By Nick Dobis, News Web/Social Media Producer
This week an individual claiming to be a member of the loosely affiliated faction of the “hacktivist” organization Anonymous levied a warning shot across KRCR’s bow for their aerial footage of medical marijuana grows in Shasta County.
“Mike Mangas and KRCR News Channel 7, you should have expected us. And please, continue to expect us. We are here. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We never forgive…we never forget.”
Those were the words levied at Mangas and Channel 7 by an individual claiming to be a member of Nor Cal Anonymous. Nor Cal Anonymous advertises itself a splinter faction of the larger, loosely affiliated group called Anonymous which has targeted some of the biggest corporate and government entities for almost a decade.
Who are “Anonymous”?
Early Thursday morning, Action News Now received an email from the “hacktivist” with an attached link to an online document. In the document, the group outlines their displeasure of KRCR’s aerial footage of residents in Shasta County with marijuana grows on their properties under the guise of California’s Prop 215.
“Mike Mangas produced the broadcast, exposing the aerial locations of private, legal marijuana grows. Anonymous believes vague reporting citing unfounded and unsourced science is not only irresponsible, it may put lives and property as risk,” the group stated in the document.
Because Nor Cal Anonymous believes the station “should have exercised greater discretion in broadcasting even the aerial locations of medical grows,” they posted the home address of Mangas in the document.
According to a source familiar with Nor Cal Anonymous, the tactic is known as “doxing”. The tactic has been used by other Anonymous factions in which they acquire information on a person or organization, post it on an online document, and share the link to that document publicly.
The source indicated although there has been some extensive “doxing” on celebrities and organizations in the past, the tactic has phased out recently because of federal intervention. The source also stated the individual heading Nor Cal Anonymous has become more active within the last few months and has participated in larger campaigns produced by members of the larger Anonymous faction.
Action News Now made several attempts to contact the individual from the group who sent the email, but they have not responded back. We were not able to confirm if the individual published the link with Mangas’ address publicly. KRCR also has not returned our inquiries regarding the “threat.”
Despite Nor Cal’s Anonymous’ claims against Channel 7, residents whose houses were shown in the report would not have a strong case in a civil suit of invasion of privacy, according to American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLUNC) located in San Francisco. The ACLUNC directed us towards California Civil Code 1708.8 B.
The code states “A person is liable for constructive invasion of privacy when the defendant attempts to capture, in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person, any type of visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of the plaintiff engaging in a personal or familial activity under the circumstances in which the plaintiff has a reasonable expectation of privacy…”
California Civil Code 1708.8
Since Mangas was not physically trespassing on residences and did not utilize a “visual or auditory enhancing device,” also mentioned in the code, a plaintiff’s likelihood of winning a privacy violation case in this scenario would not be very strong, the ACLUNC indicated.
Since Nor Cal Anonymous has yet to respond back to Action News Now, we do not know how large the group is, or what their next actions may be. The North State will have to wait and see if their threat this week was just a threat, or as they stated in the document “You should have expected us. And please, continue to expect us.”