There was an immeasurable distance between the quick and the dead: they did not seem to belong to the same species; and it was strange to think that but a little while before they had spoken and moved and eaten and laughed - W. Somerset Maugham
THE FOURTH UK HACKTIVIST who faced imprisonment for participating in a digital sit-in at payment firm Paypal has avoided a jail sentence because he was 16 at the time.
In late January punishments were meted out against Christopher Weatherhead, Ashley Rhodes and Peter David Gibson. Weatherhead and Rhodes both got immediate jail sentences, while Gibson's is suspended for two years.
Birchall, who is now 18, had admitted conspiring to impair the operation of computers between 1 August 2010 and 22 January 2011, according to a report at the Guardian, but has been afforded some leniency because of his age.
Judge Peter Testar would perhaps have liked to have gone in harder. He said that Birchall, who is apparently "isolated" would have had a "substantial" sentence were it not for his age. Instead the judge gave him an eight month youth rehabilitation order and 60 hours of community service.
Although the youngest in the group, Birchall had allegedly boasted that he was high up in the hacktivist group Anonymous. He was "No 2 most Anon", according to a transcript read out by prosecutor Joel Smith, and he allegedly controlled two servers used by a subset of the group. µ
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