Sunday, August 14, 2011

Another pointless Anonymous attack: 2,001 names and passwords of myBART users leaked

Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
Activist Post

Yet again the group known as Anonymous, which has now absorbed the infamous LulzSecurity or LulzSec, carried out an attack on the website of San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and released the names and passwords of a whopping 2,001 users of their online service.

I stand behind Anonymous in one way, but completely oppose them at the same time and, unfortunately, this is not the first time.

I support their opposition to BART’s egregious attack on free speech, but I cannot understand how releasing the names and passwords of everyday users of their site is remotely productive.

Knowing that these combinations can be used to breach other sensitive accounts if people use the same password across sites (which far too many do), and also knowing that this could very well be used by hackers to rob people blind, how can Anonymous think this is positive?

To make matters worse for this detrimental attack, some individuals had their personal addresses and phone numbers released! What good can Anonymous see coming out of this? How is screwing over average Americans going to help stop the actions of BART?


Furthermore, these frivolous attacks, as I have said in the past, serve as yet another bullet point on the list of reasons Washington can use to eliminate all Internet freedom.

These attacks were in response to BART’s Mubarak-like move made in an attempt to stop a protest in which they illegally blocked the use of cell phones.  Of course, BART is claiming this was totally legal and CNET, which since 2008 has been owned by CBS, supported this story by also claiming they were well within their legal rights to impinge on our freedom of speech in order to quell political dissent.

CNET claimed that BART was “within their legal rights,” yet, this is so far from the truth it would be laughable if it wasn’t so disturbing that people actual read things like that and believe it.

The fact is, it is a direct violation of Section 333 of the Communications Act of 1934, which therefore means that BART was breaking Federal law. How the editors of CNET could let such a blatant lie be published on their site is beyond me.

Only Federal agencies may block cell phone communications and only under certain specific circumstances. BART is neither a Federal agency, nor were the circumstances there to justify such an action even if they were a Federal agency!

An article in SF Gate pointed this out and, unlike the trash published by CNET, they actually backed up their claims with the language straight out of the Federal law. The utter drivel published by CNET just proves that much of the mainstream media stands proudly behind government tyranny, even when it is violating the government’s own laws.

According to a citation issued January 26, 2011, by the Federal Communications Commission against Comtrex Communications for illegal cell phone jamming, Section 333 of the Communications Act of 1934 states, “[n]o person shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communications of any station licensed or authorized by or under this Act or operated by the United States Government.” and Section 302(b) of the Communications Act provides that “[n]o person shall manufacture, import, sell, offer for sale, or ship devices or home electronic equipment and systems, or use devices, which fail to comply with regulations promulgated pursuant to this section.”

This incident should be frightening to anyone who enjoys their freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble and protest.

A BART Police Lieutenant, Andy Alkire, told a San Francisco online newspaper called SF Appeal that their cell phone jamming operation was “a great tool to utilize for this specific purpose.”

This specific purpose, in this case means a legitimate and legal protest. I’m sure that tyrants the world over would agree, but our Constitution is supposed to protect us from this kind of naked oppression.

Alkire attempted to justify this by saying that they were attempting to stop a potentially volatile situation from developing. He said, “This group seems to want to challenge BART, challenge the police department.”

Sorry, Andy, but this is America and we are allowed to challenge BART and every police department as much as we please.

Not surprisingly, they are also attempting to divide and marginalize the protesters by painting them as dangerous and unsafe.

BART spokesperson Linton Johnson instructed travelers to, “Report unsafe behavior, do not confront protesters. Stay out of harm’s way.”

Conflating protesters and violent criminals has been a useful tactic throughout recent times to make average citizens feel like they should not agree with or participate in protests.

As you can see, I am staunchly opposed to this move by BART and I happily condemn them for this. However, I would never be able to justify leaking personal information of users who happen to have signed up for their website that notifies consumers of discounts, events and contests.

As I have pointed out in previous articles, if Anonymous actually cared about political activism and freedoms they would help organize protests and actual activism, not “hacktivism” that is both detrimental to the victims of the attacks and useful for those pushing an anti-Internet freedom agenda.

Obviously this move by Anonymous has already irked the innocent victims of the hack attack, and this frivolous leak of personal data has actually moved some to support BART!

One unnamed woman who had her personal information published by Anonymous told SF Gate, “I’m not upset at BART for shutting the cell service, I’m upset at whoever is hacking this and publishing the information. They are marking themselves look bad and they are disrupting BART service. They’re making people unsafe.”

Clearly I do not agree with her first statement, but indeed Anonymous is making themselves look bad and are possibly putting people in danger of having their identity stolen, not to mention violating their right to privacy.

Friday’s protest against BART never occurred, and now Anonymous is just helping along the illegal and highly unconstitutional anti-Internet freedom movement.

If you think Anonymous is helping us by releasing personal information of innocent people that had absolutely nothing to do with the cell phone shutdown in any way, shape, or form, I would love to hear from you. Please e-mail me at admin@endthelie.com and let me know why exactly you think this is okay and what you think they are accomplishing by carrying out these hack attacks, other than exposing security holes in municipal websites.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at admin@EndtheLie.com




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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I dont have any info on this matter, but is not possible that BART itself released this info and blamed Anonymous and then the public opinion will support them?

Kinda online false flag attack.

Just guessing...

jack said...

Anonymous is a CIA front...Its getting harder and harder to keep sheeple in line so they are getting desperate..expect some major cyber attack that will shake the world and start of something big...Its all psycological battle.

Conspiracy 101..If you see anyone fighting against the NWO and yet comes in lame stream media like wikileaks...know that..its CIA/Mossad/Illuminati front

Anonymous said...

What makes you think it was actually Anonymous?

Anonymous said...

Reply to 2 posts above:

Anonymous is not an individual. It is also very easy to impersonate, as it is,....anonymous to a large degree.

A look at Chiga La Mingra and the Man[tech] hacks might offer reasonable dispute to Anonymous being a CIA front. With due respect, I think if you gathered a bit more info on the matter, you voluntarily rephrase yourself. Hactivism is obviously not a "CIA front", but is just as obviously vulnerable to a CIA front.

Lamestream media? You mean like Crazy Horse? Collateral Murder? Iceland? Hmm.. You may want to add a pinch of fairness to your appraisal, and consider that whistleblowing has become a dangerous thing, and that people are not exactly groveling at Julian's feet to leak data that might jeopardize their lives.

Their are certainly oddities involved; but none enough to draw such conclusions from. Mockingbird did not render our media completely dishonest, but did do substantial damage. What next? Will we let the pentagon sockpuppets have us all so paranoid that we trust no one at all, and live like crazed schizophrenics? How about critical thinking? It goes a long way.

E.I.A said...

In response to jack ("major cyber attack"):

I wrote some funny stuff on that subject in attempt to match the absurdity of the notion, and get in a few cheap shots: http://eccentricintelligenceagency.info/archives/3180 - Warning*Vulgar
&
http://eccentricintelligenceagency.info/archives/3397 - Warning*Vulgar

You are entirely correct. They will hack themselves if need be in order to gain more control of the internet, and gather more donations (tax dollars) for their great cause (scam). We should indeed expect something foul - nothing less than another OKC, or 9/11, with equally dubious and convoluted implementation and presentation.

For a beautifully concise perspective on such things, see: https://www.xkcd.com/932/

I would still strongly dispute any suggestion that Anonymous is CIA/FBI; although they most certainly will be exploited by, or infiltrated by such cults. And it is not "Chiga La Mingra", but more correctly "Chinga La Migra". That one did have a thing or two which I highly doubt the CIA found beneficial to their cause, especially considering that very few people even bothered to look.

But as far as the Anonymous website goes, I also wrote a slippernote on that, with a descriptive mockery of their illustration: http://eccentricintelligenceagency.info/archives/2874

Also, it must be considered that so far, all hacks have been low-level data breaches, and NOTHING classified has been compromised. This is very important when considering the hysterical reactions of office-commandos like Hayden and Cofer.

Hail Eris!

Anonymous said...

The group itself is probably a bunch of teenagers, but they are directed and prompted and paid for by the CIA or whoever wants the internet under lock and key. That's ok, because we'll simply mask everything behind floating proxy servers and through bit torrent technology masked as Messenger technology. Alex Jones and the alternative media WILL not be silenced!

Anonymous said...

I definitely believe Anonymous is the U.S. government. A group truly defending free speech would not release rider information. They would have released employer/employee information. That would have hurt them. Releasing information on the riders simply angers the people, who will call for "enforcement" of the Internet. Doesn't make sense to me.

Anonymous said...

A minor issue with an otherwise-good post. 47 U.S.C. § 333 probably doesn't apply here, because BART shut down its own network, not a common carrier's network. The citation of In re Comtrex Comm'n, Ltd. also doesn't apply: Comtrex marketed unlicensed devices designed to jam public networks. BART didn't jam anything: it merely shut down the underground wireless repeaters that it owned, which didn't affect the carriers' networks. BART's actions were shitty, but probably not illegal.

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