Via TheRegister, it appears that the alleged leader of LulzSec only got community service for a relatively minor crime of defacing a nobody-knows-who council.
That is not to say that what the person do was wrong. Under TheRegister’s spotlight is the Police, or rather, its PR department, sensationalize the story, then have to see the case finished with a whimper.
Well, we all know the difference between what someone did and what can be proved in court. But to say our poor Aussie Federal Police was victim of this is an overstatement. In my opinion, they should had rein in PR rather than let it got out of hand. Police Forces deal with fact. I lost count of how many times the media says so-and-so was arrested but the Police only say “someone was arrested”. That is intentional on the part of the Police. It is partly to protect the person from unwanted media allegation and speculation but mostly to demonstrate that we the Police are a cut over the rest and deal with fact. To have the Police permitting their PR to publishing “allegations” simply because someone fancy himself as the leader of a hacking group that the Police force cannot prove later is an act not worthy of a reputable force.
Things like this tarnish the reputation of AFP. The long term repercussion is it makes it hard for them to argue for more power to fight terrorism and hacking.