Lars Kragh Andersen, a prominent activist and former police officer, was arrested today in connection with the release of Danish politicians’ social security numbers.
Andersen has previously admitted to publicly posting the social security numbers (CPR number) of Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and Defence Minister Nicolai Wammen. Both politicians are members of the Social Democrat party, which supported giving the Center for Cyber Security the authority to gather data on Danish citizens.
Online activists have been targeting supports of the Center for Cyber Security law and last night released the social security numbers of 91 politicians belonging to parties that voted in support of the centre’s expanded reach. Politicians from the left-wing Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) and the libertarian Liberal Alliance, which voted against the law, were spared by the hackers.
“The fact that you are actively supporting the law, [which] allows the Center for Cyber Security to intercept communications from the Danish citizens without a warrant, and call the deserved response an ‘attack on the democracy’ proves our point very well: You are the same hypocrites as always,” the activists wrote online. “You criticise our act of civil disobedience and call it an attack on the democracy. After ignoring a massive public criticism and ignoring over 90,000 signatures for the petition against the Danish ‘offentlighedslov’ [freedom of information law, ed] and ignoring over 198,000 signatures for the sale of Dong Energy to Goldman Sachs, you of all people, are trying to teach us about democracy?”
While Andersen claimed responsibility for the first round of leaks, it wasn’t immediately clear if he was involved in the newest, more encompassing, release of politicians’ private information.
According to Copenhagen police spokesperson Jens Møller, Andersen is facing numerous charges.
“We are charging him in a total of ten instances,” Møller told the Ritzau news agency. “Among them are having released ministers’ social security numbers and speaking degradingly about police personnel.”
Andersen is due to be charged and released later today. In addition to his campaign against the government’s surveillance of citizens, Andersen is also known for actively protesting against the required public broadcasting licence as well as Denmark’s drug laws.