Thought Crime Police Strikes Again: Swedish Paper Aftonbladet Publish Hacked Flashback Forum Users Details – “Haters” Fired & Hounded, One Commit Suicide
Tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet has purchased a list of illegally obtained home addresses, social security numbers, and e-mail addresses of 40,000 Swedes who had in the past commented anonymously on the online-forum Flashback. The tabloid has now begun exposing and publicly shaming those who they deem to have made inappropriate and hateful comments.
Flashback is Sweden’s largest online-forum and hundreds of thousands go there to discuss everything ranging from sexual fantasies to politics and I think it is safe to say that it is the only Swedish forum for absolute freedom of speech because individuals are able to speak their minds anonymously without fears of repercussions but that sometimes entails comments which are anti-semitic, racist, or hateful.
Normally such a phenomenon would be impossible due to Sweden’s restrictive laws against hate speech which can lead you to getting charged for something as trivial as having a controversial Skype profile picture so Flashback have placed their servers in the U.S.A. to avoid legal repercussions. To certain extremists such a phenomenon is problematic because people air thoughts and feelings that they don’t agree with.
Researchgruppen (The Research Group) fit the category of extremists nicely for they consist of criminally charged left-wingers who have taken it upon themselves to police the internet and register those who host opinions differing from their own. These self-proclaimed thought police have decided to go even further and create databases containing lists of people who have expressed the “wrong opinions” online. They have no qualms about using methods such as hacking and the group itself has connections to other left-wing organisations such as AFA (Anti-Fascist Action) and Expo.
What the Research Group specifically does is filter out comments that they deem inappropriate. They then register the usernames and go on to obtain the e-mails linked to those user names via questionable means such as hacking. Once that is complete they link the e-mails to national identification numbers which grants them full access to names, home addresses, and tax records of private citizens. They also cross-reference the national identification numbers with another database to obtain criminal records.
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