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Lazy journalism at The Daily Dot

The Daily Dot – In the U.S, its a crime—in Canada, its the best political prank of the year.

I don’t usually bother pointing out flaws in online journalists’ reasoning as the likelihood of there being many more of such erroneous conclusions is just far too high.

Just for fun, however, I’ll be nice and tell Lorraine Murphy where she went wrong. But not too nice. Presumably she can fill in the rest eventually.

The difference in this case is not between Canada and the US. (The alleged differences between the two countries are largely myths and elements of state sponsored propaganda anyway.) The difference between Andrew and Kevin is that the former exposed information that a concerned party had a reasonable expectation of being private, whereas the latter merely did a bit of URL hacking on a PR campaign, thereby exposing the laziness of the agency creating the campaign.

“Weev”‘s mistake was to publish the information he had gathered. Unlike Kevin, his act was not that of a mere Nelson “haw haw” finger pointing, it was something approaching extortion, an act a competitor such as Verizon might commission if they were criminally inclined. What could have resulted in at worst a suspended sentence if he had simply notified AT&T instead of publishing the data he had farmed, instead has resulted in a much harsher sentence.

So in sum, Ms. Murphy, no, this is not a difference between the US and Canada, it’s the difference between a benevolent and a malevolent hacker. It’s like the difference between telling a man his fly is open and posting a picture of whatever is showing for everyone he knows to see.