Nigerian web users have been carrying out their own online investigation into a gang rape. Hacker group Anonymous has been helping the Syrian opposition. And federal prosecutors in the US are accusing a poker site of fraud.
Chilling rape video shocks Nigeria
When web users saw that the Nigerian police force was failing to investigate a gang rape, they decided to take matters into their own hands. A video of a woman being raped by five men was posted on the Internet around two weeks ago. The woman’s face is clearly visible and she is heard pleading with her attackers to stop.
Shocked by the brutality of these images, a blogger called Linda Ikeji, was one of the first to draw attention to this story. She claims the attack took place on the 16th of August, in a dormitory room on the campus of Abia State University.
Despite the outrage over the video, the police quickly closed the case because the victim had not come forward. But web users wanted to see justice done. Blogger Suga Belly started her own investigation, asking her readers to study the video and look for any clues which may help identify the perpetrators.
Social networks and networkers then get involved. By listening to the video, web users were able to identify several names. Shortly afterwards, photos of the suspected rapists, all students at Abia University, were posted online. On the basis of this information the police went on to arrest two of the suspects. The victim has reportedly also been identified and located and is being looked after by a women’s rights NGO.
An online petition, calling upon the authorities to bring her attackers to justice, has been signed by over 80 000 people. The document criticizes the authorities’ initial reaction and their apathy. Rape is a frequent occurrence in Nigeria, and the victims, who rarely report attacks, are seldom taken seriously.
Anonymous launches attack on government websites in Syria
Syrian opponents were given a helping hand this weekend, adding weight to the movement against Bashar al Assad’s regime. Informal hacker group “Anonymous” started a series of attacks on several of the Syrian government’s websites on Sunday, in what they call “Operation Syria”. The online operation comes amid the violent repression in Syria which has been ongoing for over 6 months.
A number of government websites were hacked into over Sunday and Monday. The welcome pages for the official websites of major cities including Homs, Latakia and also Damascus were replaced by this interactive map which catalogues the 2 316 citizens killed by loyalist forces since the start of the popular uprising in March. It details their names, their ages, and where they were killed. Most of the defaced sites were still inaccessible on Tuesday.
Other sites were also targeted. On the ministry of transport site, hackers left messages for the people of Syria, the stated objective being to give them practical advice on how to avoid detection by Syria’s online intelligence.
If this statement posted on the Anonymous website is anything to go by, then this operation is only just beginning. The cyber activists have also uploaded this video warning Bashar al-Assad that they will not stop these attacks until he puts an end to the bloody repression in Syria.
But it does not look like the Syrian President is about to ease up on his opponents, despite these warnings. As these amateur videos suggest, pro Assad militia members continue to attack demonstrators, beating them up in public and even opening fire on them…
Full Tilt Poker accused of running Ponzi scheme
Federal prosecutors in the US have accused online poker site Full Tilt of defrauding players out of 440 million dollars to pay members of its board of directors. According to a Manhattan attorney’s office in New York, Full Tilt was not a legitimate poker site, but a “global Ponzi scheme” referring to former American stock broker Bernard Madoff and his swindle that earned him a 150 year prison sentence. Full Tilt did not allegedly maintain funds sufficient to pay back all the players, despite assuring them their money was safe.
Now trending on social networks
‘Boing’ is word of the moment for Social networkers, ever since Jim Carrey used it on Twitter to describe himself in one word. After receiving a mass of questions from micro bloggers about the meaning of “boing”, the Hollywood star decided to ask them what they thought it meant. All sorts of wacky definitions of ‘boing’ have already been suggested and are likely to continue pouring onto the web over the next few days.
Video of the day
Here a group of American teenagers are performing their swimming pool version of the water fountain show which is one of the features at the famous Las Vegas hotel and Casino “Bellagio” and they have done a great job of using water pistols to coordinate their own fountains.