SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The hacker group Anonymous has released personal information of Oakland officials in a leak it said was in retaliation for the city’s treatment of Occupy protesters, and officials on Tuesday decried the move as despicable.
The hacker group released the home addresses, phone numbers, and names of relatives of Oakland’s top elected officials late last week, accompanied by a statement that they were “shocked and disgusted” by the treatment of protesters in the city.
In a press conference on Tuesday, city officials pushed back against the leak.
“I don’t want to get off work at night and go home to find someone on my doorstep,” Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said at the conference.
Oakland has been a flashpoint for the national “Occupy” protests against economic inequality that began last year in New York’s financial district and spread to dozens of cities.
A former Marine and Iraq war veteran, Scott Olsen, was critically injured during a demonstration in October. Protesters said he was hit in the head by a tear gas canister but authorities have never said exactly how he was hurt.
Last weekend, raucous protests in the city resulted in roughly 400 arrests, marking one of the largest mass arrests since nationwide protests began last year.
Anonymous and fellow group LulzSec have carried out a number of high-profile hacks against companies and institutions across the globe including the Central Intelligence Agency, Britain’s Serious Organized Crime Agency, Japan’s Sony Corp and Mexican government sites.
In a statement released on Tuesday and attributed to Anonymous, the Oakland leak was described as “retaliation for the ongoing unjust actions by way of the Oakland Police Department and directed at Occupy Oakland.”
Anonymous was particularly active in the last week, leaking a phone call between the FBI and Scotland Yard as well as releasing a cache of private e-mails belonging to lawyers who represented U.S. soldiers accused of crimes during the Iraq war.
“It’s an implied threat to do harm to people,” said Patricia Kernighan, one of seven Oakland city council members targeted.
“I’ve already had a couple of phone calls last night that were harassing and obnoxious,” she added.
Writing by Mary Slosson; Editing by Cynthia Johnston