back to article Police arrest alleged LulzSec hacker 'topiary' in Scotland

UK police have arrested a teenager suspected of being a central figure in the infamous LulzSec hacking crew. The unnamed 19 year-old allegedly had been acting as a spokesman of both LulzSec and Anonymous, using the online handle Topiary. He was arrested at a residential address in the Shetland Islands earlier today and …

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  1. Sonny Jim

    Let me guess....

    They'll chuck a few terrorism charges on him then lock him up for not disclosing his password?

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Happy

      RE: Let me guess....

      LOL! I can almost hear the frantic bargaining going on as he sells out his former buddies. All for the lulz!

      1. lIsRT
        Meh

        possibly

        I'd guess that those buddies have been a bit more careful with their proxy use - which is probably why they haven't been picked up at this time.

        Of course, it all depends on whether or not they've been so careful about casual chat amongst themselves; I guess we'll find out soon.

      2. Titus Technophobe
        Happy

        Psychological disorder

        and which psychological disorder his mum will come up with this time? At the start of the dictionary we have:

        Acute stress disorder

        Adjustment disorder

        Adolescent antisocial behavior

        Adult antisocial behavior

        Adverse effects of medication-not otherwise specified

        Age-related cognitive decline

        Alcohol-related disorder

        Alzheimer's

        Amnestic disorder

        Amphetamine (or amphetamine-like)-related disorder

        Anorexia nervosa

        Antisocial personality disorder

        Anxiety disorder

        Anxiolytic-related disorder

        Asperger syndrome

        Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

        Atypical autism

        Autistic disorder

        Autophagia

        Avoidant personality disorder

        ....... or are we going to go with 'fear of Greek markets' again ?

        1. Anonymous Coward 101
          Meh

          I am a TECHNO-ANARCHIST

          I plot the downfall of governments through my computer, because I am a TECHNO-ANARCHIST. I have online conversations with my friends, where we communicate exclusively in leet speak because we are all TECHNO-ANARCHISTS. Governments and corporations tremble at our feet because of all the online horrors we may inflict upon them, using our TECHNO-ANARCHIST tools.

          And if I am caught by the government, I shall get me an Ass Burgers diagnosis, sell out all my friends, then hide behind mummy's apron strings until the bad men have gone away, for I am a TECHNO-ANARCHIST.

        2. Scorchio!!
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Psychological disorder

          "....... or are we going to go with 'fear of Greek markets' again ?"

          There is a relatively recent development from Japan. A disorder in which offspring not only stay at home, but remain locked in their rooms. Parental contact is almost completely reduced to mealtimes, when food is shoved through the door. This kind of silly crap will fog up the new DSM unless good leadership is exercised.

          Here are some other specimens that I dug up when looking for a link to give you on the above. First of all we have 'school refusal syndrome':

          http://www.usjp.org/jpeducation_en/jpEdProblems_en.html

          Then we have, shock horror, 'Paris Syndrome':

          http://forums.liveleak.com/showthread.php?t=81306

          Paris, for obvious reasons.

          1. Clare (web specialist)
            Thumb Down

            A travesty

            As a parent I am appalled that a vulnerable individual should be dragged all that way just because a few organisations can't run their web sites properly.

            Knowing something about web sites I'll bet they were running really insecure open systems not proper Windows web sites. Probably just trying to save money as well.

            1. Scorchio!!
              Trollface

              Re: A travesty

              "As a parent I am appalled that a vulnerable individual should be dragged all that way just because a few organisations can't run their web sites properly."

              Although not a parent I agree. In fact I think we should prosecute the site owners, the police, the internet police and society should also be in the dock, especially rubber neckers like us.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Letters or digits

              Sorry, Off topic but I have to ask.. "Windows Web Sites"?

              Please enlighten.

        3. Bullseyed

          Re

          Let's continue to arrest kids for port scanning web sites while most physical violence and bullying in high school continues unabated.

        4. Naughtyhorse

          or maybe

          they got the wrong bloke (yeah i know that is common knowledge by the time i write this")

          and the plod fucked it up again.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Coat

        He might not sell out yet

        He might be hedging his bets.

  2. DragonKin37
    Mushroom

    Yoink!

    Gotacha bitach!

  3. Ivan Headache
    Alien

    What does pre-planned mean?

    Is it similar to an advance warning?

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Happy

      RE: What does pre-planned mean?

      It probably means they have been watching him for a while, collecting evidence and listening as he no doubt bragged about how he was never going to get caught by "them dumb coppers".

    2. Miek

      It means

      They had a plan to plan a plan to capture a planner.

      1. Henry Herron
        Thumb Up

        Crime is crime

        You can't commit a crime to fight a crime.

        These guys forget that governments wage war on each other over the internet. Once they get out of the pond and into the ocean, they are shark bait.

        And when he is in prison, I'm sure all the other prisoners will be nice to him because they are all innocent and oppressed and they will realize that he was 'helping them'.

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/thumb_up_32.png

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    For the Lulz

    Heh. Makes me wonder how well the defense "I was just doing it for the lulz." will go over once he is hauled before the beak...

    1. Charles Calthrop

      his defence

      His defence will be "I have aspergers"

      1. Naughtyhorse

        lol

        as no doubt would be the jacals!

  5. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Shetland?

    What? There are computers on Shetland?!

    1. Bumpy Cat
      Devil

      Exactly my thoughts!

      I wonder what his bandwidth is like, too ... explains why he's gone blackhat - sheer frustration from slow intarwebs!

    2. Guido Esperanto
      Paris Hilton

      title

      computers on the shetlands are believable, powered by the ole trusty diesel generator.

      I'm even more astonished that the intertubes stretched that far.

      1. Jedit
        Angel

        Some houses on Shetland have a postcode all to themselves

        He's going to be out of luck if he tries claiming it was his neighbour using his connection/

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    About time...

    String 'em up... Lulzsec gives real skilled hackers a bad name. One down, more to go....

  7. Wize

    I'm betting lulzsec disown him

    Like they did last time. We'll never know if its the real one or the cops have fitted him up with the name.

    That's one less pain in the arse hacker out there.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Scorchio!!
        Trollface

        Re: If he actually is Topiary

        "My last comment in this thread was deleted by a mod and the only reason I can see is I said something specific about what he's meant to have done in LulzSec "

        Nah, the moderators would NEVER delete comments that refer back to verifiable evidence in public ownership. They just don't do stuff like that, any more than commentards voted down truths they dislike!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    So how's that anonymous thing going then...

    Not too well it seems...

    All this because Microsoft told you that Sony was bad for taking away OtherOS...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Extraordinary!

    Rendition awaits them both.

    Uncle Sam never forgets.

    1. Henry Herron

      20 years from now

      20 years from now when they are married and have a family and are looking at buying a home. Someone will show up on their door step and serve them with papers letting them know they they are being sued for every dime.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope they have more evidence than..

    "Suspect was seen talking to Guardian reporter"

    The Graun ran an article a few weeks back on 'Topiary' in which he claimed he was now taking a back seat for a while, making artwork and other promotional content for teh lulz. Apparently he hadn't been active in their hacking campaigns for some time citing fear of the risk involved. Someone who had become this concerned surely wouldn't have left any traces of their activities ??

    I doubt they can take him down for being a spokesperson or making artwork.

    Heck, even the IRA guys couldn't be arrested for their propaganda machine.

    I might get some shirts printed up with "free topiary!" on, bound to get some looks XD

    1. Henry Herron

      wrong...

      Mega corporations are responsible for alot of good and alot of bad things that happen.

      What happens when you piss off a company that you claim has its own private army?

      I guess secretly you hope that they don't have an army? Or maybe you hope that they are a law abiding company?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    A criminal mastermind...

    .. or simply a young troll, who enjoys posturing and drama.

    I expect the plods will be rubbing their hands together, thinking they've caught some big fish. When, in fact it's more likely: he's he kind of person who trolls YouTube comments, saying 'THIS IS FAKE AND GAY!!!' and 'herp derp derp, dasu dasu'

    --

    What happened to all those News International emails they apparently have? I'm calling BS on that. It's a hoax/troll.

    --

    Is there a single person in Anonymous or LulzSec that has any 'hacking' expertise, or is it simply a bunch of clowns and trolls who are media attention-whores.

    1. Ru
      Facepalm

      Re: bunch of clowns and trolls

      The HBGary op was most entertaining. Have a read: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/02/how-one-security-firm-tracked-anonymousand-paid-a-heavy-price.ars

      The guys being rounded up by the police aren't even script kiddies. They seem to be idiots who downloaded LOIC, and that's all. They barely qualify for 'low hanging fruit' status. I guess these arrests will serve as a valuable lesson to all the other wannabes, who I suspect will pay more attention in TOR class next time.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Oooof... Bad luck possibly?

    Could he have been unmasked by statistical analysis of the packets over the link to the Shetlands? It would be an unfortunate consequence of living in a remote location if that was the case.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    TTAD

    Time till Aspergers diagnosis ?

    1. Jeremy 2
      Thumb Up

      Dammit...

      You stole my gag/social commentary.

      Anyway, not long, I wouldn't think.... I'd wager on it.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oops he screwed up again

    Well maybe this lad is in for an education?

  15. cleidh_mor
    WTF?

    Eh?

    Arrested in Shetland, so he's transported to central London? What do the Scottish authorities have to say about that?

    Something fishy there!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Interesting point...

      Anyone who isn't IANAL but wants to explain that to us?

      1. Scorchio!!

        Re: Interesting point...

        "Anyone who isn't IANAL but wants to explain that to us?"

        It doesn't take an Einstein or a lawyer to work out that the damage was not done in Scotland, UK.

    2. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Re:Eh?

      If he isn't charged with anything do they then have to transport him back?

    3. Alfie
      Big Brother

      rendition?

      So has he been rendered to the Met in a foreign country?

      Are the Met allowed to use torture?

      Will they need a translator dahn sarf like they do for Trawlermen on the Beeb?

  16. VeganVegan
    Facepalm

    Wrong person?

    http://www.dailytech.com/Exclusive+British+Police+Duped+by+LulzSec+Into+Arresting+the+Wrong+Guy/article22280.htm

  17. henchan
    Boffin

    sonny Jim

    "You'll soon be lolling on the other side of your face."

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Holmes

      RE: Wrong person?

      Did you consider that a doctored chat log could be an attempt by the Anontputzs to shield one of their own by "giving up" one that was stupid enough to ego-parade as Anon to the media?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Hmm...

    dailytech says "British Police Duped by LulzSec Into Arresting the Wrong Guy"

    http://www.dailytech.com/Exclusive+British+Police+Duped+by+LulzSec+Into+Arresting+the+Wrong+Guy/article22280.htm

  19. Winkypop Silver badge
    Joke

    Wait till the judge.....

    ....cuts him down to size

    1. Petrea Mitchell
      Coat

      So are you saying...

      ...evidence was planted?

  20. xyz
    FAIL

    At least the English will find out where Shetland is now

    Tip.... it's the bit that's missing off all the weather maps save the BBC one. And on the BBC one, you can hardly see it due to that stupid "honest guv, that's the real view" projection.

  21. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Pint

    Hmmmm

    Oh yes. Dragged from your bed, bundled into a prop-plane bound for the mainland, then driven the 750 odd miles to the UK capital in the back of an unmarked Rozza-mobile for detention and questioning! No doubt they will pull out some terrorist nonsense to make sure they keep you for a few more days than they normally would be able to.

    Doesn't sound very funny. So remind me, where are these so called "lulz"?

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: At least the English will find out where Shetland is now

      Something the Scots do not like is the largely Scandinavian history of the Shetland/Orkneys. I'm away from my base for a few days, but have some interesting links on the dubious giving to Scotland of these islands. It was at the time the subject of strong dissent.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Possessions_of_Norway

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shetland

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norn_language

      http://www.nornlanguage.110mb.com/

      Their relationship with Scotland and the UK as a whole is reminiscent of Jersey. For more on the interesting relationship with Iles Chausey see this: http://uk.ask.com/wiki/Chausey As you browse remember that most Europeans are descended from some 11 breeding females.

  22. Bilgepipe
    Thumb Up

    Heh

    I can haz fonecall?

  23. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    Topiary...

    Loved the Sun hack, about Murdock dead. Sentence something like "He was found in his famous topiary garden". That was classic.

    LulzSec Rulz. They did us all a favour.

    Hope this bloke gets shipped back home Business Class and executive limo , when the Met realise they fucked up yet again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Let us know...

      if/when you decide to re-join us on planet Earth

      1. Andus McCoatover
        Windows

        if/when you decide to re-join us on planet Earth

        No, never been there. Full of surveillance cameras, dead Brazilians and congestion charges.

        Not for me. Ta muchly. But, thanks for the invite. Maybe, when Uncle Boris leaves I may pop over.

        Oh, and I thought it was rejoin...What do I know, sitting in a fog-filled crater on the moon, having a smoke, with a load of scrap metal nearby.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Childcatcher

    Note to Self

    If I keep telling people I'm a hacker, someday they will find a need to arrest one, and I'll be in the firing line

    And I don't take offence to the Aspergers jokes, but to some of us it's living a nightmare, just like 80% of the 3 million who say "i'm disabled " are not, we real sufferers become the butt of much finger pointing and ribalry because of the masses

  25. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    So, is being a spokesman illegal?

    After all, Lulzsec and Anonymous aren't actually illegal; it's just alleged that people have done illegal things under their banner. Their very nature would make it difficult to proscribe membership of something which has no membership as such.

    So, I ask, is it illegal to say you are a spokesman for something which can't be proved to exist and even if it is proved to exist, has not yet been proved to have broken any laws (and may never be, due to the nature of these "groups")?

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Boffin

      RE: So, is being a spokesman illegal?

      "After all, Lulzsec and Anonymous aren't actually illegal...." No, it is not illegal for a bunch of skiddies to form their own "I-have-no-real-World-friends" club online. It is not illegal to be a member of or a spokesmen for such a club of likely virgins. But, should that club commit a crime (what do you think DDoS is?) then it is highly likely the Police's attention will be on those members that bleated about their membership the loudest, such as spokespeople. Still no cause for alram as long as you weren't involved in any of the illegal activities. But, should the coppers be able to provide evidence (such as IRC chat logs from the AnonOps servers alledgedly run by Ryan Cleary) or from Twitter (such as the Twitter logs handed over to the authorities in the US in relation to the Dikileaks case), then you are in the crosshairs for a prosecution. Alledgedly, Topiary was actively involved with the inner circle of "non-leaders" herding the Anon sheeple. Should the Police be able to prove that then the AnonOps spokesfool is going to jail for a long time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        you completely miss the point

        He was arrested for allegedly being a spokesman.

        That is NOT illegal in itself.

        No doubt you'll downvote this too, but it still won't make it illegal to be a spokesman.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Boffin

        @Matt Bryant re : "Alledgedly" (sic)

        Allegation does not equal wrongdoing.

        Alledgation would provide evidence of basic lack of education, though.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          RE: you completely miss the point

          "He was arrested for allegedly being a spokesman...." Wrong! He was arrested for alledgedly being a member of the Anonyputyz group that took part or had knowledge of the DDoS attacks and other cybercrimes. It is simply coincidental to the case that he's also the ego-stroking fat-head that may have posed as the spokesperson for a group that claims it doesn't have any leaders or structure (like a spokesperson).... Try reading the news before bleating your views.

          ".....That is NOT illegal in itself....." Correct! In itself, being a member of or even a spokesperson for a group of socially-challenged numpties is not necessarily an illegal activity, even if that group of numpties commit a criminal act, as long as the spokesperson can claim they were not involved or had any knowledge of the criminal act. However, should the numpties commit a crime, any person publicly connected to said group of numpties is going to attract the attention of the authorities. Should their investigation turn up anything to link you to said illegal activities then you are going to get arrested. Hence the all-expenses-holiday to London for Topiary.

          ".....No doubt you'll downvote this too...." Well, until the Reg introduces a way to upvote such posts as examples of supreme fail I'll just stick to downvoting your post, as it was patently written without engaging any form of causality analysis. Oh, and I'll laugh at you a lot too!

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Happy

          RE: @Matt Bryant re : "Alledgedly" (sic)

          It is a time-honoured tradition that you have to put "allegedly" or the equivalent into a post to avoid breaking the house rules and incurring the wrath of the Forum Dominatrix. To flat out say the accused is guilty of the crime before a trial judgement or even a charge could be taken as defamation of character. For example, it would be against the house rules for me to to insist that the accused abused sheep seeing as his chances of getting laid were double bad both due to his social ineptness as well as his geographical location, as I have no proof of such. For the Reg to post such a view as a fact, regardless of whether they thought it likely to be true or not, would leave the Reg open to legal action.

          So, for now, all we can infer is that the police believe that the arrested person has either links to or was directly involved in the criminal acts committed by the Anonyputzs or Lultwitz, and it is only conjecture that he was giving it to the local ovis aries.

          1. Scorchio!!

            Re: RE: @Matt Bryant re : "Alledgedly" (sic)

            The OP seemed to be engaged in a typo pouncing session. I touch type about 120 wpm, have reasonably good English and I make typos. You ain't alone.

      3. Shakje

        Personally

        I don't find IRC logs particularly convincing evidence. I'm pretty sure you would need to be able to guarantee that the person in the logs is the same person you've arrested, which is no mean feat. You would also have to show that the logs hadn't been altered since they were taken, also something a bit difficult to do. Twitter logs have problems with the first one, if not the second, especially if the assumption is that people with a Twitter account must be the people they say that they are.

        Does anyone actually think that this is sufficient evidence for a prosecution? Or that it should actually be perceived as sufficient evidence? Seems like if it was then it would be a lot easier to frame some people you didn't like.

        1. Scorchio!!
          Boffin

          Re: Personally

          I could do it. I use pattern matching software just for a start. HTH.

  26. Graham Bartlett

    @Scorchio!!

    Given the living hell that kids go through in the Japanese school system, refusal to go is practically an indication of sanity.

    1. Scorchio!!
      Happy

      Re: @Scorchio!!

      "Given the living hell that kids go through in the Japanese school system, refusal to go is practically an indication of sanity."

      Granted, granted. My point however was pertinent to my discipline; there is no such thing as such a syndrome as postulated. Cluttering up a taxonomical enterprise with mythical objects is the sort of thing that I'd expect from PC twats like the British Labour party. Oh wait... ...most of my colleagues are PC twats. I withdraw my respect for them unconditionally.

  27. Drefsab

    wrong man?

    its highly possible they have the wrong man, people say chat logs can be doctored which is a fair point, but what about the youtube clips if that person is who they really are after that will clearly show the guy they have arrested is not the same person.

    The question really comes down to what has the person they have arrested actually done that's pointed the police at him, Im betting hes not part of Lulzsec but it doesn't mean he is a saint either.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      RE: wrong man?

      So, we have skiddiots throwing bricks at each other, and one of them gets arrested. Sounds good to me, he'll probably not only have enough incriminating toolz on his PC(s) to send him down, but also be happy to provide info on his "opposition" in the hope of getting less jail time. A win-win situation for all sane, law-abiding Internet users. If he also happens to be a core member of the supposedly non-existant Anon leadership then that's just a bonus.

  28. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    IF

    They have the real 'Topiary'.

    IF the guy they have keeps his gob shut...

    IF the real 'topiary' pops up on a tweet, then the Met are going to look fucking stupid. For a change.

    IF enough say "I'm Spartacus" then what????

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Happy

      RE: IF

      "They have the real 'Topiary'...." Who cares, if the coppers search his systems and find hacking gear, he's toast! I don't really care if he is Topiary or some other dumb skiddie, if they find enough there to convict him then that's one less skiddie out there causing problems.

      "....IF the guy they have keeps his gob shut..." Yeah, and then he meets his lawyer, who then looks at the evidence/case the coppers have against his client. Should the case look solid, he will advise his client to sing like a canary for leniency. It seems most of these web-heroes fold like week-old lettuce, and end up not just grassing up their friends but also working as police snitches (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/07/hacker_snitches/). Anyone that knew this guy and was stupid enough to brag abotu their 1337 skillz is goign to be bricking themselves about now.

      ".....IF the real 'topiary' pops up on a tweet, then the Met are going to look fucking stupid...." Who cares if he's Topiary if he's caught with enoguh evidence to send him down. Besides, how are you going to prove the Tweet comes from the real Topiary without incriminating the sender of that Tweet? I mean, you'd have to provide something really juicy to prove you were the real Topiary and not just another Anonyputz pretending to be him. Oh, I'm sorry, I assumed you might have thought this through!

      "....IF enough say "I'm Spartacus" then what????" They get ignored, unless they can PROVE they are Topiary, which they can't. Even if this really isn't the Topiary guy, if the Met gets a conviction they can claim to have "got 'im" and there is very little the Anonyputzs can do to disprove it. So, who looks f*cking stupid now, then?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Proof Reading

        "Who cares if he's Topiary if he's caught with enoguh evidence to send him down. Besides, how are you going to prove the Tweet comes from the real Topiary without incriminating the sender of that Tweet? I mean, you'd have to provide something really juicy to prove you were the real Topiary and not just another Anonyputz pretending to be him. Oh, I'm sorry, I assumed you might have thought this through!"

        I would hope, if this kid ends up in front of a jury, the jury would care. In court the identity of the real Topiary does not have to be proven it just has to be demonstrated, or at least enough doubt created, that the defendant is not the Topiary associated with the crimes presented.

        If the jury can be convinced that some of the evidence against the defendant was manufactured, then it's not a huge leap for them to conclude that other evidence was also created for the purpose of misdirection, whether that is documents, hacker tools or chatlogs. Think about the average member of the public that sits on a jury. How many will have had to deal with a virus or malware they didn't download? How many will share the same email or messenger account for the entire household? How many are concerned about identity theft? Would those experiences persuade a jury to believe a defence story of an innocent boy being digitally framed? How many wouldn't even understand the arguments of either the prosecution or the defence?

        The police will know these crimes will not be easy to prosecute, and the internet fog being created will not help, so I expect a lot of pressure will be exerted on "Topiary" to confess and strike a bargain. If the accused is innocent then we should expect an interesting court case or expect the hackers to claim a victory when the police release their man.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Stop

          RE: Proof Reading

          OK, I'll try and explain what has to happen BEFORE it gets to the point where a jury gets involved. This is to explain to you that coppers don't just go get a light aircraft, fly up to the Shetlands and drag someone back to London on a whim.

          First of, the investigating officers have to get a good enough case to get support from their seniors for an arrest. Not that easy, the senior coppers will not want to waste resources (such as police time, light aircraft, etc), so they will ask for a reasonable level of evidence/suspicion, which chat logs alone would not be. That implies the Met have actually been watching our little delinquent for a while and had a bit more to go on than just skiddie finger-pointing.

          Secondly, they have to get a warrant from a justice of the peace to search the property and systems. Coppers can't just give themselves a search warrant, they have to convince the magistrate/judge invovled there is a reasonable grounds that evidence supporting the crime under investigation will be found. The coppers could have gone to get him and entered the house without a search warrant if all they were doing was arresting him, but they would have wanted to get his systems to search for more evidence, so a warrant was required. Again, a certain level of suspicion and/or evidence higher than just skiddie chatter would have to be shown to get said warrant to search.

          After questioning the suspect, the coppers would have reviewed the evidence gathered and decided whether to charge Davis - seeing as they did it implies they had plenty of evidence, and the fact they did so in such a short time suggests they didn't need to do much searching of his PCs, either because they weren't encrypted or because they are still working on them but didn't need it for the charges. That implies the coppers are harvesting evidence from his PCs for further charges against Davis and/or others.

          Thirdly, if it does go to court, it is the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) that takes the police case and assesses it before saying it should go to court. That means there has to be a reasonably good chance of a successful conviction or the CPS won't play ball. After all that - senior officers, judge/magistrate and CPS - the jury will finally get their chance to assess the case.

          All that means there is probably a shedload of reasons for the jury to not worry if Mr Davis actually is Topiary, just whether he has committed the criminal acts he eventually gets charged with. The Met will want a conviction for the crimes he is charged with, and having a stupid handle like "Topiary" is only a crime against good taste, not the criminal acts he is charged with. After they have a conviction for the crimes, then the coppers will do the PR bit and claim to have locked up Topiary, a senior Anon, etc.

  29. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    The 3 rings of anonymous

    Ignoring for a moment their statements about their own nature and judging them by their actions it's clear there are 3 levels of anon.

    Level 1 - irc lurking loic downloading cannon fodder.

    Level 2 - script kiddies some of whom think they are part of the core. (cleary and probably fake scottish topiary).

    Level 3 - the plotters and skilled hackers who can point the cannon fodder and kiddies vaguely in the right direction. Ie the guys who did the recce's and activities for lulzsec, the hb Gary hack and others. Probably includes Swedish topiary and others.

  30. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Boffin

    RE: The 3 rings of anonymous

    That matches with my research, but with the alarming addition that the "control" of the level1 wannabe-Anons is verging on the non-existant. It seems they can "join up" via IRC and just download LOIC to point one of the Anon botnets at whatever target they like! Today you don't like your school, then just point the tool at their website and get some lulz. This is "ethical hacking"?

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