knowingly been in that situation I don't know how far I'd have gone. Calling an unborn human a disposable piece of tissue is as dehumanising in my book as the descriptions of non-favoured races by the eugenicists up to and during WW2. The judge criticizing him for attacking the privacy of the vulnerable (women seeking counselling with a view to obtaining abortions) probably didn't consider that he probably believed he was attempting to protect even more vulnerable children at risk of being aborted.

      Whatever your feelings on the abortion issue, while legitimate protest and debate has to be accepted by any society which wants to consider itself democratic, this doesn't justify breaking laws which protect confidential medical data of those in vulnerable situations. Given that this data wasn't released and it presumably easily could have been, I suspect his protest was more directed towards expressing his hostility at the actions of BPAS and their staff than their desperate patients. That fact should mitigate his sentence and I hope he appeals.

      1. Graham Bartlett

        Re: Need for debate doesn't justify criminal behaviour

        "Dehumanising"

        Since it is not human (in the opinion of medical experts specialising in foetal development and in the opinion of UK and US law, oh and my opinion too) this is not actually possible. The fact that it will become a human, assuming nothing bad happens during pregnancy, does not mean that it is a human at this point. It's impossible to emphasise enough how utterly wrong, evil and stupid the idea of "life begins at conception" is.

        You might also be interested to know that the vast majority of abortions in the UK are carried out before 12 weeks, well before a foetus could ever survive outside the womb.

        1. The Jase

          "life begins at conception"

          To build on this, if "life begins at conception", then EVERY miscarriage must be investigated as a potential murder.

          Mother did something to induce miscarriage? She should be charged with manslaughter at the least.

          Stress a woman out and she miscarries? You get charged.

          You bump that woman on the train? Three weeks later you are charged for it.

          etc, etc, etc

          Be very careful with what you wish for people.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You know NOTHING Colin

      I hate all the judgemental arseholes like you who think your 'morals' allow you to shove your opinions down other peoples throats without knowing ANYTHING about the issues involved. What about rape cases? What about my personal case? My wife and I had to make a decision to have our baby terminated because of some serious reasons, namely the child would have been severely disabled and also trying to carry the baby full term was more than likely to have killed my wife due to underlying medical problems. Not a nice nor easy decision to make and it was not something we took lightly. If the anti-abortionists got their way I would have been looking at being in the situation of losing my wife AND having to deal with a severely disabled child until I or my child died.

      You are trying to force an opinion on a subject that isn't as simple as you would like to believe. There is no right and wrong in many cases and to try and 'debate' about a ban is just fascism dressed up. You don't like it so would like to make it so no-one can do it. Until it directly affects you then you have no right to tell others that they are wrong.

      And NO they are not put in a kidney dish alive for disposal. The foetus is killed with drugs beforehand and it takes a couple of days. You are given the medication and then have to back for the remainder of the procedure. The fact you don't know this shows that you really don't know anything you are just sticking your nose into a subject that you think you should have an opinion on but you haven't a clue.

      Anonymous as my wife really won't be happy about my ranting on which is a very private matter. It's just these do-gooders really get me pissed off.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        Re: You know NOTHING Colin

        "I hate all the judgemental arseholes like you who think your 'morals' allow you to shove your opinions down other peoples throats without knowing ANYTHING about the issues involved."

        Thank you for venting your anger against me in this personal way. I am sorry that you and your wife have been through a difficult time.

        If you read my comment you would have noted that I said that 'I am not entirely against abortion'.

        If you want me to expand - I would say that this includes real risk to the Mother, serious disability or risk of disability/abnormality to the foetus, rape cases and serious social or mental issues with the mother.

        I often wonder why this subject provokes such strong reactions on both sides than, say, other similar ethical issues such as euthanasia.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You know NOTHING Colin

          "serious social or mental issues with the mother." Or Farther as well you sexist. There again that's unfair of me to call you sexisist as going by your own standards you don't have any children now do you.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Facepalm

            Re: You know NOTHING Colin

            "Or Farther as well you sexist. There again that's unfair of me to call you sexisist as going by your own standards you don't have any children now do you."

            Me, sexist? Shut up you racist as going by your standards you don't have any Paraguan friends now do you.

            What a bunch of children on this forum today!

      2. Chris Thomas Alpha
        Mushroom

        Re: You know NOTHING Colin

        I'm not going to reply anonymously because I want people to know it was me, it's the mothers right, end of story.

        nobody has the right to tell the mother what to do, if it's not in her best interest because of <any reason she wants to choose> then she can do what she likes.

        the next person in line for deciding what to do is the father and thats only in the circumstances where the mother allows him to make any decision at all.

        anything other than that, is a violation of the mothers right to define and control her own body

    5. Captain Underpants
      Thumb Down

      So Colin, if I believe that a legitimate response to Your Post Espousing Highest-Order Bellendery is to set your house on fire, that's ok and I'm welcome to pop around with a jerry can of petrol and some matches?

      If he wants to protest, he's welcome to engage the community and draw attention through lawful means. Instead, he was a massive knob about an issue which will never directly affect him in the same way as it affected the women whose identities and information he threatened to release, so %^&* him, let him serve his time. (If you want to argue that it will affect him directly, I'd like to see the evidence showing how likely it is that he'll ever have to cope with an unplanned pregnancy. Bollockery about "what about my rights as a potential dad" won't make the cut, I'm afraid.)

      None of us get to pick and choose which laws we will follow, hence he gets a paddlin' for doing something he evidently knew was naughty.

      Oh, and you may find it helpful to note that resorting to emotive language and behaviour while attempting to talk about debate will tend to diminish the validity your argument.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Oh, and you may find it helpful to note that resorting to emotive language and behaviour while attempting to talk about debate"

        Pot calling the kettle black, mate!

    6. Ross K Silver badge
      FAIL

      WTF are you smoking? "thought crime"? Seriously?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        Yes, seriously!

        Mulcaire got six months for hacking into voice mail - including some very vulnerable people. Milly Dowler for example. This guy gets nearly three years for one hack at one time where there is no evidence that he has abused the privacy of the people concerned (unlike Murdoch). Purely because it is an emotive subject - thought crime.

        1. Chris Thomas Alpha
          Flame

          I believe he got three years because of the potential for him to do damage, not the actual damage done.

          he could have done a very serious amount of damage, therefore it's in the public interest to put the smack down on him in a very aggressive way to prevent others from thinking it's funny and doing the same thing.

    7. The Baron
      Happy

      Now, if we cannot debate or protest about this, then we are indeed, living in dark times.

      False premise, because you can> debate or protest about this. You're just not allowed to break the law to protest about it.

      Forbidding the disclosure of vulnerable people's details seems like a reasonable law to me, so this is probably fine. But again, if you don't think the law's reasonable, then you can legally protest about that too.

      In fact, your options for legal protest are so vast that only a bell-end would feel that an illegal protest was necessary.

      Ps. I think your understanding of the term "thought crime" may be somewhat inaccurate, too.

    8. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      "casually tossing others of similar age into a kidney dish, alive, for disposal."

      "Alive"?

      There's a reason for that umbilical cord, you know. It is the mother's right to decide whether she should continue supporting a life form inside her body.

      It's her body. Her rules. Her choice. Nobody else's.

      A foetus can only be considered "alive" if—and only if—it can survive without the life-support system provided by its host. Until then, it is not "alive" in any meaningful sense of the word.

      After that stage in its development, abortions should arguably not be performed except under exceptional circumstances (e.g. a congenital defect that would effectively ruin the baby's quality of life—which does matter.) The baby may still be removed from the mother, but can then be offered up for adoption if the mother is unwilling, or unable, to look after it.

      As this is pretty much what most countries support in law, I have yet to see any sensible explanation for why this should be changed. Those who have religious views on the matter can get lost: you don't get to impose your childish comfort blankets on everyone else.

      It's not as if our species is verging on extinction anyway. A little less rutting by humans would do a lot more for our own ecosystem than any number of electric windmills and hand-wringing protestors.

    9. Sean Timarco Baggaley
      FAIL

      "I guess hacking has joined rioting as 'thought crimes'."

      No. They're both just "crimes". Rioting has never been considered a "though crime" by anyone with even half a brain. Lobbing bricks through a 100-year-old, family-owned, furniture store before setting it on fire isn't "protesting". It's just criminal.

      Regarding the News International case: remember that the hackers not only copped to the charge, but also gave evidence in court against their NI paymasters. This is likely to have made the judge a little more lenient towards them—after all, their victims weren't poverty-stricken single mothers, rape victims and the like, but (mostly) wealthy celebrities, politicians and successful businesspeople. NI is going to be slammed by a swathe of civil lawsuits claiming lots of damages once this trial is fully over; the time spent in jail by the hackers is a lot less important than how much money those hackers' victims are going to be able to squeeze out of Murdoch's empire. Hit NI where it hurts the most: right in the profit and loss accounts.

      What this abortion clinic hacker did, on the other hand, was personal. It was like breaking into someone's home, making copies of all the files and smearing "I KNO WHERE U ALL LIVE!" on the walls in his own excrement.

      If you wish to protest against abortion, there are ways of doing so that are a lot less damaging to all parties involved and, frankly, a lot more mature. Hacking an abortion clinic is NOT "debate". It is not "protest". It instils fear in the clinic's staff and their customers. It shatters their reputation for discretion and privacy—no mother goes around proclaiming how many abortions they've had like it's something to be proud of: it's painful, both physically and emotionally. As a result, that clinic may well have to close. Well done: more people unemployed in an already buggered economy.

      This arsehole was a bully. An immature little child, throwing a tantrum, stamping his feet and demanding EVERYONE does what HE wants them to do, because only his opinion matters. Because only HE is right. And everybody else is wrong.

      The sentence was more than justified.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The UK needs to get up to speed

    Five years in prison plus costs should be the minimum for hacking. Criminals can always rationalize their behavior.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The UK needs to get up to speed

      You forgot to say 'Don't do the crime if you can't do the time". Simples!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The UK needs to get up to speed

        I doubt the morons understand simple statements like that. Prison should educate him however.

  8. Jeebus

    I think Colin Camper needs reporting, as he seems to be a risk to honest, hardworking and intelligent people in need of family planning information and procedurwes that are entirely their choice.

    Sounds like a lunatic, and a really thick one at that, the funniest kind, the ones who feel throwing out thought crime and then going on and on about how they are prosecuted somehow makes their actions relevant or somehow more valid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Have you tried being coherent, ever?

      1. Jeebus

        I'm not the right wing neo-fascist lunatic.

        With all due respect.

        None.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Is the most fearsome battlecry!

        Are you related to Ghengis Khan by chance?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Colin the conservative

    Caring about babies all the way from conception to birth.

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