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Homeless, fugitive hacker seeks asylum in Mexico

Nov 06, 20174 mins

Operation Golden Eagle says a homeless, fugitive member of Anonymous asked the Mexican government for asylum and 'protection from persecution perpetrated by the government of the USA.'

A homeless, fugitive hacker has asked Mexico for asylum, according to Operation Golden Eagle, an operation run by a group from the hacking collective Anonymous, as this hacker is allegedly one of the leaders of Anonymous.

The “homeless hacker,Commander X (aka Christopher Mark Doyon) is on the run from the U.S. government and has been hiding in Canada for years. He traveled “on foot” across two international borders, made his way from Canada through the U.S. and then secretly slipped into Mexico. On Sunday, Nov. 5, Commander X published an open letter to the government and people of Mexico.

According to Operation Golden Eagle’s press release, Commander X is asking Mexico for “political asylum, sanctuary — and protection from persecution perpetrated by the government of the USA.”

The announcement was meant to be made on Nov. 5, Guy Fawkes Day, but it ran into a delay. In the Operation Golden Eagle video, we can see that this Anonymous Operation is dedicated to the memory of Aaron Swartz – “that no more hacktivists will die at the hands of the USDoJ.” The Fifth Annual Aaron Swartz Day and Hackathon was held Nov. 4 and 5.

Commander X told the Mexican government:

I hereby invoke all of my rights under all international human rights instruments and accords, including the United Nations Charter on Human Rights and all relevant sections of the Geneva Convention. In addition, I invoke all of my rights under the Constitution of Mexico. If I return to the USA there is a substantial chance that I will be imprisoned unjustly, and due to my health, I would almost certainly die from prolonged incarceration in US Federal prisons that have been found by a number of nations to fall far short of the conditions required for humane incarceration by UN standards. I am in imminent danger of physical harm and death. I request immediate refugee status as a political dissident.

U.S. charges against Commander X

Commander X claims the charges against him are “for non-violent online protest” that were “wholly electronic in nature and caused no damage whatsoever.” He faces “tens of years in prison.”

The Operation Golden Eagle press release claims Commander X is not in good health and has not had medical attention for more than five years while he was “in hard exile on the run in Canada.”

In Commander X’s open letter to Mexico, he said if he were to be returned to the U.S., he believes he will become ill and die in prison before his case goes to trial.

“With a 97 percent conviction rate due to prosecutorial corruption and a very dysfunctional justice system, there seems almost zero chance that I would obtain a fair trial before succumbing to the rigors of my imprisonment,” he wrote.

Commander X told the Mexican government that it has the “right under international law,” as well as the “moral responsibility,” to provide him with sanctuary.

He also had a message for the U.S. Justice Department, including this portion:

Your days of persecuting political dissidents and shutting down all dissent, online or in the streets — are coming to an end. The world will no longer sit by as you criticize many other nations for their human rights record while at the same time crushing all forms of protest in the Homeland.

Otherwise, Commander X believes it is wise to “remain silent” while working to obtain “formal refugee status.”

According to Operation Golden Eagle’s press release, Mexico was chosen based on its familiarity “with the tyranny and imperialism of its despotic northern neighbor.” The authorized Anonymous members in Commander X’s crew are working as his voice, as he will remain incommunicado until Mexico guarantees his safety.

Who is Commander X?

Members of Operation Golden Eagle describe Commander X as “a world-renown author, information and human rights activist — and an operative within the Anonymous Global Collective.” He has written several books about Anonymous. His first, Behind the Mask: An Inside Look At Anonymous, was published in 2016. His second book, Dark Ops: An Anonymous Story, was published this year. In October, he postponed the release of his third bookRussians, Russians…Everywhere: What Really Happened To The 2016 US Election, Who Did It, & Why.

Operation Golden Eagle calls “upon our fellow Anons, information activists, freedom fighters — as well as people of good conscience all over the world — to stand up now and show your support for Commander X and freedom. Because if we can save one persecuted activist, we can save more. And there are many good hacktivists in harm’s way, not just in the USA but all over the globe. The time has come to stop allowing them to cage us.”

ms smith

Ms. Smith (not her real name) is a freelance writer and programmer with a special and somewhat personal interest in IT privacy and security issues. She focuses on the unique challenges of maintaining privacy and security, both for individuals and enterprises. She has worked as a journalist and has also penned many technical papers and guides covering various technologies. Smith is herself a self-described privacy and security freak.