Lulz Security members Ryan Ackroyd (aka “Kayla”) and Jake Davis (aka “Topiary”) of London; Darren Martyn (aka “pwnsauce”) and Donncha O’Cearrbhail (aka “palladium”) of Ireland; and Jeremy Hammond (aka “Anarchaos”) of Chicago have all been arrested by the FBI with help from LulzSec member and
snitch FBI informant Hector Xavier Monsegur (aka Sabu).
LulzSec is known for carrying out DDoS attacks on a variety of websites including the CIA’s and Fox News. They also claimed responsibility for an hack on Sony systems carried out in response to the legal action they were carrying out against George Hotz for jailbreaking the PS3.
LulzSec is frequently tied to Anonymous, and the FBI is trying to brand this as a victory over the hacker group. Anonymous tells the story a little differently…
Anonymous has no leaders, we will still be stronger than ever. LulzSec has been dead for a while.—
Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) March 06, 2012
It will be interesting to see if LulzSec will go down as the internet folk heroes they are or if government and media can twist their image in to something ugly. Only time will tell.
You all probably know I’m strongly opposed to legislation like SOPA and PIPA, but that doesn’t mean I support piracy. I covered Anonymous’ response to the MegaUpload shutdown with a post, but I avoided taking a position aside from the stating that a 55 year prison sentence was too much for copyright infringement. The truth is I needed to think about what the shutdown really meant. I’m not one to make an uninformed decision when picking a side. Even though I know this site gets light traffic and is just “some guy’s blog” in the grand scheme of things, I don’t want to be anyone’s tool for propaganda.
After going back and forth on this, I believe shutting down MegaUpload is a good thing. Here are five reasons why in no particular order:
They had to know their site was being used for piracy
If you had gone on MegaUpload and looked at the Top 100, you would have seen a cavalcade of copyrighted material in every category. Not knowing that essentially means you’ve never been to the site, and I’m guessing the guys running the site had seen the site. You can make the argument that there were plenty of legal uses for MegaUpload, but long term storage was dependent upon the number of downloads. Since no one wants to read your term paper, this led to pirated material being stored and legitimate files being deleted.
They clearly knew their site was being used to illegally distribute copyrighted materials and chose to do nothing about it.
It made people less trusting of “the cloud”
The cloud has its place, but relying too heavily on storage that isn’t under your control is a mistake. People who were using MegaUpload as a safe for important files lost those files when the site was shutdown. It was an important reminder for citizens of the internet to keep their data and primary backup local, and use online storage as a secondary backup.
“…our character’s charismatic grin has provided a ready-made identity for these highly motivated protesters, one embodying resonances of anarchy, romance, and theatre that are clearly well-suited to contemporary activism, from Madrid’s Indignados to the Occupy Wall Street movement.”
Twitter is a service that allows users to send information out on to the internet 140 characters at a time. It allows users to do things as small and personal as wishing a friend a happy birthday and as big and public as breaking global news. It has played a vital role in several popular uprisings around the globe, allowing protestors to communicate and coordinate even when cellphones stopped working during the Arab Spring and Iranian Protests. Here at home it has served as a means of communication for, among others, Occupy Wall Street. It also serves as a method of communications for groups like Anonymous and Wikileaks. Twitter has allowed companies across the globe to change how they do business, facilitating direct communication customers. It is even used by government and candidates to talk to constituents. I mostly use it to increase the odds that someone will find my website, but it’s also good for sharing pictures and posting quick thoughts that don’t really need a full post here on the blog. It has been a good little tool up to this point, but now Twitter has announced plans to delete posts if a country requests it. Read More…
Internet users all over the world can take pride in the fact that our protests seem to have put a halt to SOPA and PIPA. However, it is vital to our online freedom that we remain vigilant. Being put on indefinite hold isn’t the same as dead. The real problem is two-fold: big business has enough sway to make legislators listen and, as is often the case with government, the people in power simply don’t understand what they are trying to regulate. Even today Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said referring to PIPA “There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved.” I suggest you give him a call and tell him why PIPA is bad idea. Here’s his contact info. Don’t bother emailing. Speaking with someone in his office directly is the only sure way to make sure you’re heard. After all, he’s still supporting PIPA, so he’s almost certainly computer illiterate. Make sure to ask why PIPA is necessary when it’s already possible to take down sites like MegaUpload.
So what’s the takeaway from all this? Government and big business will always be conspiring to chip away at our freedoms in some form or another, but government answers to us. It’s our duty to put them back on the right path when they’ve strayed. We the people may not have the money, but we do have the numbers. When we stand united there is nothing we can’t do.
According to a variety of media outlets and their own Twitter feed, Anonymous
has launched an all out assault on is trolling a variety of government and entertainment industry websites. Those hit so far include the FBI, DoJ, RIAA, MPAA and Universal Music Group. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if more sites went down over the next few hours.
Apparently this is being done to protest SOPA and PIPA and in response to the Federal government’s recent action against the MegaUpload file sharing site. The coordinated attack is being called #OpMegaUpload. While AnomicOfficeDrone.com strongly opposes piracy and does not engage in hacking, I can certainly understand the motivation behind these DDoS attacks and believe Anonymous’ heart is in the right place, even if their actions don’t seem particularly constructive. Right now the guys from MegaUpload who are being indicted are facing up to 55 years in jail each for hosting a website that allows other people to upload and share files, a large portion of which turned out to be pirated music. If you go online and look at how much jail time child molesters serve, you’ll mostly find terms between 3 and 10 years. Knowing that, does 55 years sound like an appropriate punishment for allowing others to use your site for file sharing?