back to article British Minister likens Anonymous to fascists and racists

Hacktivist cabal Anonymous has continued its attack on UK government websites in retaliation to the UK’s treatment of Julian Assange, this time hitting former Wales and Northern Ireland Secretary, Peter Hain. Hain told the BBC he feels Anonymous' actions resemble those he experienced in the “anti-apartheid and anti-fascist …

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Facepalm

Oh come on.

The grossly ignorant rhetoric from Equador is matched only by the continuously poor reporting of the facts around this entire issue - on both sides I might add.

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Meh

That's rich

Thats rich comming out of the mouth of Peter Hain the 'former' minister who was always out of his depth in politics. Why on earth do people listen to him or give him the time of day.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That's rich

Well at least he has an interesting accent ;)

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Re: That's rich

Actually the irony is that this could as easily be compared to the civil rights protests of the ANC, given that the protest is perceived by Anonymous to be to protect free speech.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That's rich

Protesting in support of free speech by silencing those they disagree with?

Pull the other one.

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FAIL

Re: Oh come on.

ignorant how?

they didn't extradite pinochet to france, they ARE trying to extradite assange to sweden...

where is the ignorance?

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Re: Oh come on.

Well the basic mistake of the assange team here is that they didn't help prop up a massively unpopular UK govt in staging a phoney war in the south Atlantic, nor allow their banking system to be used as a live test bed for the new 'I'm alright Jack, Fuck You' political system that thatch was experimenting with at the time. I mean,. be practical about it, whats the civil rights of a few hundred thousand people when set against... the total deregulation of the finance sector, giving us derivatives and sub-prime mortgages, and insider dealing and all of the other wonderful things that issued forth from the cantankerous xenophobic harridan.

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Re: Oh come on.

A 'phoney war'? Of all the wars Britain could engage in, one to defend its subjects against an aggressive dictatorship is the least 'phoney' war I can imagine. There was no acquisition of territory, no military build-up beforehand, no and certainly no dodgy dossier. Of course I recognise that for some people their swivel-eyed hatred of Mrs Thatcher blinds them to anything she might have done that was right.

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WTF?

Re: Oh come on.

Some ostensibly left-wing people's hatred of Thatcher leads them to this bizarre position. They support a right-wing military dictatorship which threw opponents out of aircraft, alive - over a democratic state with a welfare system. This suggests to me that their left-wing principles are pretty flexible.

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Re: Oh come on.

wtf???

learn to read

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Re: Oh come on.

@Naughtyhorse: "staging a phoney war in the south Atlantic"

That's a direct quote from you. In what way was the Falklands war (1) phoney, (2) "staged" by the UK? We were the victims of aggression by a murderous right-wing dictatorship - but somehow because Thatcher was in charge, we were in the wrong.

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Devil

Re: Oh come on.

"Meanwhile, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa said that the standoff regarding Assange as an “unfortunate incident over, after a grave diplomatic error by the British in which they said they would enter our embassy.""

Did you mean rhetoric like this where the Ecuadorian President granted politcal asylum for Assange so he could skip out on his obligations to face rape charges in Sweden?

Sweden, really? Isn't that the country where they still believe in death by pressing? Only now instead of piling on rocks, they use members of the 'Swedish Topless Bikini Team' to pile on until the poor sod can't breath along with all of the blood flowing away from his head to his other head?

Ok, so you get the point. Sweden isn't going to torture the sod, nor does he face any other extradition requests so there was no legal foundation for the Ecuadorian 'rescue'.

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FAIL

@ jaduncan Re: That's rich

The protest by Anonymous comparable with the ANC? Tell that to the generations of black South Africans forced to live a third-class life until the lifting of apartheid.

And "because the protest is perceived by Anonymouse to be to protect free speech"? Well I perceive myself to be Jesus of Nazareth, therefore my writing this is comparable to the issuing of the gospel, or? Or is there something more than partisan, adolescent, fantastical perception required to form a piece of sound reasoning?

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Re: That's rich coming from a nazi

he dares to call freedon fighters Nazis - the man is a plank - he has no right brain function

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Re: Oh come on.

+1 Internet for the most stultifyingly-politically-ill-informed correspondence in the history of news media. Congrats on a truly colossal effort!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh come on. @Flatpackhamster

>A 'phoney war'? Of all the wars Britain could engage in

Ah, but would it have engaed in war if an election was not nearing? One fears that had an election not been imminent then Thatcher might have taken a more diplomatic course of action and a bloodless resolution found. As it was she saw that there would be nothing more beneficial for an election campaign than a bit of Argy bashing. And if you think that politicains would not sacrifice the lives of soldiers for their own political end then you are truly deluded.

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Re: Oh come on.

the falklands was bollocks, could have been sorted diplomatically, but she couldnt resist the pr of waving off out gallant boys... to what exactly? sinking a hospital ship, way outside the theatre, and heading further away. thank god WE were the good guys, and selling our soul to a PROPER evil right wing fuck like pinochet was cheap at half the price.

Thatcher was in charge, we were in the wrong.

Thatcher was in charge, she was in the wrong.

fixed it for you.

you think 'what about the vegetables' was a joke???

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Re: Oh come on. @Flatpackhamster

exactly.

if it had been AFTER the election (skipping over the fact the tories would probably have come third!) then the argies could have BOUGHT the malvinas for a photo of a five pound note and a million pound donation to tory central office

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh come on.

If the Falklands had been just another old colony that we hadn't got around to freeing and it was the natives that were rebelling, then yes, Thatcher probably would have probably gone the diplomatic route.

Since it was actually British sovereign territory, inhabited by nobody but British nationals being invaded by a foreign nation you'd have to be an idiot in the extreme to think there'd be any result other than military intervention, regardless of how close the next election was.

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WTF?

Re: Oh come on.

A "hospital ship"?!! The General Belgrano was an armoured battlecruiser, with serious guns. If that ship had got within gun range of the task force, it would have been a massacre. The submarine tailing the Belgrano was about to lose them as they crossed a shallow undersea ridge. It was a completely legitimate sinking, and the fact that the UK paused for thought before sinking it shows a lot more restraint than any other nation.

And how could the Falklands have been sorted out diplomatically? What would have persuaded a military dictatorship to leave? Or are you happy to sell out people to right-wing dictatorship if it benefits your political party?

Your posts are so light on facts, so twisted against reason, I'm beginning to wonder if you're just a very subtle troll.

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Anonymous Coward

Hang on, which side did he compare it to? ;)

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The difference between Pinochet and Assange is jurisdiction: Spain had no claim of jurisdiction over Pinochet. The judge in question was acting on an assumed right to try crimes in another country over which he had no legal title. Assange, meanwhile, is accused of committing a crime in Sweden, against a Swedish citizen. We may argue with the legal merit of that crime but Sweden's law stands (even if might be alien to our own sensibilities) and it has that jurisdictional right to lay charges against the man. The Spanish judge demanding Pinochet's extradition had no such right.

So they are simply not comparable.

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This is incorrect; torture has universal jurisdiction under both the customary international law concept of jus cogens and, specifically, under the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Article 5(1)(c).

"1. Each State Party shall take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over the offences referred to in article 4 in the following cases:

(c) When the victim is a national of that State if that State considers it appropriate."

The Spanish court thus had jurisdiction; the question was more if Pinochet should be protected by the immunity traditionally extended to heads of state.

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Unhappy

The difference between Pinochet and Assange is...

One was supported by the CIA and had thousands of Chilean civilians killed and tens of thousands imprisoned and tortured, the other faces questioning in Sweden over a broken condom or two (and possibly also secretly in the USA for "espionage" aka "embarrassing us on the international stage").

So yes, the two cases are not really comparable.

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You are incorrect:

"http://www.apt.ch/tld/Overview.pdf:

"Passive personality jurisdiction

Article 5(1)(c) UNCAT covers jurisdiction over acts

committed against the State party’s nationals

(passive personality jurisdiction), again wherever

these acts have allegedly been committed. This

competence is however optional, meaning the State

is not compelled by the UNCAT to establish such a

jurisdiction."

The victims were Spanish. Spain therefore has jurisdiction if it wishes to assert it, regardless of any other state,

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Pity.

BTW, which branch of the servile service do you work for?

Not that I am being nosey, it's just that I am interested.

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So how come Tony Blair is free to persue a life of crime?

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Facepalm

Re: The difference between Pinochet and Assange is...

So how come Pinochet was let off on laughable not-fit-to-stand-trial grounds, rather than on invalid-extradition-request ones.

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The difference between Pinochet and Assange is that we made a MISTAKE not extraditing Pinochet and we are trying not to make the same mistake with Assange. Just because a previous government (Tony B Liar) fucked up it once does not set a legal precedent where we have to keep fucking up and not extraditing people when requested by another country.

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Anonymous Coward

@Graham Dawson

>The difference between Pinochet and Assange is jurisdiction: Spain had no claim of jurisdiction over Pinochet.

Some of the victims were Spanish so he had a right to seek extradition.

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So how come Tony Blair is free to persue a life of crime?

cos ite REAL hard to buy a snipers rifle in the UK

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Black Helicopters

Re: So how come Tony Blair is free to persue a life of crime?

In the last day or so it was announced that Mr Blair will be providing consultancy services to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the state of Sao Paulo, here in Brazil.

I don't seem to be able to escape from him, no matter how far I travel :)

http://noticias.terra.com.br/brasil/noticias/0,,OI6106680-EI306,00-Empresa+de+Tony+Blair+realizara+consultoria+para+o+governo+de+Sao+Paulo.html

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The difference between Pinochet and Assange is...

.. that nobody expected the Spanish Inquisition!

(that's enough Monty Python, Ed.)

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FAIL

Anonymous - what a joke

If the squawking bunch of halfwitted losers I saw being dragged away from outside the embassy by the police last week were representative of anonymous and/or their supporters I don't think the government has much to worry about as their combined IQ was probably less than the largest plods shoe size.

As for attacking government websites - do these muppets seriously think crashing what are essentially government PR websites is somehow going to bring government to a halt or change policy? If so these kids really need to do some serious growing up.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Anonymous - what a joke

It's the digital equivalent of scrawling ROMANES EUNT DOMUS...

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Pint

Re: Anonymous - what a joke

Is that the correct tense*?

* I may have just screwed up your joke because now I'm not sure if tense was involved...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Anonymous - what a joke

You shall now imediately go and watch Life of Brian. Drop everything you are doing (unless it might actually kill someone, I guess) and go find a copy forthwith.

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Thumb Down

Re: Anonymous - what a joke

Shows you just how illiterate the Ancient Britons were.

Try "Romani domum eant" (subjunctive) or "Romani domum ite" (imperative).

But you're a couple of millennia too late!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Anonymous - what a joke

"Shows you just how illiterate the Ancient Britons were.

Try "Romani domum eant" (subjunctive) or "Romani domum ite" (imperative)."

Whoosh!

That was the sound of the satire of the other Anonymous post whizzing over your head, along with the implicit reference to Life of Brian.

Anonymous splitters!

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Re: Anonymous - what a joke

"Anonymous splitters!"

Are you the Julian people's front?

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Silver badge

Re: Anonymous - what a joke

Julian - pronounced 'Ju-lee-an' in this context of course to rhyme with Judean.

Don't have a go at me for pointing it out, some people really don't get it! Go figure.

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong Simile

I've always likened them more to terrorists. Not because what they do is on the same kind of moral scale but because they're angry criminals trying to paint themselves as some kind of heroes representing the populous at large and because they attempt to inflict as much collateral damage as possible since they don't have the capability to attack their targets directly.

Considering that Hain opposed Assange's extradition on top of the whole Virgin Media/Pirate Bay fiasco they don't really seem to care too much who they attack, as long as they get the headlines.

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Re: Wrong Simile

a little self centered perhaps ?

have you considered that they might be thinking they are heroes of the minority, which should have the same level or more protection than the majority, but do not.

(more protection because the majority would naturally skew in the opposite direction, therefore need greater protection because of the lack of support they would normally enjoy).

pinochet is actually a war criminal, charged with murdering many many people, UK didn't exactly attempt to bust him did they? assange is accused of bad sexual etiquette and borderline asshole nature, hardly comparable, yet the UK are acting like there is a mass murdering child raping psychopath in the building, armed police? infra-red + heat sensors....

are they serious??

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 22:07GMT - Re: Wrong Simile

Yeah, sure! Like UK was so eager to extradite Pinochet but, Gosh! they had no power to do so. Of course they didn't be cause US told them not to do it, it is as simple as that. Now it's US telling them to do it so of course they have the power to do it. Anyone sees something wrong in this picture ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wrong Simile

Now first of all, to be completely fair, it is really hard to speak about a group such as Anonymous without painting with too broad of a brush since literally anyone could do just about anything under the "Anonymous" banner. That makes it extremely difficult to characterize a group such as this, because it is really many groups (and probably even some lone wolves to boot) that have differing agendas and are trying to achieve different things through different methods. So I am sure that what I am about to write below won't apply to every single person that is part of Anonymous or every single action that has ever been done in Anonymous's name.

With that disclaimer stated, I have always viewed online groups that go after others (such as Anonymous often does) as largely being more like an online version of mob justice, only instead of using torches and pitchforks to attack the target of their ire they use distributed denial of service attacks to shut websites down and hacking attacks to expose damaging personal information to the media. Just like with any other large angry mob trying to achieve "justice," it is often easy to overlook or even feel yourself silently approving what they are doing because the people and organizations that they target are often extremely unpopular. Who wouldn't want to see someone cause grief for the large fat cat banks and credit card companies out there, or hack child porn websites to expose the personal information of alleged pedophiles to the authorities? It is *extremely* hard to ever defend those kinds of lowlife scum of society, so it is super easy to look the other way when Anonymous or some other group launches a vigilante campaign against them. But even so, what mobs such as Anonymous are doing is still wrong, because they are bypassing their target's right to due process in a court of law.

One of the things that defines the modern societies that many of us enjoy today is that the accused have a right to their day in court. In British Law-influenced legal systems at least we have been given that right since the days of Clause 29 of the Magna Carta. Due process is necessary because circumstantial evidence can often be mis-leading, and innocent people can often look as guilty as sin because they just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or have interests or associates that happen to look very damning when placed under scrutiny. In a trial there is at least some hope that the truth will come to light and the innocent will go free, but in mob justice the accused's fate is already pre-determined, and they're going to be burned at the stake whether they actually happen to be guilty or not. The members that make up the goon squads of Anonymous and other online groups are human just like anyone else, and as a result they are just as capable of getting caught up in the emotion of the moment and making mistakes just like everyone else. I am sure that there have been people who have had their reputations and/or businesses seriously harmed or damaged needlessly by online vigilante groups when they were targeted erroneously. Just look at this most recent article-- people working under the banner of Anonymous targeted Peter Hain, who had been a supporter of Assange and other causes that are generally considered to be in-line with the Anonymous cause. If that doesn't help drive home my point that these online vigilantes aren't always as discriminating as they should be when choosing their online targets than I don't know what does!

The fact that this kind of online mob justice seems to be becoming a larger and more prominent trend every week is frankly very troubling, and online mobs are springing up to target just about anything that happens to be considered the online target du jour. It's like trolls flaming others with differing opinions isn't enough for some people anymore-- now I am seeing more and more instances where the trolls are actively trying to wreck the real-lives of the people that they don't get along with too. For example, I found an online goon squad that was actively researching the organizers of a local event, and making anything damaging that they could find (such as past criminal records, embarrassing online accounts, etc.) available to the local media as part of an organized smear campaign that they felt obliged to undertake. In other words, this online group decided that their dislike of the presence of an event that they didn't have to attend nor pay any attention to was worth trying to publicly humiliate other people for! For crying out loud-- you no longer need a government "Stasi" trying to turn neighbor against neighbor-- it seems that as soon as you sit certain people down behind a computer screen they lose all sense of civility, empathy, and the "Golden Rule", and instead feel that they have suddenly been granted the divine right to ruin others who don't subscribe to their own sensibilities. There is nothing wrong with people disliking something and voicing their opinions against it, but this trend of groups destroying or interfering with other's online assets, services, and/or personal lives is crossing a line, and the Internet as a whole is not better for it.

"Anonymous Coward" for obvious reasons!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wrong Simile

While I have some sympathy with George Galloway over whether the word "rape" is getting over-used, I think his comments go too far the other way in this case. But whether the particular case would get anywhere in court, none of us can know. As for the people who are pushing the lack of consent line, I have a feeling they're over-focused on the text of the statute. The problem we have is that if Assange doesn't end up in court now, a lot of exploitative sexual chancers are going to carry on as they are.

There's a term which gets thrown around at times like this as a counter to the idea that Assange didn't do anything serious--"rape culture", they say, labelling the counter-claim that these sexual abuses, and so many others, are really OK. Maybe we should call what Assange is accused of doing sexual abuse. Let the courts decide if it was rape, not the newspapers.

We men can admit to making mistakes. Apply the "rape" label, and would anyone want to admit anything?

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