Caution: Don't Tell Emotionally Unstable Relatives About that Abortion You Were Planning

Illustration for article titled Caution: Don't Tell Emotionally Unstable Relatives About that Abortion You Were Planning

A 27-year-old member of Anonymous/busybody has been sent to jail after breaking into a British database, stealing the personal data of 10,000 women who used abortion or contraceptive services, and threatening to disclose their names, phone numbers, email addresses, all because he was pissed his sister had ended her pregnancy. Though the whole situation is bizarre, from this, we learn an important life lesson: if you've got a nutty hacker family member, don't tell them about your abortion. Some computer hackers don't like the idea of women being able to hire someone to mess with the programming of their ladyparts.

Hacked was the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), which is like the across the pond version of Planned Parenthood. The organization provides women with low-cost access to abortion services, contraception, STI testing, sterilization, and other such things that endanger the morality of everyone and and make Jesus cry. The group also made Anonymous hacker James Jeffery cry the sort of tears of rage that can only lead to an irate internet posting. When he broke into the group's site, he left a message along with the Anonymous logo,

An unborn child does not have an opinion, a choice or any rights. Who gave you the right to murder that unborn child and profit from that murder?
"The product, abortion, is skilfully marketed and sold to women at the crisis time in her life. She buys the product, and wants to return it for a refund. But it's too late."
\\\ Hacked by PabloEscboar, Anonymous ///

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By the way, he hacked stuff under the handle PabloEscobar. Badass alert!

Anyway, Jeffery also stole 10,000 database entries, many of which belonged to women who had used BPAS for things other than abortion, and threatened to release them. Being mad that your sister had an abortion and threatening to compromise the database of a medical facility that provides all sorts of non-abortion services is sort of like being angry that Pete Rose isn't in the baseball Hall of Fame and calling a bomb threat into the Little League World Series.

But before he could fix everything by making everything a million times worse, the Police Central e-crime Unit (PCeU) tracked down his IP address and arrested him. He offered to help BPAS improve the security of its website data, but a judge sentenced him to 2 years in the clink anyway.

Before you dismiss this as something that couldn't happen here, consider this: 46 states currently require health care providers to gather personal information on abortion recipients and share them with the department of health. Laws vary, but some states require providers to gather such detailed information as why the women had an abortion, how she paid for it, and how many children she already has. Pretty specific stuff. At some point in the future when conservatives' familiarity with technology has moved beyond changing their default email font to Comic Sans, it could only take one disgruntled pro-lifer to access a wealth of identifying information about women.

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Anti abortion hacker jailed for stealing 10,000 records [ZD net]

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DISCUSSION

Is the atmosphere surrounding choice and family planning as noxious in the UK as it is here?

Also, I can't imagine how my family would react if I told them there were problems with the baby's development and Mr. Nom and I ended the pregnancy (I'm 24 weeks today, I have no tests or ultrasounds left anyway). They are conservative, but definitely have a cognitive dissonance between the values they vote for and, you know, reality. Given some of my family's medical history, it wouldn't be shocking to get an abnormal test result back. Seeing how others in the family have been affected by developmental delays, I could see my mom and dad understanding our choice to abort. Plus, Mr. Nom and I would be dealing with our own grieving process.