The US Department of Justice reports a blow against Anonymous. After almost a decade on the run, Christopher Doyon, known as Commander X of the Anonymous hacker group, was arrested on June 11 in Mexico and immediately deported to the United States. He had to appear there in a US federal court last Tuesday.
Doyon considers his deportation from Mexico to the US illegal: “Please tell the world that I was illegally transferred from Mexico, where I had political asylum and where I was a humanitarian refugee. I was taken out of the country under cover of darkness” he says in a recording his sister Amy Beth Doyon posted on social media. She also asks the Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to campaign for the release of her brother.
Long imprisonment threatens
The now 56-year-old American is charged with a DDoS attack against the Santa Cruz district and the failure to attend a court hearing in 2012. In total, he faces up to 17 years imprisonment with subsequent surveillance and six-figure fines. According to the ten-year-old indictment, Doyon participated in Operation Peace Camp in August 2010. More than 50 people camped in front of the Santa Cruz Countys District Court to protest against a ban on homeless camps.
Doyon is said to have helped organize the two-month protest. When police tried to break up the demonstration in early October 2010, Doyon was one of five demonstrators arrested for “sleeping in public” in connection with the protest.
DDOS attack as revenge
Three months after the protests, strangers paralyzed the Santa Cruz County’s website using a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. Prosecutors claim that Doyon and others wanted to use the attack to retaliate for breaking up the protest camp. A Massachusetts-based group called the People’s Liberation Front (PLF) reportedly coordinated the attack. This group is connected to the hacker group Anonymous – and an Internet domain of the PLF was registered under Doyon’s name.
Doyon was arrested and charged at the federal level in September 2011 (USA v. Christopher Doyon et Joshua John Covelli, U.S. Federal District Court for Northern California, Ref. CR 11-00683). Doyon was released on bail. Instead of appearing in federal court in February 2012, he fled to Canada, like Californian media report.
Although Doyon had since been on the run, he had no qualms about telling his story. In the book published in 2016 Behind the mask he gave insights into Anonymous’ processes from a first-person perspective.
One from the Canadian public television broadcaster TVO produced documentation entitled The Face of Anonymous shows Doyon waving a copy of the indictment. In an interview with TVO, he claimed to be the first American to be granted political asylum in Mexico. Doyon got there at the end of 2017, having previously lived on the streets of Toronto for the most part for seven years.