Salute to the freedom fighters.
At least two US government websites were knocked off the web earlier today by Anonymous, claims the group's "official" Twitter account AnonymousIRC. At time of writing, the US government's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website was back online and functioning as normal. But two other US consumer sites - the National Consumer …
Salute to the freedom fighters.
Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
But what choices do we have?
1) Bend over and take whatever the politicians have been paid to push through, or;
2) Cause trouble like 'Anonymous' and be seen as the justification that "something has to be done", or;
3) Write to your MP, etc, and get ignored by a party drone who has no technical knowledge and very little interaction with the real decision-makers.
Sadly, the only thing of note recently was the effectiveness of big internet companies speaking up against SOAP, etc. How long will that last until steps are taken to avoid "political interference" that way?
I think a lot of Anonymous (and similar groups) actions are ill-chosen and petty, but what are the options to protest in the internet world? It is not like there are factory/shop doors where activists could picket to have grievances heard any more.
If a million people marching can't stop an illegal war...
"but what are the options to protest in the internet world?"
Seriously, wtf is "the internet world"?
And if you think the internet is a large part of the world, think again: at the last count, 75% of the worlds population has no online access. Many are starving or working their fingers to the bone just to earn enough to buy the next meal.
Don't like corporate business, yet happy to buy a Blackberry and a data plan.
Some people have really lost touch with reality.
To me that could be rephrased as "if you can't make the situation better then do something that makes it worse rather than do nothing at all"
the anonymous thing of "if you don't do what we want we will make things so unpleasant for you that, well, you'd just better do what we want" is of course not in any way new. You could regard it as a kind of digital force-feeding of castor oil... perhaps a branch could take action against network rail and get them to make the trains run on time?
[cue downvotes. However if you're not getting a healthy number of downvotes you're merely submitting to groupthink]
"if you don't do what we want we will make things so unpleasant for you that, well, you'd just better do what we want"
Anonymous is totally aware of the fact that their attacks don't cause any serious harm by themselves, but are extremely good for attracting the public's attention towards subjects our elected leaders would rather keep in the dark. Each of these attacks points to a situation of injustice and puts it in the public spotlight.
The countless ways in which laws like SOPA and ACTA can be used to stop the propagation of information, attack other countries's economies, decide elections ,and also to hide all political dissent under a blanket of invisibility and giving governments an almost infinite amount of control over their subjects. The world of "1984" is a summer camp when compared with what's coming. Unless we make a big effort to educate the masses on these subjects, so they -WE- can push the system into a better and more stable state.
The way Anonymous has chosen to obtain this opportunity to 'teach the masses' can be discussed. The results in terms of publicity can not.
"Anonymous is totally aware of the fact that their attacks don't cause any serious harm by themselves"
So we can assume that publishing the names, addresses, phone numbers and social security numbers of serving police offices causes no serious harm?
"So we can assume that publishing the names, addresses, phone numbers and social security numbers of serving police offices causes no serious harm?"
No, but it sure causes less harm than having such sensitive data in a poorly secured/administered environment, with only blackhat guys knowing about it and profiting from it. With the Anonymous attack, the people whose data have been sniffed can at least take preventive measures against ID theft, change their mail passwords, etc.
If criminals get access to one of these poorly secured systems they won't boast about it. They'll just sieve and classify the data and then use it themselves or sell the results to other parties. This could easily be used to impersonate police agents, blackmail people arrested for minor offences, find 'secure witness' homes, knowing in advance the next move the cops will make in an investigation, uncover whistleblowers and infiltrates... you name it.
This way, the Big Honchos will be pressed to assign more budget and effort to IT security, which in the long run is good for the public. To have this happening to Agencies that are continuously working to erode citizen's right to Privacy is an added bonus.
On the other hand, I believe that promoting Privacy by destroying other people's Privacy reeks of moral conflict. If it was me who did this hacking -I lack the technical knowledge and the motivation - I would filter the leaked data, as not to include personal information unless this personal data is relative to malfeasances done by the agency's employees.
On a side note: Now, Mr. AC, seriously. Why did you make the effort of ticking the Anon box when you sent this comment? Your comment was quite logic and balanced. The fact that you don't always agree with me doesn't mean I automatically consider you a moron.*
Note* :I need to find some excuses first! ^_^
"On the other hand, I believe that promoting Privacy by destroying other people's Privacy reeks of moral conflict. If it was me who did this hacking -I lack the technical knowledge and the motivation - I would filter the leaked data, as not to include personal information unless this personal data is relative to malfeasances done by the agency's employees."
Well said that man. See, we do agree on some things.
Why Anon? Because being often considered a moron, I prefer to suffer my affliction in private.
Peace to you too!
No victory.. Begun, the acta wars have...
Instead of going after a bloody website why on earth don't they go after the actual agency? The FBI, CIA, GCHQ, NSA, DGSE, KGB and the ISI would all make much better targets than the FTC as well. If they could actually, you know, hack. Just taking down a website, well, that's like proclaiming to be a master criminal after you stole a Mars bar from Tesco on the last shopping day before Christmas!
El Reg, kindly stop writing about these utter morons until such time as they actually man up.
I would guess that they're focussing on impressing the non-technical community (we are outnumbered, after all).
I am often shocked at how many times an xkcd cartoon is relevant.
Just as I am often shocked at how often a South Park episode is relevant.
It would be a lot more interesting to see these criminals hung or shot in a public square but I guess we'll have to settle on prison for them. Maybe Bubba can publish some videos on social media of his new "friends"?
You think taking down a website means they should be hanged (men are hanged, meat is hung), shot or raped? Please explain how the severity of the punishment is is proportional to the severity of the crime.
Punishment is meant to be a deterrent, not a exchange of value. 20 years in the slammer, hung by their balls or shot in the head would be a good start to eliminating the scum that is too dumb to abide by the laws of society. It's a slow process but it would send a clear message to any morons with a chance of being salvaged and eliminate a lot of worthless scum from society.
No matter how much I disagree with the actions of the Anon cyber-vigilantes, I can't agree with your views on punishment.
It could be argued that many people involved in these activities are misguided and that some are breaking the law, but a civilsed society has a measured and proportionate response.
If we fail on that basic point, we loose our dignity and become the very thing they fight against. Perhaps the best thing we, as a society, can do is to be compassionate and proportionate, tolerant of all views and able to listen to the disaffected, not to punish them.
We all know that hackers are clueless folks who believe they are above the law and will never get caught despite Anon members being arrested almost weekly. These people may be technically bright by they are social misfits who can't deal with reality. That's why they get sent to prison. Why should society feed, clothe and baby sit these morons for years when a bullet or hanging would save us all a lot of time and money and help cleanse the gene pool? These degenerates are not going to come out of prison better people. All we can hope for is they don't come out at all and just vanish.
Why would society want to be compasionate in sentencing hackers or drug dealer or child molesters or murders or any other criminal? They knew full well they we're violating law and feel they are above law. They don't deserve any compassion. They deserve a harsh sentence to get through their wall of denial.
Punishment is meant to sent a clear message. Of course some folks never get the memo no matter how many years they spend in prison. Those are the ones that a bullet could help. You can listen all you want as long as the criminals get punished to the point of not ever wanting to make the same mistake twice. Hanging and a bullet guarantees that they got the message. No guessing or compassion required.
In some countries they cut one hand and one leg off of thieves. Maybe society should do the same with hackers? That might be a good deterrent.
OMG. These are the young people of our society trying to make a difference. On top of this many of them seem to have all sorts of disenfranchisement issues.
You seem to be suggesting at best that they are hanged, and at worst suffer many years of anal rape. What planet are you people from?
I know what you mean - for a second back there I thought it was the Daily Mail comments section
They can make a difference by educating themselves and abiding by law. The ones who chose to violate law go to prison as they should.
Time that you and they get a grip on reality.
As ye sow, so shall the reap. Reality 101.
Hacking is a crime. It's parent's responsibility to teach their children well. If the parents have no respect for law, why would their children? While building new prisons is a means to create jobs, teaching people to make better choices would prevent them ending up in prisons.
How many kids graffiti? Carve "penis" or their initials into their school desks?
When older, how many people will join protests against government policy, where some will then be involved in hanging banners, tearing down posters, or even grafitti (again) to try to get their points accross. Should these people also be shot?
At the end of the day, while I disagree with them doing it, what Anon do is normally no worse than grafitti, a petty act of vandalism designed to gain publicity. Defacing a website of a government agency does no real harm, it is just a method of publicising their cause.
IMHO speeding is a more serious offense than defacing or taking down a webite: who are you going to kill by taking some marketting material offline for a few hours? All those calling for harsh, disproportionate punishments of these "hackers": Do you ever break the speed limit? Have you ever broken the law in ANY way?
I'm not at all religious, but I think one line from the bible applies here: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
Obviously society and government disagree with your POV and that is why these degenerates are being prosecuted for hacking. It's time for you to get in touch with reality.
"Obviously society and government disagree with your POV..."
What you wrote there seems to imply that Government and Society always have to agree. That is not, and has never been, the case. Hence the need that Society finds ways to put pressure on the Government, to balance things. Anonymous is just another weapon in an ongoing weapons race.
Yeah lets protest we know it works, there was no war in Iraq
Not recommended for children, however - at least not those children who have been sheltered from mainstream television all of their lives. Alas, judging by the «hanging and a bullet» suggestions posted by certain people here, not all of us were...
Slow learners this lot...