Hackers group and pressure group Sack Alan Jones join attack on Today Network

anonymousCrisis-ridden Southern Cross Austereo is facing organised online attack from activists and hackers as the media company battles to deal with the fallout from the death of a nurse in London who put through a prank call from a Today Network presenter.

The group behind the Sack Alan Jones online campaign – which has been leading a highly organised boycott of 2GB advertisers – said on Facebook this afternoon that it would be organising a new campaign based around the weekend’s tragic events which saw Jacintha Saldanha apparently take her own life.

It followed a prank call from Summer 30 presenters Michael Christian and Mel Greig to the London hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge for morning sickness. The duo pretended to be Prince Charles and The Queen and tricked a nurse into giving out information about her condition.

And a YouTube video claiming to come from the hacker organisation Anonymous has threatened to attack the network and its advertisers if those involved in the stunt are not sacked.

The threatening video – featuring a digital image of a person hidden by a Guy Fawkes mask and an electronically-generated voice – tells the company: “You have placed your advertisers at risk – their databases, their websites, their online advertising. We demand you terminate the contracts of Mel Greig and Michael Christian. We will not listen to any more excuses. We will not let you escape your responsibility. You have a funeral to pay for.

“We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We are amongst you. Expect us. This is not a prank call. This is no laughing matter. This is your one and only chance to make amends. You have one week to do so.”

The Today Network’s Sydney station 2Day FM has suspended advertising at least until Monday. It came after Coles and Telstra pulled their ads. The show was broadcast across the national Today Network.

The Guy Fawkes imagery is regularly used by those associated with Anonymous, which has previously been linked to the anarchic website 4chan. Anonymous is linked with denial of service attacks on the websites of organisations it opposes and has also reportedly successfully hacked databases.

facebook alan jonesMeanwhile, the Sack Alan Jones group, created after the broadcaster’s notorious comments about Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s father having died of shame, said in a posting that it was working with “an experienced journalist” to draft a petition listing its demands. The petition would focus on persuading politicians to more closely enforce rules around radio advertising.

There is no connection between Anonymous and the Sack Alan Jones group which regularly counsels its supporters to identify themselves and to pursue their wishes in a courteous manner.

In other developments, the board of SCA was reported to be holding an emergency meeting on Sunday afternoon. And police looking into the death in the UK are reported to have made contact with their counterparts in Sydney to ask for assistance with the investigation.

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  1. Noni
    9 Dec 12
    5:27 pm

  2. I’m going to call it – this isn’t Anonymous.

    They concern themselves with far bigger fish that this.


  3. Anonymous
    9 Dec 12
    5:33 pm

  4. The problem is that Anonymous is not an organisation… it’s just an identity used by any nerd with a vendetta.

  5. eskimojo
    9 Dec 12
    6:56 pm

  6. If the presenters are fired then the producers and lawyers who planned and okayed the stunt should also be.

  7. Pseudonymous
    9 Dec 12
    7:28 pm

  8. Yawn.

  9. anonymous
    9 Dec 12
    9:06 pm

  10. How embarrassing for anonymous

  11. Anon
    9 Dec 12
    10:01 pm

  12. And the online witch hunt begins..

  13. Anthony
    9 Dec 12
    11:06 pm

  14. Agree with eskimojo. The lawyers and CEO must be fired.

  15. Dabug
    9 Dec 12
    11:08 pm

  16. Doesn’t sound like the kind of thing anonymous would go for. There was no malicious intent involved. And yes, such a small fry activity.

  17. Rhys L
    10 Dec 12
    12:43 am

  18. This isn’t Anonymous. They even spelt Anonymous incorrectly at the start of the video! Fail.

  19. Pete
    10 Dec 12
    2:35 am

  20. The prank call was tasteless, tacky and downright irresponsible and involved confidential information being divulged to the public. I know what it’s like to be betrayed. I had a doctor whom I neither liked nor trusted divulge information to my mother when I was at an age where he had no right to do so. The presenters should be fired and the producers who authorised it should also be dismissed. Princess Kate is entitled to privacy in regards to her health and 2Day FM has broken that confidentiality in that respect.

  21. Anonymous
    10 Dec 12
    3:19 am

  22. The DJ’s should be fired and put in jail. It was an invasion of privacy and criminal since it caused death.

  23. James
    10 Dec 12
    8:10 am

  24. It is not the presenters fault! It is the heads of content that need to resign. This is the third strike under their watch. They are responsible for all content that goes to air. They are the silent gutless ones in all if this
    Typical of this organizations arrogant culture. Cowboys that hide in a crisis
    Do the right thing and resign to divert the attention off the presenters

  25. Fakenomynous
    10 Dec 12
    8:42 am

  26. @Noni

    I think you are right. This vid has been set up as a new channel, one vid posted to date = fake.

    A bit like all those “excellent” reviews I see from corporates on review sites by people who have only ever made one review. Black hat review techniques, which stand out as blatantly untrue.

  27. Louis
    10 Dec 12
    9:21 am

  28. And yet where’s the same pressure on the hospital administration for not having policies in place to firstly STOP media from getting information, training staff to deal with it, and SUPPORTING at risk staff who have personal issues?

    We’re pretty quick to blame the DJs for a prank that was at it’s basis neither new nor vindictive.

    What about the hospital admin?

  29. Melinda
    10 Dec 12
    9:28 am

  30. This is a very obvious fake. Why is it being reported as news??

  31. Billy
    10 Dec 12
    9:35 am

  32. This is dumb. This is a failure of the systems and staff support in place *at the hospital*.

  33. Me
    10 Dec 12
    9:36 am

  34. Anonymous display incredible self-restraint with their refusal to DDoS (temporarily take down) online mainstream-media, the most vulnerable targets to such attacks. (DDoSing a govt site does very little, DDoSing a business reliant on their website audiences for revenue could have a dramatic impact.)

    The day “they” rescind this pro-free speech policy will mark a drastic change in how the internet wars are fought.

  35. Not the other James
    10 Dec 12
    9:41 am

  36. It’s registered to a YT account called “An-onym Oz”, so is that an official off-shoot?

  37. AB
    10 Dec 12
    11:32 am

  38. Really Louie and Billy,

    You’re suggesting it’s the fault of the hospital !?

    Next time I’m in hospital I’d prefer the medical staff were trained in the treatment and care of patients rather then how to handle a prank call from a couple of half wits from an FM station.

    Get REAL

  39. Technojames
    10 Dec 12
    12:02 pm

  40. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Anonymous start as a “pranking” group??

    This isn’t the Anonymous that we are used to seeing, if they have any affiliation at all.

    That said, I support their view that everybody associated with this prank needs to go.

    Whether or not you think it was “harmless”… it was. And that’s the risk broadcasters take in these situations, however small that risk is.

    Taking a private individual doing their job then putting them very openly into the public sphere can be very very stressful.

  41. Sally R
    10 Dec 12
    12:18 pm

  42. I’m with Louis and Billy. The prank wasn’t vindictive, wasn’t intentional humiliation as some are purporting, and there were obviously far wider-ranging issues for the unfortunate nurse than this. The hospital definitely should have had procedures in place to ensure patient privacy; and ideally, every workplace should be looking out for mental frailty among staff.

  43. Bucks is back
    10 Dec 12
    12:57 pm

  44. @ AB, I think the point they are making is that this wasnt Ms Jane Smith in hospital, nor was it John Smith ringing up to see how she was.

    Someone ringing up claiming to be not just someone important, but the Queen? To speak to the Duchess of Cornwall?

    If Julia Gillard ended up in Hospital and I rang and said “Hi It’s K-Rudd, can I speak to Jules?”, how far do you think I’d get?

    I’m not absolving the station at all, (in particular the producers, lawyers etc, who more so should have known better than the hosts themselves) but seriously, If I rang your work claiming to be Rupert Murdoch, chances are you’ll suspect something is up.

  45. not the actual anonymous
    10 Dec 12
    1:32 pm

  46. It’s not Anonymous guys, it’s AnonYOmous- Anonymous’ idiot younger brother that tries and fails to be a renegade internet vigilante.

  47. AB
    10 Dec 12
    2:01 pm

  48. @ Bucks is back

    You’re right “If you rang my work claiming to be Rupert Murdoch, chances are I’d suspect something was up” unless of course I was in the middle of a meeting with Lachlan Murdoch. Which is an analogy closer to the situation that took place. ie a context for your calling

  49. Jack
    11 Dec 12
    12:00 am

  50. Those behind the ‘SackAlanJones’ facebook page and similar, and yes there is a tiny little group of overlooked or slighted journalism academics who are behind them, do have an agenda. It is based upon things being done ‘their way’, they loathe the idea of commercial media to start with, they are extremely precious with their attitude to media ownership and operation there of. Only their approved views should be expressed and as we saw with the Jones matter they will witch hunt and fuel harassment of anyone they feel worth of their bitter attention, even if not actually on air personnel. Another ugly side of the social media beast.

  51. justin
    11 Dec 12
    8:50 am

  52. Anonymous sound like evil nerds with a chip on their shoulder, who are anti freedom of speech. Not only that, they are clearly going after the wrong targets, what about the corporate execs who send this prank to air?

  53. Jack
    11 Dec 12
    10:49 am

  54. Justin, if that little clip is actually the work of ‘Anonymous’, which incidentally claims not to be a formally structured organisation yet somehow seems to be to the point where ‘they’ can have ‘official’ releases (someone explain that to me), and likewise with the ‘SackAlanJone’ variations then they will go after the corporate execs. You see, first they hit the easy target lay the initial blame, try and sentence that person in their own private court. Then they go after corporate execs, advertisers, shareholders, people who postcriticisms of them or challenge their self appointed roe as ‘influencers’ and moral guardians.

    The oddest thing about both this ‘Annoymous’ and ‘SackAlanJones’ lot is they cry ‘free speech themselves’ yet if there was an effort by a christian group in the US or Australia to oppose a company or an issue then they would decry them as being ‘bigots’ or ‘fundamentalists’ etc. Not that I would necessarily defend the christian group either, just noting the hypocracy of latter day moralsts such as ‘Annoymous’ and ‘SackAlanJones’.

    For many in the core of these organisations their attacks are more than just an expression of public sentiment, it is indeed a power issue and remember it doesn’t take long for the pigs to learn to walk on 2 legs once they get into a position of impact. Then, shortly after you’ll see the rules change: “All animals are equal ….but some animals are more equal than others”.