There seems to be no end to the harassment of homeless blogger Bill Simpson.
Just hours after the article, "Homeless man barred for blogging, Part 2", was published on the Downtown Eastside Enquirer blog and NowPublic.com, a hacker struck. The hacker was obviously displeased with the article which exposed the Carnegie Learning Centre, operated by Capilano College and the City of Vancouver, for barring a homeless man for daring to blog. The hacker attempted to discredit Simpson by criminally libeling him.
The hacker periodically altered text in the article. The article opened with Simpson being falsely identified as a "child porn watcher". His website, timetender.ca, was falsely identified as "yougboyz.ca".
Here's another example of altered text:
Original text: Simpson was a computer student, showing up regularly to teach himself how to build a website.
Altered text: Simpson was a computer student and a racist, showing up regularly to masturbate himself....
Simpson wasn't the only student at the Carnegie Learning Centre to be maligned. The word "fat" was inserted in front of the name of another student mentioned in the article. This indicated that the hacker was not an outsider, but someone familiar with the student body inside the Carnegie Learning Centre.
In addition to altering text of current postings, the hacker added their own posting, claiming, "BILL IS A FAG!". For the record, Simpson is a heterosexual guy with an ex-wife and two grown children. The imposter signed the posting with the name of a person who originally set up the Enquirer's blogger account, a name that had not previously been made public.
Even the news site NowPublic.com, which gave the Enquirer article exposure and ran a photo of Simpson, was hacked into. The "homeless" blogger became the "homo" blogger in the blurb promoting the article.
A racist comment was also inserted on NowPublic.com by the hacker. Breaking into an account held by "jr" who posts articles from the Enquirer, and signing with Bill Simpson's name, the hacker suggested that Carnegie: "Ban some of those chinks for gambling and drunk Indians."
The Downtown Eastside Enquirer has had an ongoing problem with a hacker, since criticizing the Carnegie Centre and the poverty industry on the Downtown Eastside. Last fall, the name of the blog was tampered with and two postings deleted. When the postings were restored, the hacker returned and deleted the entire blog. Due to the level of defamation this time around, it is being treated as a criminal matter.
The Enquirer is also asking Google blogger.com to take an interest in this professional hacker making a mockery of their system. When the hacker originally struck last fall, Google was notified but gave no help in restoring the deleted blog postings -- even though they have a copy of everything. Some old postings have still not been restored. The Enquirer did, on the advice of Google, change the password - but a password is a mere speed bump to a skilled hacker.
Downtown Eastside sources to the Enquirer insist on anonymity, claiming that people who speak up about the Carnegie Centre or the poverty industry on the Downtown Eastside are vulnerable to harassment. Their fears do not appear to be unfounded.