Protest or Prank? Hackers Post Racy Photos Allegedly of BART’s Linton Johnson Online
Well, somebody posted some racy photos they say are of BART spokesman Linton Johnson, currently the target of what at this point can fairly be called a vendetta by online protesters working under the loose rubric of the amorphous hacker group Anonymous.
“We condemn the cyber attack,” BART spokesman Jim Allison told KQED’s Rachel Dornhelm. Allison said BART is troubled by all of the cyber attacks, which have included the release of usernames and passwords at a BART marketing site and of the names, addresses, and emails of BART police officers filched from a union web site. “But to do something so damaging is beyond the pale.”
Dornhelm also talked to Bob Franklin, the president of the BART board of directors, about the protesters calling for the dismissal of Johnson by BART. “Linton is doing a great job,” Franklin said. “When you’re on camera all the time you’re not always going to say the best thing. Linton is doing a great job and it’s a tough job. So the organization is going to stand behind Linton.”
Thinking back to the many demonstrations against BART that followed the shooting death of Oscar Grant — and even the protests in the wake of the Charles T. Hill shooting, the incident that sparked this recent spate of protests against BART — one has to wonder which tactics can rightly be called protest and which malicious pranks.
What do you think? Does hacking and leaking personal information (or photos) a legitimate — and effective – form of protest?