The computer hacker group Anonymous is believed to be responsible for repeated cyber attacks against the website of Boston Children’s Hospital over the child-custody case involving 15-year-old Justina Pelletier, the Globe reported today.
Children’s Hospital filed child abuse charges against Pelletier’s family after they brought her there last year for treatment of intenstinal and other issues, which doctors concluded were unnecessary and that her problems were psychiatric.
State officials and a judge agreed.
At the protest of her parents, the state’s child protection agency has had the girl in custody for the past 14 months, including months in which she lived in the Children’s locked psychiatric ward before she moved in January to a residential health care facility in Framingham.
The hospital confirmed that its website has been the victim of repeated cyber attacks.
The Globe reported:
Although there is no evidence that the attacks were linked to the Pelletier case, or that Anonymous was behind it, the hacker group has singled out Children’s and its personnel in its broader campaign for the Connecticut teen. For example, Anonymous posted a video on YouTube about its campaign for Pelletier that included personal information on key figures in her case, including the former Children’s physician involved in bringing medical child-abuse charges against Justina Pelletier’s parents, Dr. Alice Newton. A document linked to the Anonymous video included this threat: “To the Boston Children’s Hospital why do you employ people that clearly do not put patient’s first? We demand that you terminate Alice W. Newton from her employment or you to shall feel the full unbridled wrath of Anonymous. Test us and you shall fail.”
Newton headed the child abuse prevention unit at the hospital at the time the hospital filed abuse charges against Pelletier’s parents, who live in West Hartford, Conn.