DUBLIN, Ireland — An Irish hacker, who claims that he is part of the Anonymous hackivist group, took down Nigeria’s official government website over its intent to pass a law that would jail LGBT people for up to 14 years.
The hacker, identified on twitter as @PaddyHack, said he took down the website Thursday for several hours, posting a warning to president Goodluck Jonathan:
“Your government has passed a to jail homosexuals in your country for up to 14 years. Nobody should live in fear of being jailed, when their only action is loving another consenting adult, regardless of gender.”
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On May 30, lawmakers in Nigeria passed a bill banning same-sex marriage and outlawing anyone from forming organizations supporting gay rights, setting prison terms of up to 14 years for offenders.
The hacker asked Goodluck to “renounce and veto this Bill… ” within 72 hours, showing “the world that you are forerunners of Africa, progressively building hope to the people of Nigeria.
“Failure to follow our order will unleash a torrent of fury aimed directly at the direction of your administration, starting with some startling but unsurprising evidence of corruption in your ranks.”
The hacked website, Nigeria.gov.ng, is Nigeria’s official website. It is the equivalent to the U.S. top domain on USA.gov. and is managed by country’s information ministry.
A spokesperson of the ministry, Joseph Mutuah, likened the attack to robbery while the Nigerian press labeled the hacktivist as gay, ‘foreign’ ‘cyber-warlord’, ‘vandal’ who is apparently ‘engaging’ in ‘cyber warfare’ against Nigeria.
The Premium Times daily said the government spent over 10 million Naira (US$70k) for the management of the website.
In response to the anti-gay media hype, The hacker stated:
“The Nigerian Press are attempting to tarnish the name of the LGBT cause by smearing their name of the latest defacement of their website.
“The deface is a protest against the potential bill that will be passed jailing homosexuals for up to 14 years. Their only ‘crime’ is loving a person of the same gender.
“I am not inspired to do this because I am pro LGBT, I’m not even gay. I am inspired to do this because I am anti hate. Declaring gayness as being a sin is nothing more than hiding hate behind your bibles.
“IF you must follow the bible, just remember Mark 12:31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[a] There is no commandment greater than these.”
He added, “Contrary to popular belief, I and not unemployed, I don’t live with my mother, and I am not a 300lb basement dweller”