Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) spokesman Linton Johnson is the latest casualty of the hacking group Anonymous' campaign against the commuter-rail system, which began with a controversial decision to shut down underground cellphone service to quell a planned protest.
Anonymous leaked several compromising photos of Johnson yesterday (Aug. 24), including one of Johnson giving a full-frontal view of his genitals to the camera, SF Weekly reported.
Leaked on an Anonymous blog, bartlulz.weebly.com, the X-rated photos came with a message to Johnson: "If you are going to be a d*** to the public, then I'm sure you don't mind showing your d*** to the public."
Johnson is the latest collateral damage in a weeks-long fight over censorship between BART and Anonymous.
As soon as BART initiated the cellular-service cutoff on Aug. 11 Anonymous struck back, breaking into the servers of a BART website and posting email addresses and passwords of hundreds of ordinary citizens who'd signed up for a customer-information service.
Later, hackers broke into a website belonging to the BART police department and posted the names and addresses of dozens of BART officers.
Anonymous also spearheaded a physical protest on Monday (Aug. 22), with protestors gathering on the Civic Center BART platform in downtown San Francisco, in which at least 40 people were arrested.
BART has been dealing with constant protests since July 3, when an unarmed, possibly drunken man named Charles Hill was killed by a BART police officer. (Two years ago, another unarmed man was shot point-blank by a BART officer as he lay face-up on the ground.)
Anonymous has given BART a list of demands to stop the weekly protests, SF Weekly explained. One of those demands called for BART to fire Johnson; when he wasn't let go, Anonymous leaked the racy pictures.
Another BART spokesperson, Jim Allison, told SF Weekly that Anonymous' actions against Johnson are "not only unethical, but illegal."
Allison said protestors were welcome to demonstrate in accordance with the law, but not by hacking.
"We stand by our decision to interrupt cellphone service," he added.
As part of its continued campaign, called #opBART on Twitter, Anonymous is planning another protest for Aug. 29.