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Print 15 comment(s) - last by purerice.. on Feb 13 at 2:18 AM

Some say it infringed on the free speech of those who weren't charged with any crimes

Hacktivist group Anonymous was the target of a cyberattack launched by British spies, according to more document leaks by former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. 

According to NBC News, the British version of the U.S.' NSA -- called the Government Communications Headquarters Communications (GCHQ) -- launched a cyberattack against the hacktivist group using its Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) division.

The documents detailing the attack were pulled from a 2012 NSA conference called SIGDEV via PowerPoint presentation. 

In an operation called "Rolling Thunder," JTRIG launched a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against the internet relay chat (IRC) rooms, which are used by members of Anonymous. 

JTRIG agents also posed as Anonymous members to infiltrate IRC rooms and locate those responsible for attacking government websites and stealing personal data back in 2011.

In 2011, Anonymous attacked PayPal, some major credit card companies and government websites such as those for the FBI, CIA and GCHQ. This was called "Operation Payback" for the prosecution of Chelsea Manning. 


The documents show that JTRIG was out to bust those responsible, and launch covert cyberattacks. JTRIG even used social networks like Facebook and Twitter to warn its suspects that hacking and DDoS attacks are illegal. Phone jamming and other undercover operations were used by JTRIG as well.

It seemed to have worked, as the documents show that 80 percent of those in the IRC rooms vanished within a month after receiving the warnings. 

JTRIG was also able to locate those responsible for the 2011 attacks and even convicted a hacker who stole 8 million records on PayPal. 

While the operation proved successful, many say JTRIG went too far with Rolling Thunder because many of the Anonymous members involved were teenagers, and JTRIG's focus and attack on communications among hacktivists means the agency infringed the free speech of people who were not charged with any crimes. 

Gabriella Coleman, an anthropology professor at McGill University who is writing a book about Anonymous, said that targeting Anonymous "amounts to targeting citizens for expressing their political beliefs."

Source: NBC News



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hypocrisy
By Ammohunt on 2/5/2014 3:22:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Gabriella Coleman, an anthropology professor at McGill University who is writing a book about Anonymous, said that targeting Anonymous "amounts to targeting citizens for expressing their political beliefs."


Yet when anonymous steals peoples personal information or otherwise causes legally operated business and the people that patronize them to have a bad day no rights are violated?




RE: hypocrisy
By Motoman on 2/5/2014 3:26:12 PM , Rating: 3
The point is that breaking the law to try to punish someone who broke the law isn't the way to fix anything.

Two wrongs don't make a right, and all that...


RE: hypocrisy
By Solandri on 2/6/2014 4:09:23 AM , Rating: 2
Not that I condone what GCHQ did here, but what you say simply doesn't apply to the government. If a criminal flees in a car at high speed, the police don't have to stay within the speed limit. Many states have laws requiring the consent of both parties if one of them records a phone conversation, but the government is excepted from that requirement if they get a warrant for a phone tap. It is illegal to incarcerate someone against their will, but that is precisely what the government does when they send someone to prison.

There's a regular set of laws for the general population, and a less restrictive set of laws for the government and law enforcement who are tasked with enforcing the regular laws. What needs to be decided is if operating a DDoS is or isn't one of the things the government is allowed to do. (I'd vote no because of the negative effect the high network traffic has on innocent third parties.)


RE: hypocrisy
By mmatis on 2/6/2014 7:31:45 AM , Rating: 2
But when the FedPigs shi+ on Mere Citizens who have committed NO crimes, then the pigs are even WORSE than the criminals they pretend to pursue. I hope that "Law Enforcement" across the world will not be too surprised by what is coming to them and theirs when Mere Citizens have had enough.


RE: hypocrisy
By Akerans on 2/7/2014 1:59:15 PM , Rating: 2
What were those "Mere Citizens" doing in those kind of chat rooms to begin with? Those people may not have physically helped commit those crimes, but being part of those conversations, watching it go down, and doing nothing to prevent it makes them just as guilty under certain laws.

Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with free speech and sharing information with one another. But, when people are participating in chat rooms that are designed for action, not just sharing information, they're not "Mere Citizens" any more.


RE: hypocrisy
By mmatis on 2/8/2014 8:36:25 AM , Rating: 2
Still sucking them pigs, eh?

"If you're not doing anything wrong, why do you care if they search you?"


RE: hypocrisy
By purerice on 2/13/2014 2:18:22 AM , Rating: 2
It doesn't seem as though they got a warrant for the attack so it does seem a little illegal but "FedPigs" is a term that applies to a federation. The British government that performed the action you claim to detest is not a federation, so "FedPigs" cannot qualify. StarTrek, OTOH, qualifies meaning Jean Luc Picard just may be one of your "FedPigs".


RE: hypocrisy
By Ammohunt on 2/6/2014 2:25:47 PM , Rating: 2
Or fight fire with fire.


RE: hypocrisy
By Murloc on 2/5/2014 3:51:17 PM , Rating: 2
that's like proposing to spy on all muslims because sometimes one of them goes boom.


RE: hypocrisy
By tonyswash on 2/5/2014 6:23:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yet when anonymous steals peoples personal information or otherwise causes legally operated business and the people that patronize them to have a bad day no rights are violated?


It's actually a bit more complex than that. There is an extremely good and very informative documentary about Anonymous made by the BBC called "How Hackers Changed the World - We Are Legion", if you dig around you can find torrent downloads. Definitely worth watching and a very interesting story.


About damn time...
By NicodemusMM on 2/5/2014 6:31:35 PM , Rating: 2
"...the agency infringed the free speech of people who were not charged with any crimes."

Not really. The Agency was just speaking up for those of that want to tell Anonymous to shove their immature antics, get outta momma's basement, and get a life. Anonymous is more of a nuisance to the people they claim to represent than they are to the entities they claim to detest.




RE: About damn time...
By holymaniac on 2/5/2014 9:36:13 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to be putting Anonymous down as if you are somehow above them in moral standards. I am not claiming they are perfect, but at least they are making statements and doing something about the problem. What are YOU doing that is better? Or do you even see the scope of the problem they are fighting?


Uhhh...
By Motoman on 2/5/2014 2:42:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It seemed to have worked, as the documents show that 80 percent of those in the IRC rooms vanished within a month after receiving the warnings.


...I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that these 1337 ha><ors maybe found another place to go and chat with each other. Rather than just give it all up because somebody spooked them in one chat room.




Everything's illegal...
By inteli722 on 2/5/2014 2:52:08 PM , Rating: 2
Unless it's preventing criminals from breaking the law...Did they seriously just DDoS people to stop the people DDoSing? That's, like, Anonymous-level hypocrisy right there.




Tatrum level RED
By Divide Overflow on 2/6/2014 7:35:24 PM , Rating: 2
Hundreds of housewives are reporting the temper tantrum meltdown of the man-child with asperger's syndrome living in their basement.




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