Friday night topic: The ethics of Anonymous and LulzSec

I’m sure most of you are familiar with Anonymous and LulzSec at this point—they’ve certainly made plenty of headlines. Well, in a joint announcement released the other day, the hacker groups have called for a boycott of PayPal over the company’s decision to withhold donations from WikiLeaks. The statement refers to denial-of-service attacks against PayPal in December as a “digital sit-in,” and it slams U.S. authorities for not seeing them as such.

In its coverage of the story, VentureBeat quoted an interesting response by white-hat hacker Sam Browne. Here’s what Browne said:

A lot of people say that Anonymous is morally and legally justified to take down sites with denial of service. The difference between that and a sit-in is that in a sit-in you are physically present and you permit the police to arrest you. Here is where Anonymous reveals their complete lack of moral fiber. If you really want to protest the law and you want to break the law, Gandhi and Martin Luther King showed how to do this. You stand up in public with your real name and you let the police arrest you for doing something like blocking traffic and then this causes a public examination of why you did that and whether your cause is important.

This all raises some interesting questions. Are DDoS attacks the modern-day equivalent of sit-ins and peaceful protests, and should they be viewed as such by the law? Or are they simply vandalism carried out by people who, above all, strive to skirt accountability?

Discuss.

Comments closed
    • idgarad
    • 8 years ago

    It would appear once again that progressive post-60s education has continued to butcher the definitions of morals and ethics.

    • RhysAndrews
    • 8 years ago

    Ok, so
    LulzSec Australia hacked our Christian school website by putting up a rather disturbing news article, plus some other bits and pieces. They did it a few times actually, and it was a real nuisance. We’d done nothing to provoke them and the school does not fight against anything that Anonymous stands for. I for one am all for freedom of internet etc.

    In other words, they’re giving this anarchaic approach to fighting for freedom a bad name. It’s a lousy excuse for just dicking around.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 8 years ago

    How exactly does society in general speak out against companies that control large aspects of government, lobby our senators, ignore laws, and blatantly screw over customers ?

    -The multi-million dollar ad campaigns guarantees that the ignorant/complacent will overturn any “voting with our wallets” that the informed try to push.
    -Voting for the more noble politician is a joke, as the entire system is corrupt top to bottom.
    -Some services are one-of-a-kind, so we can’t just ‘not’ use them.
    -The average joe doesn’t have a bottomless wallet/time to fight in court against teams of lawyers.
    -Traditional media is owned by these same companies, so burying/twisting a story is easily done.

    These guys do a lot of stupid things, but to me, their general “cause” is just. They want to point out the fucked up, the illogical, the unfair, the stupid of the world; and say “No, we won’t be having this”. Are they right? Are they wrong? In many cases their reasoning is correct…It’s just a shame that their method is flawed. But as it stands, I see no other way for the general populous to make any kind of meaningful splash in the world.

    • tech329
    • 8 years ago

    We face the uncomfortable situation where those persons who we have elected to keep the citizen / government / business relationship running smoothly are less than responsive.

    This is the entire reason we have LULZ and Anon. They would not have come into being except for the fact that a need exists. In one way or another equitable representation, for all citizens, is necessary.

    • kalizec
    • 8 years ago

    Companies that, through their action or wilfull inaction try to influence politics should, imho, be disbanded by law or at least have their corporate executives removed and prosecuted.

    As laws to such effect are lacking and those companies are not real living beings, I see no wrong in ‘punishing’ them for the miscreants they are.

    The original idea of a corporate entity was designed to make it more easy for groups of people to work together for the benefit of the public. These days they’re just used as shields for legal prosecution of the misdeeds done in the name of profit for its shareholders.

    For any interested, go watch the movie “The Corporation”. If afterwards you consider actions like that of PayPal still not worthy of DDoS; then, imho, you’re siding with the companies, against humanity…

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      1. Fairly impossible to enforce without serious repercussions. Look at what happened when RIM was almost shut down? This would have impacted the government’s operation itself!

      2. Countries already have laws that companies need to follow. Not every country is as lax as the U.S. in enforcing these laws. [b<]The United States also has more regulatory compliance laws than all other countries combined. A brief example: The U.S. has more than 20,000 individual laws or regulations on JUST data retention amongst all states, municipalities, Federations, courts, etc.[/b<] 3. Again, this is a failing of the governments enforcing their own laws. The governments benefit from the same miscreants. The people [b<]both benefit and are harmed[/b<] by corporate actions. 4. I protested Paypal years ago by cancelling my service. I quit AMEX because they could not guarantee my personal information. I have a blacklist of companies (at this point 20 or so long) I no longer do business with. The best way to impact a corporation is to have the population pull their dollar. [i<]Nothing[/i<] speaks faster than loss of revenue/loss of shareholder value to a corporation[/i].

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 8 years ago

      This should be the highest rated comment in the thread. It goes to show just how successful propaganda is that it isn’t.

      Thanks to the negative votes for proving my point.

    • crabjokeman
    • 8 years ago

    I wish Anonymous would go after the DEA because Obama is a backpedaling sell-out.

    • trackerben
    • 8 years ago

    If these minds are of a trendy counterculture then they are merely preening vandals. If they do it to extort gain then they are merely petty thieves as well. Many DDoS and phishing attacks are motivated so. But these are common criminals, nothing to lose sleep over but for the few who stupidly allow collateral damage to the general public. Most anonymous and lulzsec wannabes are likely in this camp. Their leaders and core talent on the other hand could have parallel agendas, as they can wear many hats furtively. The Patriotic internet gangs of China are the current example. Nominally independent of state control, many are willing to do occasional contract work for the cause, elevating the threat they would normally pose.

    More dangerous are associations organized anarchically but resourced collectively. These target political, commercial, and religious entities with campaigns to damage productivity or reputation, or to compromise political integrity. Many of this type are manipulated by outside but interested parties, collectives who seek competitive advantage over their collective rivals via third-party attack channels. Political, ecoreligious, and media orgs with Anonymous-like affiliates are examples.

    It’s no coincidence the oil, nuclear, and now the alternative-energy industries fund entire defensive and offensive slates of these groups to influence regulatory and public-opinion landscapes. Similarly, personal ethics of Murdoch’s news empire may contrast the corporate ethics of Media Matters and its partisan fronts, yet the latter’s means and intent mirror the former. Most big and questionable operations fall within this sphere of collective-on-collective attacks, where strategic goals and scope are at a lesser scale than that of nations and transnational movements.

    Even more dangerous but also rarer are cultist groups whose ideologies or recidivist religions advance militant extremist at the scale of nations and transnationals. Jihadist wannabe hacker-terrorists are of this type. Fortunately for now, these guys tend to be less competent at internetworks than at oppressing their own peoples. The few cultists competent enough to cause real damage were mostly maleducated westerners focused on attacking their own homelands.

    The worst of this type would be groups allied with organized and disciplined cults like Marxist-Leninists and nationalist Islamists. These people could, if the times were ripe, target broad vulnerabilites in, say, the worlds’ financial and health care system to induce social mayhem and perhaps even collapse (“the worse things are, the better for us”) to advance their fantasy millenialist schemes. If the quasi-state Hezbollah and the Iranian Guards organization ever develop competitive teams, they would redefine this arena of threat. Wikileaks partly counts here as it deliberately acted to help undermine real-world diplomatic relationships, i.e. Pakistan and the so-called Arab Spring . That is if it wasn’t actually a false-front/false-flag shaping operation as the conspiracists say.

    The groups whose activities are currently most alarming to security pros are state agencies and their tech suppliers and civilian clients. The Chinese with their numerous official and militia groups are everyone’s favorite bogeys here, but the North Koreans are also on the threatboard with their own cyberwar school. Statistics on wins and losses are by necessity obscured because of the sensitivity of the areas in danger, and so there is no complete threat assessment available publicly. What we do know is that the resources and capabilities implied by the recent penetrations of prime tech and defense contractors like Google and Lockheed Martin define what it takes to be in big leagues, and the pace is picking up.

    DoD is preparing a new code defining US-connected infrastructure as a battlespace in a continuum of near-war scenarios, where physical counterattacks are seen as viable retaliation and deterrence options in the menu of legitimate responses to damaging cyberwarfare. It’s not that non-state groups have no presence here, as many are still useful as “cyber militia” as in the examples of China and Estonia. It’s just that, aside from IT firms with the deepest benches of talent, the top game has progressed to the point where stuxnet-level contests between rival states and their proxies is the benchmark.

    • Thanato
    • 8 years ago

    In order to “sit in” you need to be a programmer? How do you sit in on a web site on the other side of the world?

    • rika13
    • 8 years ago

    Firstly, the modern “peaceful” protest where people sit in crosswalks and block traffic and crap is not peaceful by any means. It is the use of force to seek one’s ends, the only difference is the weapon is simply changed from a gun to the laws and norms of society. It can cause injury or death, not just to idiot protesters who get ran down, but also interferes with ambulances, fire trucks, police, utility workers (some people need power to live, things like a/c in the summer or for nebulizers) people driving to the hospital, etc.

    It isn’t “We should see DDoS attacks as virtual peaceful protests.”, instead, it should be “Obstructive protests are the IRL version of DDoS attacks.” and the protesters should be punished for more than simply loitering or blocking traffic. Also DDoS attacks and other cybersecurity needs to be taken more seriously by both companies and the government, not just when *Sec comes knocking.

    If someone wants to protest, they can do it through legal channels, get permits, assemble in areas and in a manner that does not obstruct traffic.

      • Voldenuit
      • 8 years ago

      Playing Devil’s Advocate, do you then condone the actions of corrupt governments like Libya, Egypt and Malaysia cracking down on peaceful protesters?

      The right to free assembly is essential to democracy, and many real life governments deliberately suborn or suppress this right to maintain their illegal grip on power.

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 8 years ago

      So in other words only protest in a way that accomplishes nothing thereby rendering the point of protesting moot?

      Protesting has always been about disrupting the flow of everyday life in order to bring attention to an underheard problem or issue.

      The freedom to assemble is under attack generally – here in the US and elsewhere. I’m surprised you don’t see that. I’m also surprised that you think that protesting has this long history of being law abiding or that the police even care when it is.

        • rika13
        • 8 years ago

        What I am saying is that if a small group wants to say something, they have to do so legally. The KKK, whom are universally hated, gets police protection when they march because they get permits. The Million Man March and the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear were also legal in that they got the permits and behaved themselves. Twenty kids blocking traffic illegally should be arrested as they are a danger to themselves and others. Moscow’s gay pride parades are routinely refused permits because the city knows the protesters will get hurt (the cops can’t keep them safe from anti-gay protesters) and outright tells them that, they still march anyway and get their asses kicked. Legal protests can include signs in your yard, not unlike the various campaign signs for politicians, rallies and marches with permits and authorization, that internet thing the media claims is inspiration for Arab Spring, contacting your representatives, etc.

        Also, Libya and Egypt were NOT peaceful. Libya is in a civil war with us illegally helping the rebels (Obama is in violation of the War Powers Resolution) and Egyptian protesters had no problems setting things on fire. The Greek rioters were prepared and brought their own gas masks. The Wisconsin union protesters, also protesting austerity, were far from peaceful, as they vandalized the state’s capitol building and showed no lack of uncivilized behavior. The differences between the Arab spring riots and the austerity riots in Greece and Wisconsin are commitment and universality. Twenty kids blocking traffic for a day to complain about us (but not any of them personally) being Iraq vs TWO MILLION in Tahir Square (not to mention the rest of Egypt) for months enraged about decades of blatant in-your-face despotism.

        Free speech and assembly are not under attack. What is under attack is the idea of the “peaceful” protest, not by government, but by overuse and a lack of civility. Years ago, it was a tool for communicating a wrong, but overuse and uncivilized behaviors (such as blocking roads and such) have turned it into an annoyance where it incites the people against you and your cause.

          • destroy.all.monsters
          • 8 years ago

          You are fundamentally and provably wrong. You really need to read your history.

          Change does not happen based on whatever theories you’re trying to espouse here.

    • jackaroon
    • 8 years ago

    Anonymous has been doing interesting stuff (still, undeniably criminal) and seem worth paying attention to, but lulz is just crazy jerks. I don’t like to see them lumped together.

    • LaChupacabra
    • 8 years ago

    The idea of Anonymous and Lulz is something that I deeply support. They are people who, theoretically, despise corruption and are fighting for transparency of reason for people who are socially, economically or politically powerful. A lot of the things that they have exposed have shown why people who fall into one of those categories do what they do, and the borderline terrifying implications of how blurred those three types of power are.

    But

    DDoSing Gene Simmons, while hilarious, destroys a lot of their credibility. Don’t get me wrong. He said unbelievably stupid things and painted a target on himself. He had it coming. What is incomprehensible is thinking of either of these organizations as motivated by anything other than the lulz. What both of these groups have attempted to do is gain media coverage to the information that they have gathered. And the travesty is that because of the LOIC, and where Anonymous was initially, it is hard to take them seriously.

    Saying a DDoS is the Internet equivalent of a sit-in is ridiculous. A DDoS is the equivalent to beating somebody until they can no longer speak. It removes the capacity for the companies to represent their side of an argument through one of their official channels. The travesty of this situation is that both of these organizations have a group of motivated individuals that could gather and reveal information that might really bring awareness to what they are now fighting for. It would be amazing to see these two groups band together and start their own take on wikileaks. Unless they stop with the LOIC, and stop griefing companies for not acting the way that Anonymous and Lulz wants them to, they will never have anymore credibility than terrorists.

    And that’s a damn shame.

      • cynan
      • 8 years ago

      [i<]It would be amazing to see these two groups band together and start their own take on wikileaks. Unless they stop with the LOIC, and stop griefing companies for not acting the way that Anonymous and Lulz wants them to, they will never have anymore credibility than terrorists.[/i<] Yes, I agree. The best way to lead (and ultimately gain the sympathy of the masses) is by example (which I believe is what the portion of the quote referring to Martin Luther King Jr or Ganhdi is getting at). Unfortunately leading by example requires integrity and vast amounts of patience and hard work with no guarantee of any real success as the said masses don't tend think about things beyond their own personal wants and needs unless it is thrown in their face. However, whatever sympathy you do engender by these more peaceful means is much more enduring. The alternative is to hit people over the head, which is what these guys are doing. Sure, it makes a bigger splash, but the sympathy gleaned is much more fleeting and tenuous, if ever there at all. At the extreme you have the ugliness that is terrorism or mass oppression when done by a party that holds power. Most people - in addition to whether or not they agree with the principle or how much their own liberties are at stake - simply don't like to feel that they are being strong armed toward one perspective or another (which is why propaganda exists and why the fear element in terrorism is so crucial).

    • ShadowTiger
    • 8 years ago

    I think that comparing a DDOS to a sit in is much more accurate than comparing it to vandalism.

    However, neither analogy is very useful.

    It is true that average citizens have no way to enact change in their government or society, and that this is very frustrating. Since the whole system is corrupt and inefficient… there is no hope for change… so I see stuff like this as feeble and inconsequential.

    However, IT staff are being forced to keep on their toes and I hate complacency in the tech industry.

      • BenBasson
      • 8 years ago

      I would argue that a DDOS instigated by actual users making actual requests (with the motivation of taking a site offline) using only their own computers is the only way the analogy could hold up.

      The problem is that this is never the case, and DDOS can only be carried out effectively via huge networks of compromised machines. It would be pretty difficult to perform the equivalent for a sit-in (round up thousands of people and push them through the door)…

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    So much drama and butthurt over stupid BS.

    Let the drama queens play out their roles and make the rest of the world realize how boycotting Paypal isn’t going to change things.

    • Voldenuit
    • 8 years ago

    While I’m undecided about the ethical nature of DDoSing, especially with regards to the anonymity issue, I find that there is a parallel with the corporations that Anonymous targets.

    If protesters protest against the government at a sit-in (and face the legal risk of arrest), there are public figures and politicians that can be held accountable.

    However, when you’re dealing with many modern corporations and conglomerates (especially multinationals), not only is there often no physical space you can protest, the individuals responsible may also be either unextraditable or themselves completely anonymous.

    Why is there a double standard of anonymity being practiced? Corporations (and governments) should be forced to be more accountable and transparent in their actions, and if they are not, then they encourage cyber vandalism to become a legitimate form of protest.

    • dashbarron
    • 8 years ago

    I can appreciate a healthy rebellion now and then. Sometimes they seem to be on the verge of making a difference and doing some good.

    But…what they seem to do most of the time is borderline if not illegal, and don’t theyoccasionally release personal data on CEOs if not customers of CEO’s companies (I could be wrong on the last one). Giving out public information, history, telephone numbers of even the CEOs and encouraging people to phone in is down-right harassment. The CEOs might make some of the decisions to which most customers might find in bad taste, but the CEOs probably aren’t willingly** pasting consumer data all over the internet and encouraging people to call in with death threats.

    When work follows you home in the form of terror with a weapon of bodily harm, pain to your children, and death threats, things have gone too far.

    • strikeleader
    • 8 years ago

    Why don’t they use their evil powers for good and go after the terrorist organizations that actually kill innocent people by the hundreds. I guess I can understand their frustration with governments and big corporation but some of the stuff that they do is very harmful and can get innocent people killed when they release confidential documents that the general public has no need to know.
    Or, putting on my tin foil hat, maybe they are working for some repressive government that is trying to destroy freedom from within.

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 8 years ago

      This comment shows a stunning amount of naivete. I don’t even know where to start.

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 8 years ago

        “This comment shows a stunning amount of naivete. I don’t even know where to start.”

        Naivete, so basically meaning its a good idea but unrealistic.

        I mean the point he makes is valid. The targets of these organizations more often then not is the lesser of two or more evils. I think the fact that they can overlook nations that make ethnic cleansing a public policy and attack nations that fight to stop that is kinda telling as to who and what they are. I guess I’m thinking more of LULSEC than anonymous here but really their is tons of underutilized resources. Its disheartening that The Taliban has its own lulsec Esq movement but the west gets a social movement that attacks itself. Western society is not unlike the american congress in that regard.

          • destroy.all.monsters
          • 8 years ago

          No, not that it’s a good idea because it isn’t. It’s a kneejerk joe user type of comment that fails to grasp how things work.

          DDOSing a country will not change anything because financially it won’t affect them – and certainly not in the same way that DDOSing a corporation will. S/he’s also using the wrongheaded analogy that the west (or first world nations, or the US – take your pick) have not and don’t use ethnic cleansing or actually care about it abroad when our strategic interests (oil 99 percent of the time) are not involved.

          The comment presumes that the effect on governments will be the same that it would be on corporations which it would not.

          The comment conflates Anonymous/Lulzsec with Wikileaks when they are not the same nor are their goals the same. Aligned quite probably – but not the same. The comment takes the small view that the governed need not know what the government does – and it is astonishing to me how much we’ve capitulated to the powers that be (and abandoned any ideals of the 60s) while hypocritically stating that government is “too big”. That’s a lot of mental gymnastics to believe both simultaneously.

          Basically his/her comment could easily be derived from any mainstream news source and shows zero underlying comprehension of events – and merely what large corporations have chosen to spoon feed you.

          This is far from a case of “the West attacking itself”. It’s about redefining values and saying are the people more important than the corporations that rule us.

          There is no “us versus them” meaning us versus the arab world or the taliban. That’s a sideshow. We created the Taliban in the first place.

          Groups exist to do the work they see that needs doing. Do you expect PETA to start bombing Pakistan? If the CIA wants to hire people to do the kind of work that you are talking about they’re free to do so.

          If you think that all our ills are based on what happens elsewhere in the world and not right here at home then you must be the same type that punches his wife and asks her why she forces you to hit her.

            • trackerben
            • 8 years ago

            “We created the Taliban in the first place.”

            ?????

            I think the Afghans, Saudis, and Indians would disagree, along with the Pakistanis. The Pushtuns on both sides of the “border” would particularly, violently disagree as a matter of pride alone. Note that I’m not mentioning the US and other Western nations who abandoned the region in the 1990s after the Soviets left their own socialist client in the lurch under the “tribal management” of the ISI, that most rogue of the three Pakistani services. Their agents were running Pushtuns on both sides of the border for influence as well as stability from well before the Soviets invaded in the 1970s. Well before Carter and Reagan realized we and our Arab allies had a joint opportunity to fund and upgrade Afghan rebel efforts via the ISI’s existing networks without inviting a MAD Russian response. This is the same ISI whose rogue elements planned and directed Haqqani operations in Kashmir and in India and kept them from undue US attention until now.

            Few claim the Haqqani or the Northern tribal network or the varied drug lords are creations.of CIA. Why so? Because the Afghan branch of militant Pushtun tribes is the most they care to know of as it is the easiest one to recast within the dogma of decadent anti-Westerns, which is that of an America creating enemies and messes by its own policies and character. Inconvenient things like the ISI, Haqqani, Mumbai, Massoud the Lion, Northern tribes, drug and criminal gangs, Afghan government corruption, Abottabad, or the current Pakistani government’s confrontation with Islamist agents just don’t fit and just won’t get mentioned.

            When one hears of an all-powerful, all-everywhere CIA (a fiction which ironically the Agency itself likes to keep alive among our enemies), it’s usually an artifact of hoary old Soviet Bloc infowarfare first propagated by media fronts long since forgotten for good reason. What’s funny are the claims that the CIA is behind most everything. When they are just behind, mostly. The same agency which overestimated the Soviet economy, left the SW Asia region to the ISI’s mercies, was blindsided by Pakistan’s new nukes, did not foresee the Moscow putsch, failed to warn of 9/11, wrongly assessed Iraqi nuclear WMD, and which deferred so much to DIA covert mojo because until recently it was a shadow of its former shape. With what is publicly known and trivially verifiable of its performance, its a wonder that decadent and cultist critics assign it such a fine reputation.

    • HurgyMcGurgyGurg
    • 8 years ago

    The objection to Browne’s reasoning would be that you have no equivalent recourse to do a “traditional” sit-in for a company like Paypal.

    If we’re really stretching for justification, DDOS attacks put the user at far greater legal risk due to various federal laws than a regular sit-in. One could argue the anonymous counterpart meerly dilutes it back to average.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 8 years ago

      how else are you going to “sit in” an e-service? I can’t say I approve, and the gov. will just use this crisis to pass more cyber security bills to broadly wiretap everyone on the internet. Say goodbye to free speech, if it hasn’t already left. The infrastructure is already in place.
      [url<]http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20078653-281/police-internet-providers-must-keep-user-logs/[/url<] Anonymous should instead sue paypal, and find alternative means to support wikileaks. DDoS attacks are pointless, and do more harm than good, although it does stir up the media.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        bombard their support email with messages and call center with phone calls protesting.

          • destroy.all.monsters
          • 8 years ago

          Not the same effect – and it takes far more time out of your day. Sure, it could be organized – possibly using facebook. How long that would last would be anyone’s bet.

          I find it strange that people don’t seem to remember that any group that’s tried to effect change has been infiltrated, spied on, COINTELPRO’d and made harmless in some way, shape or form. There is a significant penalty when either protesting covertly or overtly. It is significantly worse when it is a left wing cause or group.

      • jpostel
      • 8 years ago

      Then they should all announce their allegiance and participation by name. 100 people being arrested would be sufficient to shine a light on their cause and people might be more willing to listen to their message.

      I think the trick here is that it is actually a much smaller number of people (maybe 20? 30?), so they still seem like a small enough group to be labelled “extremists”. Hell, PETA, Right to Lifers, Creationists, etc. all have significant voices and, although sometimes seen as extreme, garner attention and a certain amount of respect, even from their opposition. The other key is that those groups have significant membership, that is for all intents and purposes, public info.

      And of course, this assumes they have a message that someone will be willing to listen to and accept.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 8 years ago

        Money talks – I’m sure if Anonymous and Lulzsec had tons of cash they’d lobby.

        The difference between them and PETA, anti-choicers, Creationists is that all of them can easily be defined as actual terrorists. Each group has participated in destruction of (real and actual) property and in loss of life and murder. All except PETA used the christian fairy tale in order to justify it.

        In most cases it requires a great deal of propaganda in order to get the unthinking masses mobilized (see Fox, the Koch brothers etc and how they tie into the teapartiers).

        Until someone incredibly rich starts supporting the two aformentioned groups they don’t have a hope in hell. At least what they’re doing now draws attention to a variety of online injustices.

        What they are doing is critically necessary.

    • calvindog717
    • 8 years ago

    i don’t really have much to say on this topic, but boycotting a web service sounds pretty non-violent.

    happened to run across [url=http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=22280<]this news article[/url<] , any interest?

    • ludi
    • 8 years ago

    Browne’s reasoning is correct. A sit-in exposes you to the consequences of your actions while a DDOS attack is drive-by vandalism.

    Interesting how the people who crow the loudest about their right to engage in behavior “x” are usually the ones who are suffering the least for it, and fold like a wet blanket the second that the consequences catch up with them.

    • SecretMaster
    • 8 years ago

    I also think it is interesting to note that the “geek/nerd” culture of Anonymous/4chan/Reddit is very much akin the counter-culture of the hippies in the 60’s. Maybe that is a bit less true now, as many individuals of that group have taken into the real world and are becoming the societal norm, but I still think it stands pretty strong.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      so this is the…counter…counter…culture?

        • SecretMaster
        • 8 years ago

        I just remember Moot testifying in some trial a year ago or so and reading the transcripts. As he was trying to explain the language used by a particular 4chan user to the rest of the courtroom, it really makes it stand out. Isolating the language like that out of its proper context does give a new perspective, and I can only imagine what the rest of the individuals in that courtroom, who weren’t a part of that culture, were thinking.

        I think when you expose the majority of individuals who haven’t been around it and let them “experience” it, it probably comes off as very esoteric and [i<]weird[/i<]. I imagine the feelings were similiar back in the 60's when the majority of the adult population encountered the hippie movement.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 8 years ago

          Indeed, it is very weird in 2011 to be calling everyone you don’t like “fag”. I got over that when I was in 6th grade.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            Everyone on 4chan gets called a fag, whether you like them or not.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 8 years ago

            Just something else I got over in 6th grade. Everyone knows that when I like you, I call you “honky”.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            I was just pointing out it’s not an insult, it’s a synonym for person.

            Which doesn’t make it right/not insulting/not weird, but there it is.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    The boycott is because they got cold feet once a handful of people responsible for the DDoS attacks got arrested.

    [url<]http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2011/07/key-lulzsec-figure-nabbed-as-legal-attack-on-paypal-launched.ars[/url<] They're scared so they're resorting to perfectly legal tactics. I must say, I'm amused.

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 8 years ago

    Terrorists.

      • SecretMaster
      • 8 years ago

      I wouldn’t say terrorists because that implies they are invoking some sort of fear.

      I’d say [s<]sociopaths[/s<] idiots

        • paulWTAMU
        • 8 years ago

        I’d say chickens***s personally. I doubt they’re truly sociopathic (at least I doubt most of them are). They’re just a group of idiots that like causing minor mischief and have a grossly inflated opinion of themselves.

          • SecretMaster
          • 8 years ago

          True, I guess I should say I don’t mean the psychological definition of a sociopath. Idiot works better.

      • Meadows
      • 8 years ago

      Are you what they call a desperate “moralfag” on every such topic?

      Edit: I bet you don’t even know what terrorism is.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        I dunno, man. The FBI has no problem spending a great deal of time arresting them. That makes them pretty highly-sought-after criminals, at the very least.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 8 years ago

          Was Al Capone a terrorist?

            • Byte Storm
            • 8 years ago

            Did they even classify people as terrorists back then?

            Not saying I agree that Lulzsec and Anon are terroists, cause I don’t. I think they’re a bunch of dumb children and young adults (<30 for the most part) thinking that because they know stuff about computers, that they can use that knowledge to dirupt other peoples lives.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            I’m pretty sure they did. Well before Al Capone was the anarchist scare, and they treated them like terrorists.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 8 years ago

            Exactly. Back then the gov had to play by the rules to catch criminals. Now the gov is criminal, and they don’t play by the rules.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 8 years ago

            He was, in my own words, a highly sought-after criminal.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            Yes, but your tone was strange.

            “I donno man” – What don’t you know? If they are terrorists or not?

            “pretty highly-sought-after criminals, at the very least.” – Why at the very least? Why does someone have to be more than that?

            • derFunkenstein
            • 8 years ago

            Like I said, I dunno. Maybe they are a subset of terrorism. Maybe not. I don’t react strongly to that word anymore; like most people I’ve been desensitized to people over-using it.

            Tartlets. TARTlets. TartLETS. The word has lost all meaning. /Friends

            edit: I just want to add that terrorists’ ultimate goal is to scare people into submission. As is LulsSec/Anonymous, I think. So in *one* way, they’re not too dissimilar.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            Ok, which is why I asked you if Al Capone was a terrorist. By your definition, he would be.

            If you said no, then I would have pointed out hypocrisy in calling someone pulling internet pranks a terrorist, while someone who caused dozens of murders to be committed wasn’t one.

            I personally, don’t like your definition, as I think it makes about 90% of criminals terrorists. What criminal doesn’t use fear at some point to get what they want. I think you could also classify a number of politicians as criminals.

            What separates a terrorist from just your average violent criminal, to me, is that terrorists target 3rd parties to get what they want. They blow up buses to convince people riding in bullet proof limos to change their polices.

            Hacker groups who actually go after the companies they don’t like–to me–are not terrorist. Now, say they use the information they got from PSN for nefarious deeds, and it’s more of a blurry line.

          • Meadows
          • 8 years ago

          It only means they don’t really have much else to do.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 8 years ago

            I dunno, man. I’m not comfortable with letting people bring down websites and breaking into corporate networks they don’t like and letting them go unpunished.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 8 years ago

            Right, like there isn’t already laws against that. Lets just broadly paint with the terrorist brush, and spy on everyone. That’s the answer.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 8 years ago

            You have to ENFORCE LAWS because criminals don’t FOLLOW THEM. Having the law isn’t enough. Terrorist wasn’t my word, quit painting ME with a broad brush.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 8 years ago

            True, criminals don’t follow the law. That’s why nobody was arrested for passing the patriot act, the bailouts are a joke, and the country is going down the tubes. There are dozens of legitimate reasons Obama/Bush should have been impeached too, but no dice.

            Terrorist may not have been your word, but you certainly insinuated that “anonymous” would be getting away with something illegal otherwise. eg: “letting them go unpunished”. There’s plenty of things they can be prosecuted for, no need to send civilians to Guantanamo.

            I don’t think what they’re doing is even all that bad, and it’s mostly an exaggerated issue, but they’ll all probably get million dollar fines, and decades of jail time with the way our system works. Not only that, but most of them are stupid underage kids. Nothing like ruining a kids entire life for an protest stunt. Make em do community service or something.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 8 years ago

            If you don’t arrest them and enforce laws, how are they being punished? You’re making verrrrry little sense.

            • paulWTAMU
            • 8 years ago

            That’s got nothing to do with using an inappropriate label on a subset of criminals.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 8 years ago

            I’ll tell you, too – it wasn’t my word. And they are still highly sought-after. Maybe you should reply to JAE instead of me, because your beef is with him.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 8 years ago

            Are there effective alternatives? Because I certainly don’t see them.

            Money and the lack of it are the biggest factors in who gets heard and what message gets out. It might be overstating it to say that we are being reduced to serfs but I don’t think so.

      • moriz
      • 8 years ago

      kids.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 8 years ago

      To be accurate to the MIAC report, we are all terrorists now, so no rights apply according to the patriot act doctrine. But that’s only if you believe in the gov’s lies. We all have natural rights that are derived from our humanity, not the gov. The whole terrorism thing is a brainwashing trick to make you give up your rights. What did Franklin say about that Hmmmm? You get neither. Enjoy your new corporate fascist state.

      • Vasilyfav
      • 8 years ago

      Terrorists are gambling with US economy in congress right now.

      These are just dumb kids. Like you.

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 8 years ago

        LOL. So true. However, the default fear mongering is a lie. The gov won’t default if the debt limit isn’t increased, as long as they continue to make payments, which they are capable of doing. Obama just wants to spend more money. Either way the country has already defaulted by printing money, as the dollar continues to lose it’s value with more bailouts.

      • paulWTAMU
      • 8 years ago

      annoying asshats != terrorist. We’ve really diluted that term; I think it’s replacing “Nazi” as the go to phrase for various jackasses that we wish to dismiss easily.

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 8 years ago

      They’ve won. You can see them in the House right now.

      • PenGun
      • 8 years ago

      We are all terrorists now. Time for a nice T.

      • albundy
      • 8 years ago

      stop using IE…!!!

      • BoBzeBuilder
      • 8 years ago

      You are the terrorist my main man, you just don’t know it. It’s part of the whole terrorist thing, you don’t know you are one, no one does.

      • Krogoth
      • 8 years ago

      Terrorists = new communist

      It is the Red Scare all over again. Grossly exaggerated FUD over paper tigers. It is done to justify the existence of overpaid military contracts (Pork bills).

      • Grape Flavor
      • 8 years ago

      Wreaking havoc and destroying things (like PSN) unless your demands are met IS terrorism. You are using fear and intimidation to get people to bow to your will.

      It’s not a boycott where you are within your rights to urge others to not patronize an establishment. You are destroying their service unless they cave to your agenda – the digital equivalent of throwing a molotov cocktail into Starbucks unless they operate according to your personal whims. Maybe one day you guys will grow up and realize these kind of tactics aren’t okay just because you personally may disagree with something the target did.

      The nail in the coffin for these groups is more often than not, their agenda isn’t anything like democracy or human rights. It’s something laughably selfish and petty like wanting to pirate video games.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 8 years ago

        Boycotts are largely ineffective.

        I don’t see their agendas as being worse or more selfish than corporations trying to dictate terms to the rest of us. Is infinite profit a humane or even desirable goal?

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