Violating the privacy of police officers who were carrying out the lawful, sensible, and necessary orders of their superiors by publishing their home addresses and phone numbers is about as low as it gets for the hacker group Anonymous.
But that's what they've done according to the Washington Times:
Computer hackers are avenging the Occupy movement by exposing the personal information of police officers who evicted protesters and threatening family-values advocates who led a boycott of an American Muslim television show.
In three Internet postings last week, hackers from the loose online coalition called Anonymous published the email and physical addresses, phone numbers and, in some cases, salary details of thousands of law enforcement officers all over the country.
The hackers said they were retaliating for police violence during evictions of Occupy protest camps in cities around the country, but law enforcement advocates slammed the disclosures as dangerous.
"I hope the individuals behind these cyberattacks understand the consequences of what they are doing," said John Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. "There are very dangerous criminals out there who might seek retribution" against any of these police officers.
It's called "depraved indifference" if a policeman or family member is murdered as a result of this egregious violation of privacy. But what it really reveals is the stunted intellectual, moral, and emotional growth of the hackers. They don't want anyone to die - I think. It's just that their warped sense of right and wrong is that of a child - an inability to gauge the consequences of their actions in the real world.
I wrote this when the Wikileaks story broke:
Julian Assange and his buddies have the emotional maturity of an 11 year old. This is the psychological profile of most hackers. Even if they are told the consequences of their acts, their stunted development (that got them into hacking in the first place) prevents them from having the same concerns about those consequences as an adult would have. Hence, there is a disconnect between cause and effect. They don't care because, like pre-teens who commit murder, they separate themselves from the act and become observers rather than participants.
It doesn't make them any less dangerous, of course. In fact, it makes them more of a threat because their unconcern also shows they lack empathy - the ability to put themselves in their victim's shoes.