For the Internet collective known as Anonymous, the lulz are bittersweet this week with the arrest of the hacktivist extraordinaire known as Topiary.
“Topiary” is the online alias of 18-year-old Jake Davis. Authorities claim Davis is a key player in the Anonymous collective. Davis is also accused of association with Lulz Security (LulzSec) – the short lived but stunningly successful offshoot of Anonymous.
Davis appeared at a central London court Monday after London’s Metropolitan Police, also known as Scotland Yard, announced Sunday they had charged the 18-year-old Davis with multiple offenses. Davis is being charged with unauthorized access to a computer system and conspiring with others to launch online attacks against the website of the U.K.’s Serious Organized Crime Agency, the British equivalent of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Davis is reported to be the creator of press releases for both Anonymous and Lulz Security. Davis is being described by his fellow hacktivists as the “greatest digital graffiti artist of all time”. As such, Davis is quickly becoming an Internet celebrity. The fact that media reports describe Davis as being autistic only contributes to the mystique and air of celebrity surrounding Topiary.
Davis supporters, via the Anonymous collective, have launched an online campaign – Free Topiary – planning protests and collecting donations to pay for legal fees.
The following is an excerpt from Free Topiary:
A purveyor of many lulz, this swank garden hedge known as Topiary left his personal Twitter account with a quotation… “You cannot arrest an idea.”
Jake wrote many lulzy press releases for both Anonymous and Lulz Security.
The Lulz Boat’s journey on the seven proxseas went underway only with the aid of Jake and his natural ability to entertain.
There was a great purpose and an important message behind these mischevious acts of cyber-vandalism. Jake Davis brought lulz to the oppressed. He spoke in a voice that resonated globally and reached us personally.
Jake Davis may face jail time, but he publicly spoke of this in the most noble of terms. A jail sentence is, to him, not a failure of any sort.
It is a triumph.
“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
The following is a selection of relevant tweets in support of Topiary:
We need more people like #Topiary free him
As a crotchy oldman I say, Free #Topiary
Topiary used SQL in college but he never injected. #FreeTopiary
If I was a judge, I’d give Topiary 9001 hrs of community service & count every one of his crimes as hours off his sentence. #FreeTopiary
If I have kids, I’ll raise them to be the nextTopiary #FreeTopiary
#Topiary is not a hacker or a DDoSer. His arrest will not slow us down. We are stronger than ever. We are #Anonymous. We are one! #AntiSec
Currently Jake “Topiary” Davis is out on bail.