A 22 year-old student from Hartlepool has been arrested and charged by the Metropolitan Police in connection with the high-profile distributed denial-of-service attacks thought to be carried out by hacktivist group Anonymous.
Peter David Gibson has been charged with contravening Section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977. He is accused of conspiring to carry out an unauthorised act via a computer, with "intent to impair the operation of any computer or prevent or hinder access to any program or data held in a computer or to impair the operation of any such program or the reliability of such data".
Gibson was arrested by officers from the Met's Police Central e-Crime Unit, and is due to appear on bail at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on 7 September.
This is the second high-profile arrest in the UK in connection with Anonymous. The Met Police arrested 18 year-old Jake Davis, who they believe to be the LulzSec and Anonymous hacker known as 'Topiary', at the end of July.
Davis was apprehended at a house in the Shetland Islands and brought to London. He is currently on bail awaiting a hearing.
The FBI also arrested 16 people suspected of being members of Anonymous in a series of raids in locations ranging from Massachusetts to the San Francisco Bay Area on 13 June.
Fourteen of the suspects were held in relation to the December 2010 attacks on PayPal, while two were held for attacks on AT&T and Infraguard. The charges include conspiracy and intentional damage to a protected computer.
On the same day, Anonymous took down the web site of the national police in Spain in retaliation for the arrest of three of its members.
Turkish police also reportedly arrested a further 32 alleged hackers. Anonymous had warned Spanish police that an attack was imminent in a brief posting to one of its blogs that read "Expect us."
Khidr Suleman is a reporter at V3.co.uk, a role he has fulfilled since June 2010. He covers business hardware news and reviews, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, projectors and printers, as well as online applications.
Prior to joining V3.co.uk, Khidr worked as a freelance technology journalist. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.