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LulzSec Topiary suspect named as Jake Davis

The 18-year old arrested in the Shetland Isles, believed to be one of the leaders of anarchic hacktivist collective LulzSec, has been named by police as Jake Davis.

Davis was arrested last week on his home island of Yell in the Shetlands, but police officials had previously only named him as 'Topiary', the nickname used on Twitter and IRC by a leading figure in the LulzSec group.

LulzSec is best known for a variety of attacks on the digital infrastructure of both governments and businesses in apparent protest over a variety of alleged offences, but managed to get itself into the UK police's crosshairs with a somewhat ill-advised attack on the website of the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

While questions have been raised over whether Davis is the right Topiary - with documents previously released by an anti-LulzSec group claiming that the real Topiary is a 23-year old Swedish resident, and apparent chat logs from LulzSec's IRC channel seeming to confirm that claim - the police seem confident that they have the right man.

A police spokesperson has confirmed to thinq_ that Davis is being held under a number of charges including conspiracy to commit offences under Section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act of 1990, which covers unauthorised acts with intent to impair the operation of a computer, and offences under Section 46 of the Serious Crime Act 2007, which details the crime of encouraging or assisting offences believing one or more will be committed.

The use of 'conspiracy to' and 'encouraging offences' makes the police's job easier: rather than having to prove that Davis was directly responsible for carrying out LulzSec attacks, they merely need to prove that he encouraged such attacks to be carried out. Should the police have access to evidence which ties Davis to the Topiary identity used in chat logs published by The Guardian - which clearly shows a user of that nickname encouraging criminal activity - it could prove an open and shut case.

LulzSec, for its part, appears to be largely unaffected by recent arrests from its ranks. The group, in partnership with hactivism collective Anonymous, has recently released files from an FBI contractor in protest over the arrests carried out following a tip-off from PayPal containing around 1,000 IP addresses that took part in an illegal distributed denial of service attack.

PayPal, for its part, is being punished in a more original way: using its undoubted talent at public relations, Anonymous was able to convince users to cancel their accounts in a peaceful protest which saw around $1 billion wiped off parent company eBay's market cap in a single day of NASDAQ trading.

"Arresting people won't stop us, FBI," a spokesperson for LulzSec posted to Twitter a few weeks ago. "We will only cease fire when you all wear shoes on your heads. That's the only way this is ending."