Hacker group faces up to 24 years in prison for ‘terrorist crimes’

Hacker group faces up to 24 years in prison for ‘terrorist crimes’

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Hacker group faces up to 24 years in prison for ‘terrorist crimes’

Hürriyet photo

An Ankara Court has accepted an indictment against RedHack, a Turkish hacker group, seeking prison sentences of 8.5 to 24 years for its members as “members of a terrorist group.”

RedHack has denied the allegations, saying 10 people currently being tried have no ties with the group and that the allegations of terrorism are simply part of the government’s policy against all of its opponents in the country.

“We just demand freedom and unlimited information. That’s why they call us terrorists. Those 10 people have no ties with us; they are only innocent people who shared the news [on online platforms] about us,” a RedHack member told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday via instant messaging over Twitter.

The indictment likened Redhack’s activities to those of such outlawed leftist organizations as the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) or the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“It has been determined that [RedHack] has lent support to Marxist, Leninist, Maoist, leftist and separatist terrorist organizations. Hence, even though they are not members of those terrorist organizations, RedHack Kızılyıldızlar [RedStars] members can be considered to have perpetrated crimes in the name of those organizations,” the indictment read.

Because RedHack is a socialist group, it expects to be linked with leftist organizations, said the RedHack member who spoke to the Daily News, but he also denied that the group is armed.

“Who is not a terrorist these days, then? If you have a pen, you are a terrorist according to [the government],” the RedHack member said.

The prison sentences the prosecutor requested do have a legal basis because the group’s attacks have targeted governmental websites, a lawyer Yavuz Mavioğlu of the law firm ADMD told the Daily News.

“When political hacking attacks were taken into account under Turkey’s present anti-terror laws, there was no doubt that suspects could receive long prison terms,” Mavioğlu said.

RedHack has attacked government websites and leaked information from them, and was previously listed as a terrorist group by the Turkish government. On July 3, RedHack revealed the identities of some foreign diplomatic personnel working in Turkey. The U.S. mission in Ankara condemned this action, and a prosecutor requested on July 6 that the group be listed as a terrorist organization. The group’s Twitter accounts were suspended immediately afterward. RedHack went on to disclose the identities of police informants, after academics and journalists who supported the group were threatened on July 16. A list of military personnel stationed at the Turkish military’s 2nd Commando Brigade was also exposed by the group on June 12. RedHack has also hacked the websites of the interior and justice ministries.

Three suspects, Duygu Kerimoğlu, Alaattin Karagenç and Uğur Cihan Oktulmuş, have been held under arrest for the past seven months due to their suspected ties to the group.