Anonymous Shuts Down Hundreds of Court Sites

Photo: Pierre (Rennes) / Flickr

BANGKOK — Hacker collective Anonymous has vowed to release information about corrupt members of the Thai judiciary today after taking down hundreds of websites belonging to the Court of Justice in an ongoing response to the conviction of two Burmese men in a 2014 double-murder on Koh Tao.

The self-styled hacktivist group claimed responsibility through associated social media accounts for the downing of 297 websites including those of the Court of Justice and the Appeal Court since Tuesday night. Members of the group also wrote on a Facebook page it uses that they are preparing to release “a huge leak of all Thai officials involved in corruption in Thai Courts.”

“‪#‎Anonymous‬ shuts down all Thai Court of Justice websites in protest over the ‪#‎KohTao‬ murder verdict,” was written in a Facebook update. “#Anonymous is supporting the campaign to ask tourists to boycott Thailand “until such time changes are made with the way Thai police handle investigations involving foreign tourists.”

Earlier this month on on Jan. 4, Anonymous took credit for attacks on at least 14 websites associated with the Royal Thai Police An associated group called Anonymous 4 Justice also posted a 37-minute video on Jan. 3 claiming Thai police used the two Myanmar migrant workers as scapegoats in the murders of two British backpackers on Koh Tao murder in September 2014.

On Dec. 24, Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo were found guilty of rape and murder and sentenced to die. That verdict, secured by evidence from a roundly criticized police investigation, has invited uproar and calls for justice by those who believe the two migrant workers were wrongly convicted.

Police spokesperson Dechnarong Suticharnbancha on Jan. 5 said the Technology Crime Suppression Division would track down the hackers.

“Even if the source of attack was from abroad, they will be convicted eventually,” he said. “It’s not a problem. Thai police are excellent.”

The spokesman of the Courts of Justice, Suebpong Sripongkul, was not available for comment at the time of publishing.

However, Suebpong on Tuesday did respond to a viral Facebook public update posted on Sunday by Laura Witheridge, the sister of Koh Tao murder victim Hannah Witheridge .

Laura Witheridge alleged that “the vast majority of the Thai police are corrupt” and that encouraged tourists to avoid Thailand because it was unsafe and unjust. She also said Thai police and court officials expressed disrespectful comments to her family, including telling her parents “to go home and make another one” to replace their slain daughter.

Suebpong said the trial was transparent and open to the public. He insisted there were no reasons for the judge to have made such comments, adding that the family can submit a complaint via the British Embassy.