British MP Lashes Out at Blogger Over Porn Hack
Claire Perry mistook a blogger for a hacker.
CREDIT: Claire Perry
Claire Perry, a British Member of Parliament, is not happy that her website was hacked, but she's been taking her anger out on the wrong man. A blogger, who had nothing to do with the hack, found himself on the receiving end of some very nasty tweets from the confused MP.
The issue began two days ago when Guido Fawkes, a pseudonymous tech blogger, wrote a post about a hacker who objected strongly to the UK's incoming block on Internet pornography. Perry, a Conservative, was an outspoken advocate in favor of the porn ban, which led the malefactor to hack her site and replace it with some pretty vile shock porn.
(If you're not already familiar with it, do not, under any circumstances, look up "Goatse." If you know what it is, you'll know why Perry was so horrified to find it on her website.)
Perry was understandably upset about the incident, but in responding to it, demonstrated why the government might be wise to tread very, very lightly in legislation regarding technology. Instead of trying to track down the hacker and thanking Fawkes for bringing attention to her plight, she put the blogger squarely in her crosshairs.
"That well known responsible campaigner @guidofawkes has been hosting a link that distributed porn via my website," Perry tweeted. "It is quite pitiful really — guess they know when they are beaten." The MP's mistake was clear: She believed that Fawkes was not just a sympathetic observer, but the very hacker who defaced her site. [See also: 10 Worst Internet Laws In the World]
In an even more bizarre turn, Perry promised to lodge a complaint with The Sun, the newspaper that employs Fawkes as a contributor, even though Fawkes wrote the story on his personal blog. Despite the fact that Perry's followers (and detractors) have pointed out her error by the dozens, Perry has yet to remove or apologize for her tweets, which have now been up for multiple days.
According to The Guardian, Fawkes is none too pleased with Perry's accusations, and will pursue legal action if she does not remove her supposedly libelous remarks (there is, of course, the outside possibility that Fawkes actually did hack Perry's page).
"I have an aversion to suing people, but the lawyers say it's open and shut," Fawkes said. "She's been asked to take it down."
Perry was one of Prime Minster David Cameron's strongest supporters when it came to the pornography ban, but not being able to tell the difference between a blogger and a hacker does not speak well of her technological prowess. If Perry is representative of other MPs, the British government could easily overstep its expertise when legislating the Internet.