Anonymous has reportedly “leaked” private information on 50,000 Ohio residents who it feels are obstructing the investigation into the rape of a 16-year-old girl. The rape was allegedly initiated by two high school “star” athletes whom Anonymous feels are being protected from prosecution by a football-loving city who refuses to cooperate with investigators. The dox file (which was posted on PasteBin) for the private citizens includes identifying information such as phone numbers, date of birth, home address, and political party affiliation. It appears to have been snatched from county voting records, however, the suggestion that the information was hacked may be misleading. The Daily Dot notes that the dump appears to have been legally obtained and copied from publicly available voter registration records in Steubenville, Ohio and neighboring communities in Jefferson County.
“Indeed, the “leak” apparently consisted of a trip to the Ohio Secretary of State’s voter registration site, where the data files are all free to download with a simple click of the mouse. (And in another twist, the Twitter account for the group claiming responsibility for the leak,@Anon_Acid, has been suspended.)”
Anonymous is a loose collective of individuals with no formal organizational leadership nor membership requirements and as I’ve pointed out many times before, their lack of formal organization will inevitably lead to embarrassing public relations incidents such as this.