As you may have heard, an arrest was made late last week in England that was believed to be “Topiary,” the impossibly ballsy leader of brazen hacker group we’ve all come to know as LulzSec. Frankly, I was highly skeptical, since this wasn’t the first time law enforcement had made such claims. But it appears more and more like this actually might be the real deal — for one thing, the group’s always-active Twitter account has gone completely silent since Topiary, alleged to be 18 year old Jake Davis of Scotland’s Shetland Islands, was taken into custody. This morning he was released on bail, affording all of us a glimpse of the wrap-around sunglasses-wearing kid. So Jake-y, no? Also, kind of Assange-y, I think.
Jake Davis, who police say ran the Twitter feed for LulzSec and is known online as Topiary, appeared in a denim shirt and carrying a book called “Free Radicals: The Secret Anarchy of Science” when he appeared in Westminster Magistrates in London just before noon. Davis, 18, answered to five charges the police made against him yesterday, including contravening Britain’s Computer Misuse Act and conspiring with others to carry out a distributed denial of service attack (essentially taking a website offline by overloading it with traffic) against the website of Britain’s Serious Organized Crime Agency.
Davis looked straight ahead for much of the proceedings and occasionally scratched his head, then grimaced when prosecutor Chodha mispronounced the name LulzSec as “Luke Sec.”
Prosecutor Chodha said the officers who arrested Davis found a Dell laptop running 40 different applications. Among them were a host of folders including one containing details of pre-paid cards in false names, a folder titled “Noms” which included a text file of LulzSec activity, and a folder with user details and passwords of 750,000 random members of the public. Chodha said the laptop had a 100 GB encrypted-hard drive with 16 separate “small computers” – presumably virtual machines, or VMs – each operating independently of one another.
Davis then signed a form from the guard, with whom he briefly chatted and smiled, then walked out of the court room. Donning a pair of sunglasses, he left the courthouse with his mother about 20 minutes later and was met by a mob of photographers and TV cameramen, causing some struggle as the pair walked across the road to a waiting black cab. The two paused for a few moments for photos, and for Davis to flash his book to curious journalists, before being whisked away in the back of the taxi.
For someone who had apparently spent much of his life on the remotest of islands, Davis appeared calm and collected throughout most of the proceedings. When asked what Davis’ temperament had been like in police custody, defence attorney Cammerman said, “He was perfectly charming.”
As a condition of his bail, the judge in the case ordered Davis to stay off the internet completely, which we all know in itself is probably the worst punishment that the kid could ever face. This is what I imagine Jake Davis at home without access to the internet will look like…
I want more like this!
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