Rehtaeh Parsons Rape: Anonymous Threatens To Release Name Of Rapists After Online Bullying And Photo
Rehtaeh Parsons' rape and subsequent suicide is big news, and now, after Canadian authorities failed to indict any of Rehtaeh Parsons' four rapists, the online hacktivist group Anonymous threatens to release the names of the boys who allegedly raped 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons.
Rehtaeh Parsons, a teenager from Nova Scotia, Canada, died Wednesday after she hanged herself last week following months of bullying. Her mother, Leah Parsons, also said in a Facebook tribute page to her daughter that Rehtaeh Parsons was raped in November 2011 by four teenage boys, and that her daughter never fully recovered from the trauma.
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"The person Rehtaeh once was all changed one dreaded night in November 2011," Leah Parsons wrote on Facebook.
She goes on to describe how Rehtaeh Parsons went with a friend to "another's house" where she alleges her daughter was raped by four boys, one of who took a picture of the rape and sent the photo around the web.
"One year later the police conclude their investigation to state that it comes down to 'he said, she said' they believed the boys raped her but the proof in a court of law was difficult to gather," Leah Parsons wrote. She said the bullying was incessant following the rape and the dissemination of the photo. The four boys were never charged.
Rehtaeh Parsons died on Wednesday after her mother took her daughter off life support.
And now, the internet hacktivist group Anonymous says it has discovered the names of the four alleged rapists and is threatening to release these to the public, Salon reports.The group calls its mission "Operation Justice For Rehtaeh." In a statement released on its website Wednesday, Anonymous said:
"Our demands are simple: We want the N.S. RCMP [Nova Scotia Royal Canadian Mounted Police] to take immediate legal action against the individuals in question. We encourage you to act fast. If we were able to locate these boys within 2 hours, it will not be long before someone else finds them.
... What we want is justice. And That's your job. So do it."
The statement goes on to say that the group will not release the names of the four teenage boys who allegedly raped Rehtaeh Parsons if they see that authorities are taking steps towards prosecuting the four perpetrators.
Anonymous is a decentralized virtual community of hacktivists - people who strongly oppose government censorship and surveillance and use internet hacking as a form of protest. Dubbed by some as a digital version of Robin Hood, Anonymous members will appear in public wearing Guy Fawkes masks and holding signs that say things like, "People should not be afraid of their government. The government should be afraid of their people."
The group, which started in 2003, actively supported the Occupy Wall Street protest back in the fall of 2011, and is responsible for taking down UK government websites, which the group perceived to be censoring content on the internet, in April 2012.
Anonymous has also been involved in anti-pedophilia operations on the web. The hacktivist group calls its anti-pedophilia sting Operation Darknet, which aims at dismantling child pornography sites and identifying the pedophiles who run them. One notable pedophile takedown happened back in 2007, when Anonymous tracked the activities of predator Chris Forcand and then reported him to the police, who arrested the 53-year-old predator. Anonymous' actions led to Forcand being charged with two counts of luring a child under the age of 14 and attempt to invite sexual touching, among multiple other charges.
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