Group hacks into state website, protests new law - WSMV Channel 4

Group hacks into state website, protests new law

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A group notorious for tunneling into websites has accessed the government's TN.gov site, accessing the personal records of hundreds of Tennesseans.

The hacking group known as "Anonymous" said they are retaliating against a new state law that would make it a crime in Tennessee to post pictures online that would cause someone emotional distress.

State Sen. Bill Ketron (R) Murfreesboro, who sponsored the original bill, said the goal behind the legislation is to stop cyber bullying on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

"I was quite surprised that someone would want to attack us for something we were actually trying to do that might possibly save a child's life with a bill we had on cyber bullying, that was the true intent, not to take away any freedom of speech like the ACLU is alleging."

Legal experts have also taken issue with the law calling it unconstitutional. As stated in their video statement, "Anonymous" agrees.

"This is clearly a bold attempt to crush our freedom of speech," the group says in an online video.

According to their website, "Anonymous" took action in response to the new law by hacking into TV.gov and releasing a file that included hundreds of names and addresses that were found on the government website.

Ketron said he has his own message for the hackers.

"I would tell them to find a job and be productive and help us, not try to tear us down," said Ketron.

Before the video message from "Anonymous," Ketron had asked for an opinion from the attorney general on Tennessee's new law to see if it violates any constitutional rights. That opinion is not back yet.

However, Ketron said if changes need to be made, he will be willing to do that when lawmakers return to session in January.

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