Abortion site hacker gets jail term
A computer "whiz kid" who broke into the website of Britain's biggest abortion provider has been jailed for two years and eight months.
James Jeffery, 27, targeted the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) because he "disagreed" with the decisions of two women he knew to terminate their pregnancies, London's Southwark Crown Court was told.
He stole about 10,000 database records containing the personal details of women which he later intended to publish.
Prosecutor Daniel Higgins told the court that Jeffery also "defaced" the website's homepage with the logo of the hacking group Anonymous and posted an anti-abortion sentiment.
Jeffery wrote on the BPAS website: "An unborn child does not have an opinion, a choice or any rights. Who gave you the right to murder an unborn child and profit from that murder?
"The product abortion is skilfully marketed and sold to the woman at a crisis time in their life. She buys the product, finds it defective and wants to return it for a refund but it is too late."
He signed off using his online alias Pablo Escobar - named after the Colombian drug lord, Mr Higgins said. The former software engineering student then boasted about his hacking feat on Twitter.
Police swooped on his home in Castle Street, Wednesbury, West Midlands, in the early hours of March 9, after they traced him through his IP (internet service provider) address.
Jeffery, who admitted two offences under the Computer Misuse Act at an earlier hearing, targeted the BPAS website after two women, to whom he was close, had abortions. The court was told that he intended to publish the data, which included names, email addresses and telephone numbers on an online sharing site but later changed his mind.
Sentencing, Judge Michael Gledhill QC said: "You only have to think for a few seconds of the terrible consequences had that threat been carried out."