We’ve been documenting the people that were targeted in the cross country raids on alleged Anonymous members. So far, it seems that every day we are hearing from those who were affected coming forward to state their case that they had no part in Anonymous hacking. Today, we found another person stating their innocence.
Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes
In the major sweep of hackers, the score might now be Anonymous: 3, FBI: 0. Still, as time goes on, we are getting a clearer and clearer picture of the kind of people that were arrested or raided. On the 20th, we reported on Scott Matthew Arciszewski, someone who may have done little more than blog about potential security vulnerabilities of Infragard. The second person we found out about was Garrett Deming, a band singer who barely knows how to turn on a computer.
Today, we found a report by the Bay Citizen which details a Santa Rosa man by the name of Drew Ellis. He was one of the reported 14 people that were caught up in the FBI sweep. He’s a 26 year old computer programmer who, unlike Deming, has known about Anonymous. From the report:
Ellis said federal agents came to his home around 6 a.m. Tuesday to arrest him. He said agents had raided his home in January and seized computer equipment.
The agents took him to the U.S. Marshall’s office in San Francisco, where he was later released on bail after agreeing to several conditions, including allowing monitoring software to be installed on his personal computer.
Ellis denied any involvement in the hacking of PayPal, but does admit that he knows a lot about Anonymous:
Ellis said people have it wrong when they call anyone a “member” or a “leader” of Anonymous.
“The Anonymous thing â€” there are no leaders, it’s just people who are pissed off, and if enough people go into certain chat rooms on the Internet and say, ‘Let’s stand up and fight against these things,’ and if other people consent, maybe these things can happen,” he said.
Now, last I checked, there is a big difference between knowing about something and actively participating in something. It’s not really a crime to know something about Anonymous. I know that Anonymous can be seen as a group of people with idea’s. Does that make me actively involved in Anonymous? No.
Like the previous cases, this seems to be a case of the FBI needing more evidence then what we are seeing here. Really, unless these’s something that turns up in his hard drive that says that he actually participated in the hacking, I think it’ll be very difficult to prosecute this individual.