Latvian whistleblower faces trial

Discussion in 'Freedom of Expression' started by Anonymous, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. Anonymous Member
    Latvia Pay Hacker Risks Jail After Fat Cat Heart Attack Call
    By Aaron Eglitis - Sep 20, 2013

    After Latvia slashed wages and spending to keep bailout cash flowing in 2009, a Twitter user by the name of Neo published tax data showing the pain wasn’t being shared equally. The Matrix fan behind the leaks now faces jail.

    Ilmars Poikans, a researcher at the University of Latvia, revealed some executives at state-owned companies got $50,000 bonuses weeks after public wages were cut amid the world’s deepest recession.

    He’ll stand trial next year for illegally acquiring private and commercial data, charges he denies.

    “You could see in some institutions that the crisis hadn’t touched them at all, or that the cuts hadn’t taken place fairly,” Poikans said last month in an interview in a cafe in Riga, Latvia’s capital. “Belts should have been tightened in solidarity, but some were more equal than others.”

    Latvia’s austerity drive won plaudits from European Union officials, who held it up as a model for struggling southern nations, and helped pave the way for euro adoption next year. State wages were cut by a third as part of measures to tame the budget gap after a property bubble burst and foreign loans dried up, prompting a 7.5 billion-euro ($10 billion) rescue.

    Poikans, a computer programmer whose alter ego on his Twitter Inc. account was inspired by Keanu Reeves’s character in the futuristic Matrix movies, discovered he could access companies’ income-tax records by changing the combinations of letters and numbers at the end of tax authority web links. He obtained 7.5 million documents, according to his indictment.

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