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Twitter suspends Anonymous account

Twitter suspends Anonymous account

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Twitter suspended an account associated with the hacker group Anonymous Thursday after the account published the name of the person it said was the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown.

Police and the Ferguson mayor both said the name Anonymous released was wrong.

The person tweeting under the handle @TheAnonMessage confirmed via email that the account was suspended, “for practicing free speech,” the person wrote. He also said he would immediately begin using a secondary Twitter account, @TheAnonMessage2.

However, TheAnonMessage2 has been relatively inactive. Just after noon Thursday, the account posted a note saying it would suspend future document releases “until further notice.”

Two different Anonymous operatives also confirmed via email that Anonymous was responsible for the St. Louis County Web crash Thursday morning.

St. Louis County government websites have been down since Wednesday.

Police say they are aware of the problem but don’t know the extent of it. The St. Louis County government website, the police website, parks and revenue are among those that weren’t coming up Thursday morning.

A county source says they have limited access to external email and the Internet.

A woman at the county executive’s office said she was able to access the website internally Thursday morning after 8 a.m. A parks employee said they were working on the problem and that “sometimes they’re up and sometimes they’re down.”

In the hours after Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer on Saturday, the group Anonymous urged residents to hit the streets.

Ferguson’s city website went dark Tuesday morning, and the phones died. Anonymous also started releasing information about police officers.

And the hackers vowed retribution if police harmed protesters.

“We are watching you very closely,” Anonymous’ distinctive electronic voice rasped in a video posted Monday on Twitter. “If you abuse, harass or harm the protesters in Ferguson, we will take every Web-based asset of your departments and federal agencies offline.”

Kim Bell, Joel Currier and Steve Giegerich, all of the Post-Dispatch, contributed to this report.

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