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Second man jailed over Scientology DDoS attacks

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A second US man has been jailed over controversial denial of service attacks against the Church of Scientology two years ago.

Brian Thomas Mettenbrink, 20, of Grand Island, Nebraska, was jailed for a year and ordered to pay $20,000 in compensation to the Hubbardists at a sentencing hearing on Monday, AP reports. Mettenbrink had earlier pleaded guilty to taking part in attacks protesting internet censorship by the Church and organised under the loose banner of Anonymous.

As part of an earlier plea bargaining agreement, Mettenbrink admitted using custom software from a message board run by Anonymous to throw useless traffic at Church of Scientology websites. Some sites became intermittently unavailable in January 2008 as a result of the efforts of Mettenbrink and many others. The attacks began after the Church demanded the takedown of videos featuring Tom Cruise at an awards event.

In sentencing, US District Judge Gary Feess likened the cyber-assaults against Scientology to a "hate crime".

Mettenbrink is the second to be jailed over the attacks. Dmitriy Guzner of Verona, New Jersey was jailed for a year last November after admitting a similar role in the cyber-blitz against Scientology-related websites. ®

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