(Supreme Court – Judgment of December 16, 2013 n. 50620)
An important judgment was made recently against hacktivist from the group Anonymous.
Anonymous are unhinging institutional websites across the world, leaving behind them an uncountable number of cyber-victims, including the British, Israeli and Syrian Government, the religious organization of Scientology and even the Pentagon. Today, Anonymous are the most famous hackers in the world. They declare to be defenders of digital freedom; they can’t be caught, they are invisible, but most of all they are anonymous and capable of damaging systems among the safest and impenetrable in the world, in the name of great ideals such as justice, culture, environment, defense of freedom to express and communication of thought.
But the Supreme Court does not support the ideology of the group and condemns its actions: they are criminals who infringe upon the IT law and the institutions they attack. If in a group, they are considered as part of a criminal association.
The Court has therefore put aside any investigations on the hackers’ positive ideological inspirations, still considering though their strong social impact worldwide.
According to the judges “it is not the group in its entirety and general purpose to be considered illegal, but some ‘cells’ with criminal plans are”. “Beyond the ideal values, what matters is the shared program and what ways are followed to meet the objectives of the group”. Anonymous aims at conceiving, planning and committing digital crimes that, as well as any other kind of crime, can’t go unpunished or receive a preferential treatment with sanctions.
The Italian judgment is just one among the great number of sentences against Anonymous worldwide, from the United States to Great Britain. Six years after their ‘explosion’ on the global scene, hacktivists have caused a strong reaction from governments and security forces. Nonetheless, they seem to be unstoppable.
At present, Anonymous embodies the anger of young people and citizens who regularly struggle with unresolved social problems.
They are revolutionaries/heroes for some but criminals and cyber terrorists for governments and security forces.
“According to art. 416 of the Criminal Code, criminal conspiracy exists in the presence of an agreement to illegally enter other people’s websites. The purpose of the values pursued by the members, which coincides with the principles that are widely shared among society, does not exclude the possibility of criminal association”.
This is what was stated by the judgment of the Supreme Court which confirmed house arrest to an Italian hacker who was part of the ‘hacktivists’ from ‘Anonymous’.