Public Safety This is the electronic billboard in the Franco building at Peachtree and West Paces Ferry roads that flashed the nude photos of a male at drivers approaching from the west.

Published on May 18th, 2015 |

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Assange Shuffle Collective claims hacking porn Buckhead billboard

A group called “Assange Shuffle Collective” has claimed responsibility for posting the image of a nude man on an electronic billboard at the corner of Peachtree and Paces Ferry roads in the heart of Buckhead. The prank occurred during the day on May 9 and prompted 911 calls.

According to reports, the electronic advertisement billboard in Buckhead displayed a graphic picture of a man exposing himself—mainly his buttocks. A driver who saw the image called 911. The

This is the electronic billboard in the Franco building at Peachtree and West Paces Ferry roads that flashed the nude photos of a male at drivers approaching from the west.

This is the electronic billboard in the Franco building at Peachtree and West Paces Ferry roads that flashed the nude photos of a male at drivers approaching from the west.

woman said there was not an emergency but the image was disgusting.

Atlanta Police and FBI said earlier this week they are working to determine who posted the image, according to a report by WXIA-TV. But BuckheadView was told by APD Zone Commander Major Van Hobbs the investigation was in the hands of Homeland Security.

On May 13, “Assange Shuffle Collective,” claimed responsibility on Reddit, a social networking and news website, reported WXIA-TV. The group ostensibly sympathizes with WikiLeaks chief editor Julian Assange.

The group added, “Ironically, we didn’t realize that Buckhead was an incredibly affluent neighborhood, which makes the whole thing terrifically good fun. Burn the rich,”

The electronic billboards in the Franco building are seen from both southbound Peachtree Road and eastbound West Paces Ferry Road traffic. This photo looking south on Peachtree Road.

The electronic billboards in the Franco building are seen from both southbound Peachtree Road and eastbound West Paces Ferry Road traffic. This photo looking south on Peachtree Road.

The group insinuated it may have hit other places. The FBI reportedly said it is not aware of other incidents of graphic images being posted on public billboards. However Major Hobbs old BuckheadView at a meeting May 12 the hacker had done this to over 100 billboards across the country at the same time.

Hobbs also said at the time that Homeland Security had a “pretty good idea about the identity of the person who did it,” who Hobbs said resides in a western state.

At the Buckhead 50 Club meeting where BuckheadView talked with Hobbs about the billboard incident, APD Chief George Turner also was asked if these electronic billboards are so vulnerable to hacking should they be very heavily restricted or banned altogether.

Chief Turner said that is an issue to be considered by lawmakers and the legislative process, not by his department.

The image flashed up Saturday between legitimate ads on a digital billboard at the corner of Peachtree and East Paces Ferry roads in what is named the Franco building, after the family who owns it. These particular electronic billboards have been controversial since placed in the building a couple of years ago. In fact, there is a pending lawsuit involving the billboards.

Atlanta Police Sgt. Greg Lyon said officers responded and power was shut off until the owner of the billboard arrived—however, not before the image had been posted to social media. Billboard

There is also an electronic advertising billboard on the back of the Franco building that is seen by westbound traffic on East Paces Ferry Road.

There is also an electronic advertising billboard on the back of the Franco building that is seen by westbound traffic on East Paces Ferry Road.

owner Monumedia said several individuals have access to the billboard’s computer.

Dist. 7 Atlanta City Councilman Howard Shook called the image “highly disturbing, aggravating, obnoxious and illegal.” Shook has been instrumental in pushing legislation at City Council to limit electronic billboards such as the ones in the Franco building.

The president of Georgia’s Outdoor Advertising Association says the industry has established protocols to prevent hacking of digital billboards.

Immediately below where the graphic image was flashed on the billboard is a message on the Franco building asking people to call Buckhead real estate company owner Dion Meltzer about leasing space in the building.

BuckheadView contacted Meltzer to see if the lease of the space to Monumedia contained language that forbids displaying pornographic images on the billboards and would nullify the lease if such images did appear on the billboards.

Meltzer informed BuckheadView that he is only responsible for the leasing of the ground floor of the building and that the Franco family handled the lease with Monumedia for the second-floor space for the electronic billboards.

Meltzer added that Monumedia took the billboard off the Internet as soon as it could after finding out about the problem and “is sure it will not happen again.” He added, “It was hacked. It was not put up there on purpose by Monumedia.”

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