Last week, hacker Andrew Auernheimer uncovered a flaw at AT&T's website which may have compromised the privacy of thousands of iPad users. This week, he was arrested on drugs charges. From CNET:
Andrew Auernheimer, 24, was being held in Washington County Detention Center in Fayetteville, Ark., according to Lt. Anthony Foster of the Washington County Sheriff's office in that state. The drugs were found during the execution of the warrant, said Lt. Mike Perryman, of the Fayetteville Police Department. However, Perryman could not say what prompted the warrant. …
What indeed? We're far short of knowing much about the circumstances of his arrest, but if AT&T sent the Feds on a fishing trip out of spite rather than because it had evidence of a crime, it would be perfectly in keeping with its reputation. Also, the fact that Auernheimer's supposedly a racist and an 'unsavory dude' shouldn't make it OK to arrest him on unrelated charges just because.
If the charges are accurate, though, we might have a learning moment at hand: If one has just publicly exposed the gross incompetence of a major corporation and humiliated its respected partners, perhaps it is time for one to flush the coke.
Fascinatingly, it appears Auernheimer is Weev, a source for a 2008 New York Times feature about how horrid internets are. In it, Weev was quoted saying that that posting flashing images to an epileptics' online forum was over the line: "It's hacking peoples unpatched brains. we have to draw a moral line somewhere." Mattathias Schwartz wrote:
Weev, the troll who thought hacking the epilepsy site was immoral, is legendary among trolls. He is said to have jammed the cellphones of daughters of C.E.O.'s and demanded ransom from their fathers; he is also said to have trashed his enemies' credit ratings. Better documented are his repeated assaults on LiveJournal, an online diary site where he himself maintains a personal blog. Working with a group of fellow hackers and trolls, he once obtained access to thousands of user accounts.
(Well spotted, vonnegutlives!)
Hacker in AT&T-iPad security case arrested on drug charges [CNET. Photo: Washington County Sheriff's Office]