Edmonton police are warning the public against vigilante action after a YouTube video was posted over the weekend, outing two men as trying to lure underage girls for sex.
The video, posted Friday by a group claiming to be hacktivist group Anonymous, says it has identified numerous Edmontonians who have tried to solicit sex from underage children using various Internet sites.
“Hello, Citizens of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We are Anonymous. We have been waiting patiently over the last 24 hours for your police service to respond to us with some form of proof that they have apprehended the individuals that we lured out during our “pedo-sweep” operation in your city. We have not," the video begins, before going on reveal the names, photos and professions of two men.
Edmonton police, however, are warning they have not yet verified the claims made in the video and do not want members of the public to engage in vigilante justice.
“I would just caution anyone and everyone to not judge anybody by information that isn’t complete over the Internet, especially, and when all the facts aren’t know. I think it’s really important to let the police do their job,” said Bob Andrews of the ALERT Internet Child Exploitation unit told reporters at a press conference.
Andrews told Global News police were contacted about the claims in May, and while they are investigating the video does not contain enough evidence to convict anyone.
The video claims Edmonton police were notified of a man going to a public location to meet a girl, but did not arrest him. It also warns that the group will release more names if the police don't take action against the men in the video.
According to the Edmonton Journal, the group has been uncooperative to police requests.
“We have attempted to work with Anonymous, but to this point, Anonymous has been reluctant to do so ...,” he said. “Obviously, it is easier to investigate when we have a co-operative witness.”
The Calgary Sun reports police have not been in contact with the men named in the video.
Also on HuffPost:
Jeremy Hammond, known online as "Anarchaos," <a href="http://freejeremy.net/press-release/statement-from-jeremy-regarding-his-plea/" target="_blank">pleaded guilty on May 28 to violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act</a> for his part in breaking into the network of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/28/jeremy-hammond-anonymous-hacker-guilty-stratfor_n_3347215.html" target="_blank">geopolitical analysis company Stratfor Global Intelligence Service</a>. Hammond said he participated in the hack on behalf of Anonymous and its subgroup LulzSec. "I did this because I believe people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors," he said in <a href="http://freejeremy.net/press-release/statement-from-jeremy-regarding-his-plea/" target="_blank">a statement posted on his website</a>. "I did what I believe is right."
Hector Xavier Monsegur
Hector Monsegur, also known as "Sabu," may be the most hated member of Anonymous. In 2011, after being fingered by the FBI, <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204603004577269844134620160.html" target="_blank">he betrayed fellow members of the Anonymous subgroup LulzSec</a> by helping the FBI gather evidence to arrest them. Monsegur is now facing up to 124 years in prison, though <a href="http://rt.com/usa/sabu-informant-anonymous-sentence-491/" target="_blank">his sentencing has been delayed</a> while he continues cooperating with federal agents.
Mercedes Renee Haefer
Mercedes Haefer, also known by "No," is part of 'Paypal 14,' a group of hackers arrested by the FBI in 2011 for <a href="http://www.unlvrebelyell.com/2011/07/25/unlv-student-arrested-by-fbi-for-hacking-in-support-of-wikileaks/" target="_blank">allegedly participating in a cyberattack against PayPal</a>. Haefer and the other members of Paypal 14 have remained in legal limbo for two years now. In May, they began negotiations for <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/18/paypal-14-hackers_n_3281768.html" target="_blank">a settlement that could keep them out of prison</a>.
Known in Anonymous circles as "Commander X," <a href="http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/05/12/insider-tells-why-anonymous-might-well-be-the-most-powerful-organization-on-earth/" target="_blank">Christopher Doyan participated in attacks</a> on Sony, PayPal, the Tunisian government and the county website of Santa Cruz, Calif. He was <a href="http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/10/homeless-hacker-christopher-doyon-aka-commander-x-joins-up-with-occupy-movement.php" target="_blank">arrested by federal authorities and threatened with 15 years in prison in September 2011</a> for the attack on the Santa Cruz website. But now he is on the run. Shortly after his arrest, Doyan jumped bail and fled to Canada through <a href="http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/05/12/insider-tells-why-anonymous-might-well-be-the-most-powerful-organization-on-earth/" target="_blank">what he calls</a> an "underground railroad."
Unlike most members of Anonymous, journalist Barrett Brown has never tried to remain...anonymous. This self-proclaimed "spokesman" for the hacktivist collective was <a href="http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2012/09/anonymous-spokesperson-barrett-brown-raided-arrested-in-dallas.html/" target="_blank">arrested in September 2012</a> and indicted on <a href="http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2012/10/feds-indict-self-proclaimed-anonymous-spokesman-on-retaliation-conspiracy-charges.html/" target="_blank">charges of</a> "making an online threat, retaliating against a federal officer and conspiring to release the personal information of a U.S. government employee," The Dallas Morning News reported. Brown was later <a href="http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2012/12/new-federal-indictment-lists-12-more-charges-against-barrett-brown-once-the-self-proclaimed-spokesman-for-anonymous.html/" target="_blank">additionally indicted</a> on charges related to the Stratfor Global Intelligence Service hack.
In January 2011, Anonymous began "<a href="http://anonnews.org/?p=press&a=item&i=118" target="_blank">Operation: Tunisia</a>," a hacktivist effort to assist Tunisian revolutionaries. <a href="http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/01/anonymous-dicators-existential-dread/" target="_blank">Slim Amamou, an outspoken Tunisian blogger known as "slim404,"</a> was arrested by Tunisian police working for the failing government. Amamou was held in jail for seven days, but when the Tunisian regime was overthrown, he was hailed as a hero and <a href="http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/01/anonymous-dicators-existential-dread/" target="_blank">made secretary of state for sport and youth</a> in the Tunisian transitional government.
Dmitriy Guzner, known by the alias "Aendy," was fingered by the FBI in 2008 for <a href="http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/05/teen-pleads-guilty-to-scientology-web-attacks/" target="_blank">attacking Church of Scientology computers</a>. He <a href="http://news.softpedia.com/news/Scientology-Attacker-Gets-Prison-Time-127761.shtml" target="_blank">was sentenced to a year in prison and two years of probation,</a> making him the first hacker to ever be arrested in connection with Anonymous.