20 August 2014 00:00
Matt Dehart is a US soldier being held in Canadian prison after seeking asylum from the US government for his work with Anonymous. In 2004, he discovered 4chan.org, a soon-to-be popular image and message board. It nudged his online shenanigans to a new level. It was on 4chan, where posts by people not using a registered nickname were automatically listed as being by “Anonymous,” that the hacktivist group Anonymous was born. A repetitive joke by 4chan regulars, that they are all named Anonymous, would morph into one of the hacking group’s main mottos: “We are Anonymous.”
“In 2005, it was ‘Ha, we’re Anonymous’ and people were joking around on the message board, but I didn’t really consider myself a ‘member’ of Anonymous probably until 2006. You don’t sign a membership form, anybody can be Anonymous,” Matt said.
By 2007, his bedroom was decorated with Guy Fawkes masks, the stylized face coverings used as a meme on 4chan before becoming the symbol of Anonymous. At the time, the masks slung on the ends of Matt’s bedroom curtains held no meaning for his parents beyond décor. For Matt, though, they signalled a call to arms...
Paul J. DeHart (Matt’s father).
“Matt was in jail in the US from Aug 2010 to May 2012. In Canada from April 2013 to September 2013 & then April 2014 till now. Over 30 months. All this based on just an indictment. He has not been convicted of anything.”
“He has been held in maximum security conditions in the US with convicted criminals. In Canada he is in max security with immigration detainees. Additionally he was out on bond in the US for approx 1 year and then 7 months in Canada on very strict 24 hour GPS monitoring.”
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