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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 17.09.2019, 01:50

Hacker ''Neo'' named 2010 "European Person of the Year in Latvia"

BC, Riga, 30.12.2010.Print version

31-year-old researcher at the AI Laboratory of the University of Latvia's Institute of Mathematics and Information Science, Ilmars Poikans – the notorious hacker known to the public as "Neo", has won this year's "European Person of the Year in Latvia" award.


As reported, Poikans, better known to the Latvian public as "Neo", was the cyber-vigilante who made public salaries at state and municipal institutions and companies on the Internet. Poikans published information revealing that unauthorized persons could take advantage of a flaw in the Electronic Declaring System (EDS) software and access taxpayers' records. He obtained 7.4 million classified files using a simple computer script that he had devised.


Persons who voted for Poikans explained that they voted for him because he ''dared to defend democratic and European values in Latvia'', ''Poikans was the first to begin the active fight for transparency and openness, even before the ''Wikileaks'' publications'', ''thanks to ''Neo'', Latvia's name was heard throughout Europe and the world other than the country's economic crisis'', ''he opened everyone's eyes and made people think about democratic values in Latvia, Europe and the world'', writes LETA.


''I am truly happy that an official did not win the award this year. Poikans proved how much one person can change things in Latvia. His bravery and selflessness are characteristics the public is yearning for, and he showed that we can do more than just complain about things in the privacy of our homes,'' said Latvian Television journalist and ''Neo'' supporter Ilze Nagla.


LETA also reported, in 2009, Latvian Radio journalist in Brussels Ina Strazdina won the award, in 2008, then European Parliament deputy and current Foreign Minister Girts Valdis Kristovskis (Unity) won the award, in 2007- then EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, in 2006 – "Radio SWH" journalist Girts Salmgriezis, in 2005 – then European Parliament member and current Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity), in 2004 – then European Parliament member Georgs Andrejevs, in 2003 – football player Maris Verpakovskis, in 2002 – singer Marija Naumova, in 2001 – former President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, in 2000 – singer Renars Kaupers and the group "Prata Vetra" and in 1999 – politician Valdis Birkavs.

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