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COLUMN

Happytown

We're proud Linda Stewart was born this way and born to run for office. We're not so proud the the Creative Village may turn into Portlando. That Commander X hacking thing? We don't know what to think. We're too busy marching.

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As it turns out, a man alleged to be the Commander was indicted in California on Sept. 21 on three counts involving “intentional damage to a protected computer.” It’s a slightly stale piece of news, but keep in mind that Orlando police announced the Sept. 22 arrest a full week after it occurred. The delay is a bit ironic, considering that Terminator, cough, Commander X – reportedly known in real-space as 47-year-old Christopher Doyon – earned notoriety by making informational websites run extremely slowly. Adding to the irony, Doyon is considered to be a homeless man, doing his damage not from home, but from various coffee shops – that is, when he wasn’t living in a “camp” in Mountain View, Calif.

Are we unduly connecting Doyon to a nefarious nickname before he’s had his trial? Doyon’s lawyer, Jay Leiderman, made some squirming remarks to tech-news outlet CNET when posed with that question: “Is he Commander X? At this point we’re not admitting he is Commander X,” Leiderman said. “We are denying that he participated in the attack he is charged with participating in.” Doyon was arrested for alleged attacks on the website of Santa Cruz, Calif., a city where demonstrators were intentionally violating a ban on outdoor sleeping last December. Sound familiar?(According to OPD, the Orlando attacks are still being investigated.)

Commander X obviously savored the glory of being the bad guy for whom we could all cheer, and hence, talked freely with the media. When we landed an email interview with X for a Bloggytown entry on June 21, we felt like we had gotten a scoop with an elusive, mysterious figure. “What we do online is no different than taking up seats at the Woolworths lunch counter,” he wrote, justifying his “DDoS” attacks. But the excitement faded after we realized that X was a politician first and a hacker second – that exact line was also given in an on-camera interview with CBS News, in which he donned sunglasses, a bucket hat and wrapped a bandana around his face to speak with an artificially deepened voice. If you didn’t hear it on CBS, you may have on Democracy Now. “Amy Goodman is my hero, getting to chat with her on air was the most amazing honor,” he wrote on his Vimeo page. Hero, yes, but who was his idol? “The World Through Sunglasses – Quotes By Commander X,” a lonely post by Commander X on the PLF Member Network website, gives us a pretty strong clue.

And the unsolicited details didn’t stop with ideology – it went well into the realm of the personal, epitomized by a blast email on Sept. 11 that spoon-fed investigators clues to a real-world identity. The message was probably the least worthy manifesto in the history of risky political writing: a tired polemic about where he was and how he felt on 9/11, and what he learned from it. “I make this statement at great risk to my life and liberty. It could well be used … by the FBI and other police agencies. But on this day, when 3,000 innocent people were slaughtered in a matter of hours – I can not, and will not, remain silent. My heart still aches from that fateful day, and I must speak out.” The result? A bored audience, and up to five years in prison. Silence is golden.

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