Latvia in turmoil after hacker exposes establishment salaries

Latvia in turmoil after hacker exposes establishment salaries
Latvia in turmoil after hacker exposes establishment salaries

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By Tony Halpin
The Times
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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