When Florida high school student Kaitlyn Hunt was a senior in high school, she began dating a 15-year-old teammate on her school's girls' basketball team.* Kaitlyn's parents say the parents of the 15-year-old never complained to them about the (consensual) relationship. But halfway through the school year, the younger girl's parents had her arrested. She was charged with a felony—"lewd and lascivious battery of a child 12-16 years old." The girl's parents also succeeded in getting her expelled from school by appealing to the school board after the school and a judge refused to grant their request, according to Kaitlyn's mother, Kelly Hunt Smith.
"That is absolutely ludicrous," Smith wrote on Facebook last Friday in a widely shared plea for help. "We need justice in this situation, not to feed into these parents' hates and insanity."
Enter Anonymous, the global hacker collective, which recently has raised eyebrows by pursuing justice for rape victims. In this case, some of the same Anonymous members are rallying behind a girl they feel has been wrongly accused of sexual misconduct. On Saturday, they launched the twitter hashtag #OPJustice4Kaitlyn, and a press release that begins: "Greetings, Bigots."
"The truth is, Kaitlyn Hunt is a bright young girl who was involved in a consensual, same-sex relationship while both she and her partner were minors," reads the release.* "She has a big future ahead of her and there are people, thousands of people in fact, that have no intention of allowing you to ruin it with your rotten selective enforcement."
Poor residents in cities and suburbs, 1970 - 2010 (millions)
Brookings Institution analysis and ACS data
Suburbs such as Highland Park (Detroit), Carol Stream (Chicago), and Forest Park (Atlanta) once stood for escape from the hard times of the inner city. Now their deceptively bucolic names conceal a national epidemic of suburban poverty. According to a report released today by the Brookings Institution, the suburban poor now far outnumber the rural and urban poor: Their ranks grew by 64 percent during the aughts to 16.4 million—a rate of increase more than twice that seen in America's cities.
What's going on here? Well, for one, Ward and June Cleaver's house wasn't exactly built to last. And as retiring baby boomers downsize and young millennials flock to hip inner cities, not that many people want to live in a half-century-old suburban tract home—except people with no other options.
In what may be the first move toward a federal shutdown of the wildly popular online currency known as Bitcoin, the Department of Homeland Security today issued an order that has restricted the transfer of funds in and out of Mt. Gox, the Bitcoin exchange that handles some 60 percent of the transactions.
A creation of bank-fearing techies, Bitcoins are now worth more than $1 billion, and consumer interest has been skyrocketing. For more background, read our Bitcoin explainer.
A rape victim tells her story at an Anonymous rally in Steubenville, Ohio.
Two years ago, Rehtaeh Parsons told her mother that four boys had gang-raped her while she was drunk on vodka at a house party. A photo of the 15-year-old throwing up during the alleged assault blew up on social media, and soon Parsons' classmates and peers in Halifax, Nova Scotia, were texting her invitations to have sex with them and calling her a "stupid slut."
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police eventually abandoned her rape case, claiming a lack of evidence, and Parsons, who had been a straight-A student, dropped out of school and struggled with depression. Then, last month, she hanged herself in a bathroom.
Instances of teenage girls being sexually assaulted and cyberbullied are so common that they rarely make the news. In the Parsons case, people started paying attention not because the episode was particularly egregious (it was), but because it sparked a new vigilante campaign by Anonymous, the global hacktivist collective.
"I think that you can say without a doubt that it was a rape," says a spokesman for the small group of Anons who coalesced around the Twitter hashtag #OpJustice4Rehtaeh last month. It only took the group about two hours, he says, to track down the photo of the alleged rape and identify the boys involved. Now the group is threatening to name them publicly if the Canadian authorities fail to bring them to justice.
As 4:20 threatens to become as popular as happy hour, police are scrambling to figure out a reliable way to make sure that the dude who's zoning out in the Taco Bell drive-thru isn't too stoned to drive. The problem is, roadside breathalyzer tests administered to drunks don't work for pot smokers, forcing cops to take suspected stoners into the station for a blood test. Now the Swedish company SensAbues is offering something of a fix. A study published in the Journal of Breath Research last week found that its proprietary breath-testing device can detect recent use of a wide range of drugs, including prescription meds, cocaine, and marijuana.