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Designer Arrested Over Anonymous Press Release 288

Posted by samzenpus
from the opposite-of-anonymous dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Greek designer named Alex Tapanaris, whose name appeared on the PDF press release circulated by online trouble-makers Anonymous has had his web site disappeared and, according to reports, the unfortunate chap has been arrested. THINQ managed to talk to Alex on the phone, and while he wouldn't confirm his arrest, he 'certainly sounded spooked,' the web site reports. 'No comment,' he said and hung up. The press release sought to explain Anonymous's aims and lack of any formal organization. It explained that the Anonymous name is applied to a shifting roster of individuals who come together on an ad hoc basis, depending on individual concerns and practical, day-to-day matter such as who happens to be online at the time. Clicking on the document's properties revealed Tapanaris as its named author."
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Designer Arrested Over Anonymous Press Release

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  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @05:13PM (#34566152) Homepage Journal
    When someone is arrested, isn't there a public record of it? Why not call the local police to verify instead of calling the guy directly? In fact being able to call him directly suggest that he has not been arrested.

    Creating a press release describing how Anonymous isn't some group with centralized leadership doesn't seem like a crime to me either.

    I can't help but to think that this sounds like media whoring at its worst. Basically a big prank pulled on the public at large.
    • by bsDaemon (87307)

      Just because he was arrested doesn't mean he was actually charged with anything, or still being held. He could have been released and thus perfectly able to answer his phone. Of course, just because they didn't have enough to hold/charge him doesn't mean they didn't have enough to get an order to wire tap him in hopes that he'd say some dumb, incriminating shit to people.

    • The worst possibility is to be stalked by legions of anti-wikileaks vigilantes.

      This guys life may very well be ruined over this as now he's going to face the Greek version of COINTELPRO. Read about operation Gladio.

      And because he's Greek the CIA, NSA and US Military can use full force on him. They don't even have to pretend to respect his human rights or civil rights like they would if he were an American. Extrajudicial justice from the vigilantes will be what he could face just by having associated himsel

    • When someone is arrested, isn't there a public record of it? Why not call the local police to verify instead of calling the guy directly?

      Oh, they have their sources.

      A bloke named Alex Tapanaris, whose name appeared on the PDF press release circulated by online trouble-makers Anonymous has had his web site disappeared from the web and, according to a post on pastebin.com, the unfortunate chap has been arrested.

      Everyone knows that pastebin is irrefutable.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      In the US yes but I don't think this was in the US. The story said was Greek but that doesn't mean that he was in Greece. Plus do we have hard date besides a link in pastebin?

  • If I come out with a press release saying that "Us KKK members killed hundreds of black people." I wouldn't be arrested right? I mean, I am saying I am part of a group that committed murder but that isn't enough to arrest me right?
    • Associating your name with authorship of a document describing illegal activity is probable cause, and yes it is enough to arrest (at least in US, apparently Greece) someone, but probably not enough on its own for a conviction.
    • by entotre (1929174)
      Ask the oracle..
    • by Tetsujin (103070)

      If I come out with a press release saying that "Us KKK members killed hundreds of black people." I wouldn't be arrested right? I mean, I am saying I am part of a group that committed murder but that isn't enough to arrest me right?

      If the regular police didn't come after you for that, the grammar police might.

  • by notque (636838) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @05:16PM (#34566214) Homepage Journal

    The news media continues to focus on the drama surrounding Wikileaks and Anonymous instead of focusing on the cables.

    How many US new organizations reported on the Cable from Tegucigalpa detailing that the Honduras Coup was illegitimate? This was a big news story, and an important situation in Honduras that has immediate impact on understanding the Obama administration.

    It also shows that the Obama administration lied, and helped support the coup government by their actions.

    So.. who is covering it? And compare that to another article on the drama surrounding it.

    And that's just one cable. How many more will come out of great importance that everyone will ignore to instead focus on what Assange is doing.

    It's not Assange or Anons fault, it's the News doing it. But this is their out.

    This allows them to totally ignore the importance of the cables. And keep repeating that "nothing significant" is coming out.

    • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @05:33PM (#34566542)
      OK, all you did was find a cable from the U.S. Embassy in Honduras that reflects the position taken by the Obama Administration at the time that the Legislature and Supreme Court of Honduras got the Honduran Army to remove the President of Honduras (who just about everybody agrees was committing a crime defined by the Honduran Constitution at the time). It does not show that the Obama Administration lied or that it supported the "coup" government, since the Obama Administration opposed the coup government, even to the point of suggesting that they would not recognize the results of the previously scheduled election.
    • by booyabazooka (833351) <ch.martin@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @05:39PM (#34566610)

      Stop mentioning these things, damnit, I'm not allowed to read about them! I'm just here for the drama.

    • Do you even know what you are talking about? What part of Coup do you think people don't understand? What happened in Honduras was a Coup and everyone knew that long before the Cables came out. All the cables expose is some diplomats opinion of how Honduras should have delt with the Coup. Like the crew that just took over the ship is going to have a trial about how that was not legal. Since when is a Coup legal? Who cares that behind closed doors our diplomats were cursing up a storm. In the end thei
      • by makomk (752139)

        Everyone knew it was a coup, but if the US State Department had admitted it, certain funding they were providing to Honduras would've become illegal under US law - so they avoided admitting the obvious as long as possible. The leaked cables just prove that they knew their public position was bullshit.

  • Whoops (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @05:16PM (#34566218) Homepage
    Word processors that remember your name and fill in author metadata for you are sure helpful, aren't they?
    • by Thelasko (1196535)
      That's why there's Doc Scrubber. [javacoolsoftware.com]
    • Word processors that remember your name and fill in author metadata for you are sure helpful, aren't they?

      That's why I always use suitably generic 'names' for those sorts of things, like:

      "Windows User" or "Apple User" or "MSOffice User"

      It satisfies the software (some of which absolutely insist that you give them something in order to use it) but if the 'name' ever leaks out it doesn't draw attention to itself and is yet totally generic.

    • by hey! (33014)

      Word processors that remember your name and fill in author metadata for you are sure helpful, aren't they?

      No they're not. If you doubt me, I'll forward you the memo. Check the metadata and you'll see that it's from the desk of God Almighty Himself.

  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @05:18PM (#34566264)
    Is he charged with designing graphics? With sympathizing with an unsavory group? How the heck would that arrest warrant look? How is the creation of that document even something in the vicinity of a crime?
    • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @05:23PM (#34566364) Homepage

      How is the creation of that document even something in the vicinity of a crime?

      He used the Comic Sans font.

    • by forkfail (228161)

      He was also guilty of facecrime [wikipedia.org]; that's what put the authorities on his trail in the first place...

    • by jpapon (1877296)
      Are denial of service "attacks" even a crime? If I get a few thousand of my friends to drive down a road at a particular time to create a traffic jam, is that a crime?

      I'm really asking...

      • by Dr. Spork (142693)
        It's an interesting question that might be unsettled in some jurisdictions. About the intentionally-caused traffic jam, I bet that would be a crime in the US, but I don't know the law well enough to know what the exact charge would be. But in any case, there is no indication that authorities have any evidence that this guy did any denial of service attacks. It sounds to me like they're intimidating him into snitching on others. I don't see why else they would mess with him. No court in a first world country
      • by Pharmboy (216950)

        Are denial of service "attacks" even a crime?

        I hope so. If not, what would stop your competitor from simply swamping your ecommerce servers with garbage to hurt your sales and presumably improve their own? How is a DDOS any different than blocking the entrance to a brick and mortar business to prevent customers from entering? In both cases, you are simply jamming up entry to a place of commerce to prevent the company from doing regular business. Should Coca Cola Corporation be allowed to constantly atta

      • If I get a few thousand of my friends to drive down a road at a particular time to create a traffic jam, is that a crime? I'm really asking...

        Of course it is.

        You have launched a conspiracy to deny others the right to travel without interference and delay. You and your friends are obstructing the public roads with potentially life-threatening consequences.

        Police. Ambulance services. Fire and rescue...

        It won't matter if you are a thousand miles away when someone gets hurt.

        It's your game. Your ball.

        Conspirac

        • by jpapon (1877296)
          Right, but is the act illegal? The brick and mortar examples only further my argument; I don't see why a store couldn't hire hundreds of people to swamp a rival's shop. Of course, the people hired would have to leave the competitor's store when asked to do so, but I don't see anything illegal in the initial act of putting employees in a rivals store.

          Regardless, I'm not asking if denial of service attacks are malicious; clearly they are... their intent is to deny service. My question is whether or not they

    • by Hatta (162192)

      It doesn't have to be a crime to cause the chilling effects the authorities are looking for.

  • So if an arrest has been made on the basis of software user registration details, surely the appropriate response is to start flooding the Internet with questionable documents (kitty porn, bomb-making instructions etc.), all in the name of a specific celebrity target?

  • by Magada (741361) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @05:30PM (#34566482) Journal

    That (as they say) is all.

  • Media Doesn't Get It (Score:5, Informative)

    by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3&gmail,com> on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @05:35PM (#34566564)
    Slashdotters,

    Here is a case-in-point (rather old) showing that mainstream US media just doesn't get it. Anonomous and Lulz [youtube.com]


    U.S. Media,

    Anonymous is not a secret hacker organization. It is the literal definition of the word. It is not a proper noun. It is just individuals acting without large-scale coordination, all pissed off for their own reasons, acting in semi-cohesion, and participating in groupthink. It is people either trolling for lulz [encycloped...matica.com], or lulzing for lulzing.

    People downloading music are like anonymous. There is not a collective group organizing the individual downloaders. They just do it. The people "at the other end of the stick" view it as us against "them", and to have a proper OMGSCANDAL, you need a perpetrator, so they made one. And if they didn't cognitively make one for the purposes of degrading freedom on the internet, then it's more lulz for us and more idiot points for you.

    Sincererely

    The Lulz.
    • by alvinrod (889928)
      Individual participation in something like this hasn't existed on a big stage since the Athenians. Is it really shocking that the establishment doesn't seem to grok it? This is something that doesn't clearly fit into the D or R bags so no one really has a damned a clue what exactly to do with it. The party mentality permeates every aspect of their thinking. It's no wonder that they try to label it as just another group.
    • You know too much about Anonymous and used their calling word, "lulz". Just like Tapanaris. Now you can expect the partyvan.

    • by Jahava (946858)

      Slashdotters,

      Anonymous is not a secret hacker organization. It is the literal definition of the word. It is not a proper noun. It is just individuals acting without large-scale coordination, all pissed off for their own reasons, acting in semi-cohesion, and participating in groupthink. It is people either trolling for lulz [encycloped...matica.com], or lulzing for lulzing.

      People downloading music are like anonymous. There is not a collective group organizing the individual downloaders. They just do it. The people "at the other end of the stick" view it as us against "them", and to have a proper OMGSCANDAL, you need a perpetrator, so they made one. And if they didn't cognitively make one for the purposes of degrading freedom on the internet, then it's more lulz for us and more idiot points for you.

      I'm not so sure of this. Long-term members or not, the term "Anonymous" is being used by the media to refer to the collective group of individuals who (anonymously) participate, at any given point in time, in attacks claimed under the pseudonym. To claim that "Anonymous" is not an organization is disingenuous. They have a website, a common cause, and some degree of leadership involved in coordination. Just because leadership, members, and activities are impromptu and decentralized doesn't mean that the tag

  • Has anybody noticed that the New York Times seems to have stopped printing more cables articles since the 9th?

    Have they caved already?
  • Just as hacking should be left to the real hackers, not the script kiddies, press releases should be written by real PR people, not word processing kiddies.

  • by peter303 (12292) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @06:01PM (#34566912)
    Messing around with sovereign governments is not a game. If you dont understand how you leave footprints on the web you should not get involved. More mature hackers can avoid this.
  • by JumperCable (673155) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @07:28PM (#34568064)

    Check out the austerity measure riots going on.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuJZdWTiaJM [youtube.com]

    I don't see them having time to mess with this kid.

  • by SharpFang (651121) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @04:13AM (#34571336) Homepage Journal

    Anonymous doesn't mean people who keep their identities secret, shadow figures nobody knows about, mysterious strangers. No.

    Anonymous is synonym for "Joe Average". An anonymous person you pass by on the street. Somebody who doesn't mean a thing to you. Name not hidden, but unimportant, totally not worth writing down. Somebody who means nothing as a single person, whose loss won't be mourned by anyone significant, just a disposable person. They are aware of being meaningless people with no worth as individuals. But as a bulk, they form a formidable force. And if one or ten or a hundred is lost, this changes nothing. They were just some anonymous people, but The Anonymous lives on.

Don't steal; thou'lt never thus compete successfully in business. Cheat. -- Ambrose Bierce

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