The release Wednesday of the previously-private online communications of Blacktip Island residents has outraged many islanders and destroyed friendships. (photo illustration courtesy of DARPA)
The unexpected release of all Blacktip Island residents’ private online communications Wednesday by an anonymous hacker has angered locals and sent many searching for who posted the information on the Caribbean island’s tourism website.
“Normally you get your island gossip at the Ballyhoo or the Sand Spit, and it’s in bits and pieces,” Val Schrader said. “This is one big info dump, with everyone’s emails, texts, Skype, WhatsApp, you name it, BAM, out there for God and everyone to see.
“These BI-Leaks are devastating,” Schrader said. “The only reason people here get along is we make nice and lie a fair bit. Now, people are ready to tar and feather their friends. And everyone wants to punch Lee Helm, the little two-faced rat Lee Helm.”
Many locals voiced broader concerns about public safety.
“Whenever people try to sort things out, a fight breaks out,” Jessie Catahoula said. “And it’s escalating. Antonio Fletcher got arrested for peeing in the Eagle Ray Cove cistern because Rich Skerritt for called him a nut case.
“There’s talk about burning cars and houses, of people disappearing, you name it,” Catahoula said. “Folks’re making homemade riot gear. The mayor even called in the National Guard to maintain order, but it turns out there isn’t one. It’s gonna get uglier.”
The crisis has stretched the island’s lone constable to the limit.
“This is day three with no sleep, trying to keep a lid on things,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “I called over to Tiperon for backup, but nobody over there wants to wade into this crap.”
Many in the community are speculating on the hacker’s identity and motives.
“There’s not many people on Blacktip capable of pulling something like this off, island mayor Jack Cobia said. “Hell, most people on this island can barely turn on a computer, much less hack one.
“My money’s on it being somebody off-island who wants to cause us trouble,” Cobia said. “It’s probably some Tourism Department a-hole on Tiperon trying to siphon our guests over to the big island.”
Others are convinced the dump was an inadvertent technological malfunction.
“Dermott Bottoms and James Conclee were three-sheets drunk Tuesday night, climbing the cell tower on a dare,” Frank Maples said. “My guess is one of them bumped something and scrambled the wireless and cell signals.
“Neither remember anything that happened,” Maples said. “That’s their story, anyway. A couple of drunk idiots makes way more sense than some double-secret hacker.”
A few locals worry the damage from the leaks may be permanent.
“Some folks are betting on this all dying down, like with other gossip,” Clete Horn said. “The way things are now, though, if we let this play itself out, there might not be an island left.”