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Scientology Attacker Will Be Sentenced To Jail 354

Posted by kdawson
from the taking-one-for-the-team dept.
OBG writes "A Nebraska native charged with taking part in a massive cyber-attack against the Scientology website will be spending the next year behind bars. 20-year-old Brian Thomas Mettenbrink will plead guilty to the charge of unauthorized access of a protected computer for his involvement in the denial of service attack, which was orchestrated by the online group 'Anonymous.' Mettenbrink's is the second successful prosecution connected to the 'Anonymous' attacks. Last year, Dmitriy Guzner of Verona, New Jersey, was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for attacks on Scientology sites."
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Scientology Attacker Will Be Sentenced To Jail

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @06:20AM (#30914996)

    We are Anonymous Cowards, all your base are belong to us.

    • by dintech (998802) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @06:21AM (#30915008)

      Not so Anonymous now by the looks of things...

      • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:11AM (#30915264) Homepage

        That is because strong anonymity works best when keeping a low profile. Disruptive actions tend to leave a wide trail.

        Wise Beard Man was right: The consequences of using illegal means in this conflict will eventually outweigh the benefit.

        (Still, jail seems kind of disproportionate. Scientology has engaged in worse online censorship-fraud without even being fined.)

        • by jimicus (737525) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:55AM (#30915422)

          (Still, jail seems kind of disproportionate. Scientology has engaged in worse online censorship-fraud without even being fined.)

          Scientology has enormous amounts of money to ensure this remains the case.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Proxy? What proxy? I can buy a 3G modem of reliably dubious origin for $20 1. Change my browser agent to Red Dragon 2. Visit ****http://www.scientology.org**** 3. Repeat step 2. until knowledge and wisdom acquired (or wget if busy). 4. Setup "Chinese Democracy/Cheap Tibet" Facebook account 5. Decorate site (sic) with hotmail addresses of scientology senior members (big supporters of free speech and progress) 6. Invite scientology members to be my facebook friends 7. Post my Backstreet Boys and Boy George al
        • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:29AM (#30916192) Journal

          (Still, jail seems kind of disproportionate. Scientology has engaged in worse online censorship-fraud without even being fined.)

          So if I murder Tony Soprano I should be punished less than if I murder your wife?

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Yes.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Bragador (1036480)

            If you kill Hitler you should be punished as much as if you kill your wife?

            See how it goes? That's why we have judges so that they can decide how hard a person should be punished.

          • by tehcyder (746570) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:51PM (#30919154) Journal

            So if I murder Tony Soprano I should be punished less than if I murder your wife?

            As Tony Soprano is a fictional character, then yes.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:55AM (#30915426)

        You're missing the idea behind Anonymous.
        We are not Anonymous because we hide our names.
        We are Anonymous because our names mean nothing.
        We are disillusioned mundane people who are nothing and mean nothing.
        We are something only as a Legion.
        We are fans of Fight Club, but without illusions, a leader or a purpose. And with more malice.
        We are tired with the system, and break it when and where we can.
        Our only powers are numbers, variety and unpredictability.
        Losing one or two of us means nothing.

        They try to give a name to the threat, by providing the name of one of the people behind the Anonymous. That's like trying to fight avalanche by removing two rocks from it and giving them names.

        • by Chicken04GTO (957041) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:43AM (#30916358)
          Wow, that's very poetic and all deep and shit. Tell me, oh nameless one, those two rocks who got stuck in jail...how do they feel about being nameless and being referred to as nothing? I think they'd disagree. You are only anonymous until you really piss someone off enough to come after you, then you are an individual hung out to dry.
          • Re:We are Anonymous. (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:00AM (#30916552)

            What do I care?
            The chance it will be me next time is infinitesimal.
            I know the risk and take it with full awareness. So did they.
            And if they come for me after all, I won't cry to Anonymous for help, because I know it won't come. None of us means a thing, and if you think otherwise you are deluding yourself.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Dr. Evil (3501)

              The attacks on Scientology are admirable, and have shown that there's at least one way to get under the Scientologist's skin.

              But I think this might be the only value of Anonymous. Other organizations aren't so shaken by distributed attacks of this form, or those that are, have more harsh penalties. Scientology is different. They're evil, big and worldwide. They have secrets and a reputation built on secrets. They also operate within the rules of society. So while attacks like this will work on Scien

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            His name was Robert Poulsen.

  • Justice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nawitus (1621237) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @06:22AM (#30915012)
    So, if you beat up somebody, you'll probably get less jail time than refreshing a website several times using a script?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mea37 (1201159)

      One of the more annoying displays of bias is to desribe the act you think should be more severely punished as what it is, and then describe the act you think should be less severly punished in terms of a series of constituent actions. Bonus points for effectively lieing about what actions make up a DoS attack.

      A more apples-to-apples comparison would be "so if you tap someone on the back a few times, you'd probably get less jail time than refreshing a website a few times with a script".

      Also, punishments for

  • by chentiangemalc (1710624) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @06:25AM (#30915034) Homepage
    Scientology Gullibility Test http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IQQE04_TCM [youtube.com]
  • by pla (258480) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @06:29AM (#30915050) Journal
    Why do we bother traveling around the world to fight religious extremist terrorists when we can do it right in our own back yard? And then to put people in prison for it... Okay, I suppose Anonymous' activities probably caused some unintended network congestion outside their specific targets, but hey, I'll take "lag" over "DU syndrome".

    "Now, at home they'd hang me, here they'll give me a fucking medal, sir."
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Fizzl (209397)

      RAMIREZ, TAKE DOWN ASSTHETANS WITH YOUR KNIFE

      Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like whimpering Lorem ipsum dolor foofaa

    • I wasn't aware that Scientologists were hijacking aircraft, setting off bombs, shooting women and children, launching DDoS attacks, and generally behaving like terrorists.

  • An (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rarez (107909)

    As the one's who stood up for us all.
    The one's we can tell our children about.
    The good guys not the bad guys.
    They are victims and Scientology is and always will be a cult and more to the point. If Anonymous always needs to hide they're faces it's quite obvious they have reason to be frightened.

    Lest we forget the one's who take them on they are our neighbours, our friends maybe even your family.
    Keep up the work guys and gals!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      He's not a good guy. He's ruining other people's properties to achieve a political purpose.

      The people running www.xenu.net, which documents the cult's criminal behavior in candid detail, or who published "The Scandal of Scientology" or "A Piece of Blue Sky", now _they_ are good guys.

  • Seriously? (Score:2, Insightful)

    inb4 should have been behind over 9000 proxies.

    As long as parents have the legal "right" to force their (property) offspring into organized religion, ethical people have the RIGHT to use force to oppose such religions.

    The State and Capital depend on religion to keep people focused on social wedge issues so they don't question the fundamental power structures of our society. Poor Americans vote for tax cuts for the rich, ecological policies that will make the world unlivable for future generations, and impe

    • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Extremus (1043274) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @06:44AM (#30915112)

      As long as parents have the legal "right" to force their (property) offspring into organized religion, ethical people have the RIGHT to use force to oppose such religions.

      Dangerous phrase.

      • by sznupi (719324)

        Two sides of one coin, at worst.

    • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jandersen (462034) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:25AM (#30915312)

      ... ethical people have the RIGHT to use force to oppose such religions

      Ah, well, that is where it gets problematic, isn't it? There is no universal, objective standard for "good ethics", and in extreme cases we have people such as the terrorists of all denominations, who feel they have the ethical right to kill innocent bystanders "for a higher truth". Evil is evil, even if you use the excuse of a good cause.

      Of course I understand the sentiment - it is galling to see a large organization like Scientology, that is considered a criminal organization in many countries, get any sort of victory, however small. But we are only as good as our deeds; and a crime is still crime, even if it is committed against criminals. This is the price you pay for being good.

      And anyway - criminals like Scientology are always going to win if you play by their rules and fight them with their own dirty methods; they have much more experience in that game.

      • There is no universal, objective standard for "good ethics"
        Nope. Moreover religion and government's ethical standards have been particularly bad....but hopefully we can have some kind of pragmatic utilitarian definition of ethics without getting into too much philosophical pointlessness. Something like, "rules that give us the greatest personal autonomy, satisfaction of desires, absence of pain, etc". Preservation of proportionality: "Your say in a decision should be to the degree that the decision eff
      • It isn't that extremist feel ethically bound to kill innocents, it is because they feel morally obligated.

    • he State and Capital ....No Gods!
      No Masters

      Oh puhlease! If you hate us so much, why shouldn't we oppress you? Besides, if there's no god, there's nothing wrong it. It's just survival of the fittest, and you aren't fit.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by khallow (566160)

      As long as parents have the legal "right" to force their (property) offspring into organized religion, ethical people have the RIGHT to use force to oppose such religions.

      [...]

      Poor Americans vote for tax cuts for the rich, ecological policies that will make the world unlivable for future generations, and imperialistic wars,

      Sounds like you belong to one of those liberal/environmentalist cults. Since you're trying to oppress (even if legal and morally right) someone, I as an "ethical person" have the RIGHT to use force on you? What's the criteria?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Since you're trying to oppress (even if legal and morally right) someone, I as an "ethical person" have the RIGHT to use force on you? What's the criteria?

        I don't propose oppressing anyone. I propose giving young people the right to free association. This means taking away the parent's right the keep youth as chattel. Adults should not be able to have title (custody) of other human beings, if such title gives them to right to indoctrinate and censor. So...when young people come together to learn (as
        • by Shakrai (717556)

          Adults should not be able to have title (custody) of other human beings, if such title gives them to right to indoctrinate and censor.

          What you call "indoctrinate and censor" most people would call "passing down family traditions". Either way, I don't see how your notion of making people who haven't reached the age of majority wards of the state instead of wards of their parents represents any real improvement.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by EatHam (597465)

      As long as parents have the legal "right" to force their (property) offspring into organized religion, ethical people have the RIGHT to use force to oppose such religions.

      Ethical people generally are not hyperbolic idiots or religious or anti-religious fanatics, therefore do not assert a right to use force to influence people's religious beliefs.

      • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by delirium of disorder (701392) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:57AM (#30915914) Homepage Journal

        People can believe whatever they want. But face it, few freely choose their religion. Most just go about beliveing whatever their parents foisted on them.

        We need to acknowledge that we live in a society. We no longer live in hunter gatherer tribes. Two parents are not longer sufficient to raise a child. It take a whole society. Whatever material and ideas that the parents give to their offspring, they got from the larger group. Whether we like it or not, child rearing is already a part of mass society. We need to stop allowing parents to use the violence of restricting necessities (affection, food, shelter) to indoctrinate youth into religion. Young people are given the choice: have faith in some crazy shit, or give up your whole support system. We need enough public social support for youth (food, personal care and relationships, shelter, education, etc) in order that they be free to disobey their crazy parents.

        Then we will see quite the revolution!

    • Start a political party or GTFO

      • Start a political party or GTFO
        Private financing of elections. Restrictive ballot access laws (third parties often need more signatures to get on than the two main parties). First past the post. Single member districts. Winner take all elections. No proportional representation. No shadow cabinets. Corporate power. Brand recognition of the major parties. Fundamental limits of all electoral politics. Fundamental limits of all state actions. Etc. . .

        There are dozens of reasons why third parties
    • Please don't lump all religions into the same group based on the actions of Scientology (not that I'd call that a religion, mind you). Not everyone who follows a religion is interested in ramming their beliefs down other people's throats. I'm Jewish and honestly don't feel that the world needs to be converted to Judaism or that everyone needs to give up bacon or anything like that. I'm happy practicing my religion in peace and teaching it to my children. If you ask me about my religion, I'd be glad to t

  • by ddxexex (1664191) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:42AM (#30915370)
    Everyone here on /. knows Scientology is evil. But why did Anonymous do something stupid with a denial of service attack? Now the Scientologists can say Anonymous is a terrorist organization, get rid of all its critics using the PATRIOT act and get some good PR too. The only way Scientology will be defeated is if there is some major internal schism or everyone realizes they're not the nicest religion out there.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by kshade (914666)
      The only thing that needs to happen IMO is the police/the feds raiding "gold base [angrygaypope.com]" to free the [alaskareport.com] slaves [courthousenews.com]. After that they should be declared a criminal organization.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by meringuoid (568297)
      Now the Scientologists can say Anonymous is a terrorist organization

      Oh, yes... they can smear the reputation of Anonymous. I think the phrase someone once coined for that was 'pissing into an ocean of piss'.

  • by florescent_beige (608235) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:57AM (#30915442) Journal

    In some ways you can think of a person's brain as a computer.

    When can we expect Scientology types to go to jail for fucking with peoples' heads?

    • by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:18AM (#30915612)

      In some ways you can think of a person's brain as a computer.

      Think about a banana

      Did I just have illegal access to a computer system?

    • by Viol8 (599362) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:24AM (#30915658)

      After all, the catholic church is probably responsible for more misery in africa due to its attitude to contraception than any other single institution.

      All religions fuck with gullible and/or insecure peoples heads. How is scientology different?

      • Last time it happened in XIX century, lasting a bit into the XX.

        Nothing good came out of it though, more or less just a fight with the same old methods between one religion/"grand ideology"/whatever and the other.

  • Yet again... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blind biker (1066130) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:52AM (#30915888) Journal

    Yet again, in the USA the more money buys the "better justice".

    And the Co$ has gobs of money.

  • Unfair? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by therufus (677843) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:58AM (#30915920)

    So, if I start a cult and force my members to kill people I see as a threat I'm absolved of punishment. But if I make your computer system go haywire for 10 minutes, I'm sentenced to jail time?

    Well, [sarcasm]I can see how that's fair![/sarcasm]

  • Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Errtu76 (776778) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:02AM (#30915954) Journal

    I don't agree with Scientology at all, but if you('re stupid enough to) get caught DoS'ing their site you deserve to go to jail.

  • From the new article he was just one of the masses who downloaded and ran the software.
    So how was he caught? Did he stuff besides using the DoS software?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:11AM (#30917532)

    To pre-emptively counter the usual no-worse-than-Catholicism thought-terminating cliche, here is a very fresh anecdote about an OT-VII from a WISE software development house. Dude uncovered a pattern of embezzlement where his boss sent several $200,000 - $250,000 payments to CoS. Boss set dude up with the promise of a check and capped him on his son's birthday. There is a mystery briefcase, too. It may contain Marcellus' soul.

    http://forums.whyweprotest.net/15-media/1st-degree-murder-rev-william-rex-fowler-scientology-minister-charged-60161/

    Adams Co. business owner thought to be victim now charged in death of former co-worker

    The owner of an Adams County software company has been arrested and charged with the murder of his former business partner.

    William Rex Fowler was charged with first-degree murder in the Dec. 30 shooting at Fowler Software Design that killed Tommy Ciancio, 42, the Adams County district attorney and sheriff said today in a news release.

    (...)
    Employees of the software company, which reportedly had suffered financial difficulties since 2008, related in part to the transfer of as much as $200,000 to a church or charity by Fowler, told investigators that Ciancio arrived around 10 a.m. Dec. 30 to collect his check.

    (...)
    Investigators say the gun was registered to Andrew Hyung Fowler, 26, who lived at 1413 L. Ron Hubbard Way in Los Angeles, when it was purchased. In interviews with police, Andrew Fowler said he gave the gun to his father for Christmas in 2007.

    Police also found a briefcase and a typed note, dated Dec. 30 and signed by Fowler, that advised there was nothing confidential in the satchel and that it should be given to his wife, Janet.

    When Janet Fowler was interviewed by detectives, she told them she wanted the briefcase returned immediately.

    "It is important to me and my church. It is religious material and I want it now," she said to investigators. "Even if you looked at it, and read it, you would not understand anything in it. Because it is way above a normal person and you would not know what it meant. I want it back right now."

    Janet Fowler also reportedly told investigators that her husband "is a Scientologist and would not have gone without a fight. He would have grabbed a gun in a struggle and would not have let someone shoot him."

    She also told investigators that Ciancio had sent e-mails to Rex Fowler, threatening to hire an attorney and sue over money he said was owed him.

    Adams County officials said Fowler is in custody, but would not say where he is being held. He was last at Denver Health Medical Center, but his name no longer appears on patient rosters.

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