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By Tony Halpin
February 26, 2010
To the horror of Latvia=E2=80=99s political establishment, a mysterious group of
computer hackers is threatening to expose the incomes of top officials
after stealing millions of government tax records.
The group, calling itself the People=E2=80=99s Army of the Fourth Awakening,
claimed to have downloaded more than 7.5 million documents, including
VAT receipts and income tax returns, from the State Revenue Service
(SRS) after exploiting a security loophole on its website.
One hacker used the name Neo, in apparent tribute to the hero of The
Matrix science-fiction films, in which a vast system for enslaving
humanity is exposed. He or she claimed that the documents revealed the
extent of official hypocrisy over belt-tightening reforms introduced as
Latvia=E2=80=99s economy reeled under the impact of the global economic crisis.
=E2=80=9CThe purpose of the group is to unmask those who gutted the country,=E2=80=9D
Neo told the Latvian television current affairs programme Kas Notiek
Latvija in an interview posted on its website.
Neo has been hailed as a digital Robin Hood by disgruntled Latvians
after posting details from the documents on the internet to contrast the
earnings of top officials with cuts experienced by other workers.
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