On Friday, the Australian Federal Police levelled 20 counts of hacking-related crimes at a 17-year-old from NSW, who the organisation believes is connected to online activist group Anonymous. Few details have been released on the teenager’s activities, but whatever he or she got up to, it translates into an impressive list of charges.
The news comes via an April 5 announcement published by AFP on its website:
Six counts of unauthorised modification of data to cause impairment, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment;
One count of unauthorised access with intent to commit a serious offence, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment;
One count of possession of data with intent to commit a computer offence, which carries a maximum penalty of 3 years imprisonment; and
Twelve counts of unauthorised access to restricted data, which carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment.
It goes on to mention that the teenager’s residence was searched back in November last year and that a second hearing is scheduled for May 17.
While it’s unlikely we’ll hear more about this in the short term, the AFP did take the opportunity to decry Anonymous’ brand of online protesting, with Commander Glen McEwen, Manager Cybercrime Operations, delivering the following warning:
“Protesting through computer intrusions and website defacements is not an appropriate method to raise public awareness about any issue.”