Imprisoned human rights activist Martin Gottesfeld is set to face trial in January 2018 for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act after he hacked into the Boston Children’s Hospital’s website and network over the controversial Justina Pelletier story.
The Justina Pelletier child custody case gained nationwide attention in 2014 when she became a ward of the state.
The Boston Children’s Hospital disagreed with Pelletier’s original diagnosis of having a mitochondrial disorder and said her symptoms were psychological.
The physicians believed that her symptoms were the result of psychological damage partly caused by her parents.
The hospital then brought child abuse charges against her parents which were upheld by a juvenile court judge and the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.
To summarize Pelletier’s unique story here is an excerpt from Gottesfeld, who is also a writer and Huffington Post contributor, explaining what caused him to hack the hospital’s website.
The answer is simpler than you might think: The defense of an innocent, learning disabled, 15-year-old girl. In the criminal complaint, she’s called “Patient A,” but to me, she has a name, Justina Pelletier. Boston Children’s Hospital disagreed with her diagnosis. They said her symptoms were psychological. They made misleading statements on an affidavit, went to court, and had Justina’s parents stripped of custody.
They stopped her painkillers, leaving her in agony. They stopped her heart medication, leaving her tachycardic. They said she was a danger to herself, and locked her in a psych ward. They said her family was part of the problem, so they limited, monitored, and censored her contact with them.
Justina resorted to sneaking notes, hidden in origami, to tell her family what she wasn’t allowed to say around eavesdroppers. Hospital staff pushed her to do things she was physically incapable of, due to the physical condition they refused to acknowledge she has. They laughed at her as she struggled futilely. They left her on a toilet for hours when she couldn’t void her bowels. They left her secluded in a bare room, or alone in the hallway, sometimes for days when she couldn’t wheel herself elsewhere.
When they did move her, they ripped her toe nails, dragging her feet on the floor. They bruised her. Her legs swelled, her gums receded, and her hair fell out. This went on for 11 months at BCH.
Read Gottesfeld’s full statement here.
Gottesfeld staged a hunger strike while imprisoned in 2016 to protest the institutionalized kidnapping of Pelletier.
Now, Martin is facing allegations of conspiring with the hacking group Anonymous to organize an online sit-in of the Boston Children’s Hospital’s website and is facing a maximum of 25 years in prison and $380,000 in restitution.
The government, specifically in Massachusetts, is making a habit out of treating trivial cyber-crimes as if they were terrorist acts.
The Washington Times reports.
Internet activist Aaron Swartz was facing charges related to multiple alleged violations of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act brought by Ms. Ortiz’s office when he committed suicide in 2013. Five years earlier, hacker Jonathan James took his own life while being investigated by the same prosecutor’s office in the District of Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, Boston Children’s Hospital will not be investigated over their alleged mistreatment of patients, which is likely due to their political connections such as the fact that the hospital’s teaching affiliate is Harvard Medical school.
Below is a video with more details about Pelletier and Gottesfeld’s tragic story and you can also help Martin out by clicking the link here.