A hacker group has released the name of who they believe tormented and stalked 15-year-old Amanda Todd, whose negative involvement may have impacted her, leading to her suicide last week.
The hacker group Anonymous, who refer to themselves as "hacktivists," declared on Monday that they have discovered the person responsible for stalking Amanda Todd online. The group alleges that Kody Maxon, a Vancouver-based man, is responsible for persuading Todd to flash a webcam three years ago.
Police have not confirmed that Maxon was involved. Todd explained in a viral YouTube video that an unknown man had persuaded her to flash the webcam during an online chat, and then used the picture to blackmail her. The man distributed the picture across two different schools that the 15-year-old attended beginning when she was in 8th grade.
Vancouver defense lawyer Eric Gottardi stated in an interview that coming forward with a name so soon in the investigation could disrupt justice. A number of vigilantes have already threatened Maxon, according to Gottardi.
"The system isn't supposed to convict someone before charges are laid. It's not supposed to be judge, jury and executioner, all in the public forum," Gottardi said according to CBC News. "We have a justice system. It's supposed to work, it does work."
Members of the Anonymous hacker group, who often disguises themselve by wearing Guy Fawkes masks, have been referred to as internet vigilantes. Law enforcement officials have stated that the group is counterproductive and members of the group have been arrested in the past for various reasons.
Todd's aunt, Leanna Todd, admitted that support for her niece has been an overwhelming surprise.
"I've really been overwhelmed by it. I knew there would be an outcry. I didn't know it would be an international outcry and I don't think her parents expected it either," she told CBC in an interview.
Amanda committed suicide last week after the leaked picture of her bare chest brought endless scrutiny by fellow classmates. Todd moved schools and even cities to escape the bullying, but students continued to follow her on Facebook with mean taunts, encouraging her to end her life.