Linton Johnson has taken responsiblity for his decision to shut down cell phone service prior and during protests at BART stations. The hacktivist group, Anonymous, has demanded Johnson, BART's chief public information officer, be fired from his position.
Now some who claim to be with the group are taking credit for naked photos of Johnson that are blowing up via Twitter, SFWeekly and others. Other purported members of the group vehemently deny involvement, tweeting: "We categorically denounce the previous tweets related to Linton. We will *ABSOLUTELY* not be releasing the information we received on Linton," credited to #opBART.
The pictures include a view of Johnson's genitals. The source of the photos is not yet known. The original tweet is no longer available on Twitter.
The tweet is hash-tagged #anonymousirc, #opbart, #anonyops, #bartlulz and #truth. All have been used in association with the recent BART protests, but do not necessarily indicate an "official" act by Anonymous.
Johnson told media outlets earlier this week that he was attending to a "family issue" and would not be handling any official BART business for the immediate future.
Acting BART spokesman Jim Allison told the SF Weekly: "[The photos" are not only unethical, they are illegal. There are lawful ways to protest outside the fare gates or go to BART board meetings -- that's appropriate, not making anonymous demands."
Allison reiterated that BART stands by its -- or Johnson's -- decision to interrupt phone service.
That same interruption is also being looked into by the Federal Communications Commission, with some of that board's members questioning the legality and First Amendment implications of such an act.