Were one to conduct a random poll of people in Columbus, a majority might claim to be at least somewhat anti-authoritarian. It may just be human nature to not want to be told what to do (and to be suspicious of the motives and actions of those who issue such edicts and rules). Certain actions meant to express those concerns might even be appropriate. Yet people may also want to be mindful about being too cavalier in thumbing their nose at authority. The wrong sort of expression (even when done to support a cause one believes in) could leave the one expressing it facing criminal penalties.
That appears to be what is in store for a man that federal officials believe perpetrated an online hack that temporarily shut down the Akron city website last year. The man (who is himself an Akron resident) allegedly belongs to an international activist group whose aims are to highlight their interpretations of misuses of authority through cyberattacks against the organization they believe to be guilty of it. Indeed, during the time the website was down, a link to a YouTube video making allegations of corruption against Akron officials and law enforcement was posted on Twitter. Federal authorities traced the Twitter handle back to the man, who is now being charged with intentionally damaging a protected computer.
Activists and other socially conscious individuals may not view their attempts to hold authorities accountable as being criminal. In certain cases, however, they may be. Still, a valid argument may exist questioning whether the true intent behind an expressive action was meant to be malicious (or that the actor truly knew the violations he or she was supposedly committing). One might find that an attorney is a strong ally to have when making such an argument.
Source: Government Technology “FBI Makes Arrest in Akron, Ohio, Website Hack” Garrett, Amanda, May 11, 2018