Anonymous Claims Linton Johnson NSFW Pics Were Publicly Available on His Website
The photos -- which are not currently hosted at www.jeffandlinton.com -- blew up the San Francisco blogosphere yesterday after Anonymous posted several photos of a bare-chested Johnson posing with his pants pulled down. BART spokesman Jim Allison called the release of the photos "illegal and unethical."
But a member of Anonymous, who naturally did not reveal his or her name, e-mailed SF Weekly this morning, explaining that the pictures were indeed of Johnson -- and they originated from his website.
"Anonymous would only like to point out that while the posting of Mr. Linton Johnson's photos on Aug. 24, 2011, was regrettable and a bit below the normal standards we uphold, it was also legal," the group wrote.
The group then went on to explain exactly why it posted these photos of BART's veteran spokesman.
"The reason behind posting the pictures had absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality, or blackmail, or any other malicious intent. It was however to give the public a better understanding of Mr. Johnson's moral character, as he is a public figure and someone who obviously has enough control to stop the peoples' right to talk on their cell phones at his every whim.SF Weekly again called Allison, who gave only a terse response to the group's statements: "I'm not going to talk about a person's private life." Johnson is currently out of the office and is not answering calls.
The photos -- which have sparked a large amount of comments from readers, both in defense and in opposition of Anonymous' move -- were released the same day that Anonymous threatened to continue weekly BART protests unless the agency met its list of demands, including firing Johnson.
Johnson has said he is responsible for cutting cell-phone service to hinder a planned BART protest earlier this month -- and told media outlets the transit agency had every right to do so. But this only fueled Anonymous, which then hacked into to BART websites, releasing personal information of both riders and BART police officers.
Anonymous says that Johnson has since removed the photos of himself, but to prove that the pictures did come from him, the group sent us this instructional video:
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