HideMyAss didn’t hide his…

In October 2012 Raynaldo Rivera entered a plea bargain with the US Attorney’s Office (USAO), pleading guilty to having hacked Sony Pictures in 2011 as part of LulzSec, a subgroup of Anonymous. He will be sentenced early 2013. Raynaldo is the second member of LulzSec to plead guilty, after Cody Kretsinger, both identified via their IP addresses after HideMyAss, ordered by a UK Court of Justice, handed over their service’s access logs to law enforcement.

This case will get little attention outside the VPN and hacker communities, which is unfortunate, because it brings up an important question: Can you really be anonymous on the Internet?

Both Mr. Kretsinger and Mr. Rivera thought that purchasing virtual private network access from HideMyAss would sufficiently protect their identities. Both men broke the law and released personal information of thousands of Sony Picture’s customers to the public, an offense they should be held responsible for. But what if information released by a VPN provider exposes the identity of a citizen exercising his right to free speech?

Image Credit: Johan Larsson

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