Nova Scotia

Anonymous attacks Dalhousie University website and others

The online activist group Anonymous launched a number of cyberattacks on several Halifax-area organizations over perceived inaction in an alleged Halloween 2015 sexual assault at a frat house in Halifax.

Group launched attacks because it says a lack of progress is being made investigating alleged 2015 sex assault

This is a screenshot from Anonymous's latest YouTube video in which it names the alleged perpetrator of an alleged 2015 sex assault and provides details about him. (YouTube)

The online activist group Anonymous launched a number of cyberattacks on several Halifax-area organizations over perceived inaction in bringing justice to the alleged victim of an alleged Halloween 2015 sexual assault at a frat house in Halifax.

Anonymous says its distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks shut down the websites of Dalhousie University, the university's student newspaper and Phi Kappa Pi Fraternity.

The Facebook page for Halifax Nova Scotia Anonymous shared posts from a group called OpDalhousie, which posted screenshots showing the websites as being down.

'These monsters are walking free'

As well, Anonymous posted a video to YouTube in which it identified the name of the alleged perpetrator, showed a photo of him and provided details about his family.

"These monsters are walking free, but the victims live in a 24/7 shattered life. We support the victims," said the video.

The video says the group felt compelled to take action on the matter because it couldn't wait any longer for the police to gather evidence.

In Nov. 2015, Anonymous released a video for the same case and named the alleged perpetrator, and posted photos of him and his phone number. The video began circulating and Halifax Regional Police reopened the investigation.

Halifax Regional Police Cst. Dianne Woodworth says the investigation is active, but would not provide any more information over a fear of jeopardizing the work.

Dalhousie University spokesperson Brian Leadbetter denies that Dalhousie's website was down and says he's unsure why the university is being targeted.

"Neither the individual identified in the video ... nor the fraternity referenced in that video have any direct association with Dalhousie University," he said.

CBC News reached out to both Anonymous and Phi Kappa Pi Fraternity, but has not heard back from either organization.

Anonymous is a shadowy, loosely knit collective known for its online activism targeting governments, corporations and religious groups around the world on prominent social justice issues.

Website of student newspaper attacked

Sabina Wex, the editor of the Dalhousie Gazette, the university's student paper, says its website was down for about eight or nine hours on the weekend.

She is not sure why the Gazette was targeted.

"Honestly, that was a little bit confusing to me because we would be the people that maybe Anonymous would message or email to tell us about something like this so we could maybe look into it," said Wex.

She pointed to the university's coverage of the Dalhousie dentistry scandal as being an example of its commitment to getting justice for victims.

"We tried so hard to get justice and to call out the administration," said Wex.

'Rape is a big problem on campus'

She says she knows many students who have been victims of rape who either feel they didn't get justice or never reported it.

"Unfortunately, rape is a big problem on campus," said Wex.

She says the alleged victim in this case is a Dalhousie student, which is something the university couldn't confirm.

"I'm not aware of that," said Leadbetter.

In its latest video, Anonymous also gave the name of the police officer it says is working the case and gives a phone number for her.

Warning against Dalhousie

Anonymous says Dalhousie University needs to be doing more.

"Show more care for our mothers, our sisters and our daughters you are paid to protect," said the video.

It warns the attacks will continue until action is taken against the alleged perpetrator.