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Crime Your Rights Online

FBI Cybercrime Director Comments On Hacktivism 254

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the please-don't-blow-up-parliment-thanks dept.
bdcny7927 writes "In an exclusive interview with CIO.com, the FBI official in charge of cybercrime speaks for the first time with the media specifically about hacktivism. Here, Assistant Executive Director Shawn Henry describes the threats hacktivists pose, the challenges associated with investigating them, and the FBI's success disrupting these groups. He also delivers a special message to hacktivists." The so-called special message: "My organization is a believer in civil rights and civil liberties, and the first amendment is something I hold very dear personally and professionally. I have no problem with people picketing and protesting in the street. I get all that. But the freedom for me to swing my arm ends where your nose begins. If you are impinging on others' rights, that's illegal."
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FBI Cybercrime Director Comments On Hacktivism

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  • by redmid17 (1217076) on Monday December 19, 2011 @09:00PM (#38428944)
    Except when it gets in the way of my job or something I want to do. Also the 4th amendment is definitely out. Can't have that
    • Yes, that was my thought exactly.

      We had those amendments and civil liberties. They are in the process of being destroyed or made to be impotent often by the companies being attacked. Do you have any suggestions as to the correct course of action in the face of that Mr. Shawn Henry?

      • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Monday December 19, 2011 @09:27PM (#38429112) Homepage Journal

        "when your right to free speech conflicts with my sacred right to business profit and the unimpeded influence of politics and policy, then I must strenuously object to your material support for terrorism and your declared enmity toward America."

        • Mod parent up. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday December 19, 2011 @10:20PM (#38429510)

          Or to put it another way ... "But the freedom for me to swing my arm ends where your nose begins".

          And when the "person" being affected does not have a nose?
          Because said "person" is a corporation?

          The property rights of corporations have become more important than human rights.

          Corporations are not people. Despite what the law would say.

          • Re:Mod parent up. (Score:4, Informative)

            by Tastecicles (1153671) on Monday December 19, 2011 @10:59PM (#38429720)

            Commercial Law invented the Legal Fiction that is the PERSON. The plural form of PERSON is PEOPLE.

            You don't hear about Man or Woman in a commercial court or read it in a contract because you cannot contract with a Man or a Woman. You can only contract with the PERSON.

            So, yes, Corporations ARE PEOPLE. A Man is a Man and a Woman is a Woman. When you talk about a Man as a PERSON you are associating him with his Legal Fiction. You do this if you don't know the difference between a Sovereign Being with a Soul and a Contractual Partner, or you are deliberately referring to the PERSON.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Commercial Law invented the Legal Fiction that is the PERSON. The plural form of PERSON is PEOPLE.

              You don't hear about Man or Woman in a commercial court or read it in a contract because you cannot contract with a Man or a Woman. You can only contract with the PERSON.

              So, yes, Corporations ARE PEOPLE. A Man is a Man and a Woman is a Woman. When you talk about a Man as a PERSON you are associating him with his Legal Fiction. You do this if you don't know the difference between a Sovereign Being with a Soul and a Contractual Partner, or you are deliberately referring to the PERSON.

              I enjoyed your earlier work on Time Cube *way* more than this post.

          • by AmiMoJo (196126)

            You are missing the more important point. Protest without disruption is pointless. It only works if people are forced to take notice. That is what it is for - making people listen when they have failed to do so and you have no other democratic option left.

  • by ddt (14627) <ddt@davetaylor.name> on Monday December 19, 2011 @09:12PM (#38429020) Homepage

    "Hacking is illegal." Wow, and the sky is blue. I'm sure Anonymous will be deeply moved by that one.

    I'll bet this first public FBI chat will be rewarded by Anonymous in some way that he won't like.

    I shudder to think who would win in a hacking duel, Anonymous or the FBI.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      FBI, because Anonymous is just bunch of script kiddies.
      • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Monday December 19, 2011 @09:35PM (#38429162)
        That's working under the assumption that the FBI is more competent than a bunch of script kiddies, and not taking into consideration that while the majority of the people involved in a particular operation are merely script kiddies, there are often more competent people involved.
        • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday December 19, 2011 @10:24PM (#38429542) Homepage Journal

          "while the majority of the people involved in a particular operation are merely script kiddies, there are often more competent people involved."

          That's the part that few people understand. You get a thousand, or ten thousand, dummies worldwide to launch pointless annoyance attacks, while as few as a dozen competent people sit back and evaluate the responses and defenses. When they find a crack in the defenses, then they exploit it.

          I'm fairly sure (can't be positive) that the FBI has some pretty sharp hackers among their ranks. But, Anon is a lot bigger than the FBI, and they have plenty of cannon fodder to keep the FBI's real hackers busy. The FBI can claim a "victory" when they bust a few stupid script kiddies, but they are only grasping at smoke and mirrors, while the real actors remain invisible behind proxy chains, and botnets.

    • by kiwimate (458274)

      I shudder to think who would win in a hacking duel, Anonymous or the FBI.

      Methinks that while the Anonymous script kiddies are throwing back another slug of that hard core Red Bull and giggling at the thought of how tough they are to engage in a "hacking duel", the FBI will just say "screw this" and let the children hammer away at some honeypot and generally waste time (which is all they usually manage to accomplish) while the agents quietly drive off to their parents' homes and invite themselves in to have a little chat.

      ("Hacking duel"? Really? Oh dear...)

      Try looking beyond your

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday December 19, 2011 @09:57PM (#38429342)

        If you started going after someone like the FBI systematically, they'd track you down. You aren't anonymous on the Internet. Everything you do can be tracked. Now usually it isn't because why would anyone bother? However if there was a reason, it could be done. If they continually attacked the FBI, you'd better believe that the FBI, and other government agencies, would work to track them down.

        Basically when it comes to someone with the resources of the US government it is all a matter of if they care enough to spend the resources to make you stop.

        The ultimate example would be Bin Laden. Here is a man who is skilled in guerrilla warfare, knowledgeable in intelligence and counterintelligence, protected by zealous followers, hidden in a foreign country, cut off from the outside world, using only a contact chain for any kind of communication. However the US found him, and killed him. Reason was they cared enough to go to the great lengths necessary to track him down.

        Now in the case of a group of people in a "hacking duel" with them they wouldn't care nearly as much. However it wouldn't be nearly as hard. The /b/tards are not nearly as smart as they like to think they are and when you get down to it, your ISP can monitor everything you do, if they want, and will do so upon a wire tap warrant from the government.

        All that aside, please remember the US owns the very best of the best in signals intelligence: the NSA.

        • by Nyder (754090)

          ...

          The ultimate example would be Bin Laden. Here is a man who is skilled in guerrilla warfare, knowledgeable in intelligence and counterintelligence, protected by zealous followers, hidden in a foreign country, cut off from the outside world, using only a contact chain for any kind of communication. However the US found him, and killed him. ...

          Well, actually, our government claimed they killed him, then destroyed any evidence that could of proved it. That is what we call a classic coverup. Did we kill
          Bin Laden? Probably not, dude probably died a decade ago or so, but hey, it makes our government look good to it's people, mainly in a time when people were getting fed up.

        • it took the US *how* long, again, to find this bin laden guy?

          were we serious in wanting to find him? I'm not so sure. otoh, taking as long as it did, maybe we really are that incompetant.

          it would seem we cared more about spying on our own people than to catch foreign 'bad guys'. the foreign bad guys are just reasons to whittle away at local rights.

          • Trying to locate one man on the planet who took elaborate precautions to avoid detection can take some time. Add the fact that some people within the Pakistani government, military, and ISI security services were most certainly protecting him also added problems for the people doing the search. The reason the US did not notify Pakistan prior to the raid is because their military and intelligence services are infested with people who actively support and use terrorist organizations as part of their foreign
        • by Larryish (1215510)

          Bin Laden died in late 2001 of severe medical issues.

          The recent "Kill Osama" mess was smoke and mirrors.

  • by mirix (1649853) on Monday December 19, 2011 @09:13PM (#38429026)

    And three letter agencies, hell, police in general, seem to want to ignore civil rights whenever it is convenient. They're the annoying things you need to work around, not uphold.

    • by Urza9814 (883915) on Monday December 19, 2011 @09:38PM (#38429192)

      Yup. Shortly before Thanksgiving the DA of New York was speaking at a press conference about those alleged terrorists they caught, and while I can't remember his exact works, it was something along the lines of stating that his job was to stop the bad guys with a minimal sacrifice of civil liberties. In other words, as soon as he believes protecting civil rights is getting in his way, he's going to stop protecting them.

    • And three letter agencies, hell, police in general, seem to want to ignore civil rights whenever it is convenient. They're the annoying things you need to work around, not uphold.

      Civil rights don't justify vandalism.

      If your cause isn't important enough to you to go to jail for it, leave the illegal parts of the activism to someone who does think it's important enough.

  • From TFA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 19, 2011 @09:13PM (#38429030)

    "in a dedicated denial of service (DDoS) attack" didn't read further.

  • Civil Liberties (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 19, 2011 @09:14PM (#38429036)

    So let me get this straight. He's fine with protesting in person-- you know, in designated protest areas, with a permit, a mile away from where anyone would notice or care, in which you may be legally beaten, pepper-sprayed, or arrested by police-- but he considers hacktivism "impinging on others' rights".

    I would say that either 1) he doesn't understand that the purpose of hacktivism is to be high-profile, or 2) he's a lying assbag talking about rights when the purpose of his job to silence agitation.

  • *yawn* (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    wake me up when the federal government stops using existing and new legislation to violate the rights of US citizens, including those who may have different religious or political views.

    who watches the watchers?

    who speaks when others can't speak for themselves?

    who exposes that which is hidden by the government that has sworn to protect it's citizens?

    who exposes that which is hidden by corporations actively paying politicians to pass legislation for the benefit of those corporations?

    do your f-ing job you dou

  • Vigilantes have no regard for the law. The law is not their concern. Their concern is getting retribution for offenses delivered or pending delivery by an entity they do not agree with or feel wronged by.

    Pinning hacktivism as a form of illegal activity will only deter kids who jumped onto the bandwagon for fun or to revolt.

    I hope for his sake the SOPA bill doesn't pass, or its going to push many of these hacktivists further away. Any legitimate protection of rights online they hoped for will be lost.
    • by bky1701 (979071) on Monday December 19, 2011 @09:47PM (#38429254) Homepage

      Vigilantes have no regard for the law. The law is not their concern.

      And yet you do not question why this is, and go on to call them "kids who jumped onto the bandwagon for fun or to revolt." Ever think maybe this is a legitimate response to a government that does not respect the rights of anyone but the filthy rich?

      If the laws were not made to protect me and people like me, I have no respect for them. It is as simple as that.

      You're right that if SOPA is passed, it will lead to more of this. It will because that would prove we have passed the point where talking and voting works, and now we must move on to other means before the country becomes worse. Further, it will be the unquestionable duty of every single American, or even people from other countries affected, to disrespect laws like SOPA.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        revolting is never legimate.

        but that's the point, you do that when the legal way is fucked up.

    • by jafiwam (310805)

      Uhm. No.

      In my experience, as an intermediate level guy that has occasionally run post-mortems to find out who got into what, most of the time the hackers are after the usual shit. Places to store pirated software, bragging rights, and plain old crime.

      Sure, they do brag when they tear up servers. But what they go after, and who connects to what first, it's always some crime ring in Eastern Europe.

      "Vigilante" is what they are when they don't find anything useful. Otherwise it's credit card numbers and t

  • by next_ghost (1868792) on Monday December 19, 2011 @09:28PM (#38429122)

    The director of KGB gives an interview and answers a question about freedom of speech: "Our country has complete freedom of speech. But freedom after speech, that's a whole different matter."

    • by mirix (1649853)

      A guy calls in to radio Yerevan.

      caller: Is it true freedom of speech is the same in the US and USSR?

      radio: In theory yes,
      In USA you can yell "Down with Reagan!!" in front of the white house, and you will not be punished.
      In USSR, you can yell "Down with Reagan!!" in front of Kremlin and also not be punished.

  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Monday December 19, 2011 @09:37PM (#38429180) Homepage Journal

    Introduce your friends and family to The Onion Router [torproject.org].

    Set up a Tor node yourself. Amazon will provide an entry level EC3 host to anyone free of charge for a year.

    Register a domain that is not under US control and so cannot be taken from you by the Feds. .is looks good - Iceland.

    Mirror some Samizdat at PRQ AB of Sweden. They have a full time legal staff to defend their customers against takedown orders. you can host anonymously and pay them with anonymous money orders.

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Monday December 19, 2011 @09:37PM (#38429184) Homepage

    Mr. Henry mentions the First Amendment, but says nothing about the Declaration of Independence. The First Amendment specifies that free speech is not subject to the discretion of the government, and he swore an oath to defend that boundary of Federal authority. Saying he supports that is like saying he does not support interstate trafficking in illegal goods. That's just doing what he swore he would do -- he doesn't get a pat on the back for that beyond what we inherently owe him for his civil service. The First is not what is in question regarding hacktivism.

    The Declaration is the closest thing we have to an official US document that covers what a hacktivist would claim gives him a legitimate mandate to act. Civil disobedience may often include elements of free speech, but it is the illegality of the action that define it as civil disobedience -- it is right in the name.

    It is an easy topic to address from the official position of the FBI: "The role of the FBI is to enforce law, and the kind of civil disobedience embodied in the Declaration of Independence is unlawful activity. The Declaration does not make civil disobedience legal, and my job is to enforce the law."

    The fact that he did not address it head-on implies one of two things to me: He may not have a deep understanding of the founding of this nation, and the reasons that it had to be founded as it was. Alternately, he may understand the disobedient nature of our founding, but be choosing not broaching the topic.

    If a person in his position is not aware of the anarchic nature of this nation's founding, and the reason that disobedience resonates even with lawful patriots, he should be removed from office. He has to at least understand that mentality in order to fight it, if nothing else.

    If he is just not broaching the topic, I guess I understand his pragmatic decision, but I find it sleazy. He is being disingenuous and trivializing the extraordinarily delicate balance of true democracy.

    It is intrinsic in the nature of Western Democracy that civil disobedience both violates the law and is necessary to refresh the tree of liberty. It is also clearly the charter of the FBI to enforce the law including by arresting people who engage in civil disobedience. Even if he thought it was wrong to arrest such people he would still be obligated to do so -- he is in the executive, not the judicial. The fact that those things are true and also in tension is part of what makes the FBI's job such a difficult task for the men and women who serve. Ignoring that fact does us all a disservice.

    • Some German friends asked me what Americans celebrated on The Fourthnof July. "Thats when we started shooting at the British," I replied. I was joking - we started shooting a couple years earlier - but that is what I said.

      All of Our Founding Fathers who signed The Declaration of Independence had sufficiently many testicles to do so with their real names. They all knew that if they were caught by the British, they would not just be spending some time in the slammer, theybwould be swinging from a noose for

      • by Bob9113 (14996)

        All of Our Founding Fathers who signed The Declaration of Independence had sufficiently many testicles to do so with their real names.

        One example does not a case make. Perhaps you have not heard of Publius. Anonymous speech and anonymous civil disobedience has a long history in democracy. Learn more.

        • -h.

          Someone was charged with distributing political pamphlets without complying bwith campaign finance laws by declaring who paid for it. The court found that they had the right to anonymity. Sooty I don't have the citation.

          Anonymous pamphleteering has a long tradition. nowadays we have Anonymous and LulzSec, but the USSR had typewritten Samizdat, and the British faced hand-operated printing presses operated in thevdark of the night.

        • Do you mean the Publius of the Federalist Papers? There was no civil disobedience there, as the British had recognized American independence by then.

    • The whole point of civil disobedience is that you are WILLING to take the punishment of breaking the law, because you are so opposed to the law that you are willing to take the punishment as a demonstration.

      If you want to disobey the law without getting punished, that's not civil disobedience anymore, it's breaking a law no one cares to enforce, and is as consequential as jay-walking. Also, the declaration of independence isn't law. From the perspective of the court, it doesn't matter much at all.
      • by Bob9113 (14996)

        If you want to disobey the law without getting punished, that's not civil disobedience

        I think you may have hit "reply" on the wrong comment. My comment specifically points out that I think it is the just and proper duty of the FBI to arrest these people. Cheers.

      • by russotto (537200)

        The whole point of civil disobedience is that you are WILLING to take the punishment of breaking the law, because you are so opposed to the law that you are willing to take the punishment as a demonstration.

        Civil disobedience is for suckers. Few will hear about it, almost none will care, and anyone who does will be mad at you for using it for anything less than Jim Crow. Furthermore, penalties nowadays are higher; you won't be spending 30-60-90 days in jail, you'll be spending years in Federal Pound Me In

    • Civil disobedience does NOT violate the Law.
      Civil disobedience is MANDATED by one of the oldest Constitutional documents still in existence and still in force.

      Magna Carta 1215, Clause 61 - it was discussed in great depth in 1774 by those who penned your Great Constitution!

      The meat of the Clause is that Barons (later /any Man/) is held under Lawful obligation to disobey bad Government - to the point of stopping the Government from functioning *while obeying the Law of the Land*. No, this does not mean misapp

      • but then I actually read your post.

        The modern concept of Civil Disobedience originated with Mohandas K. Gandhi's work to free India from British Colonial Rule. As part of his protest he violated British Law by making salt from seawater. The franchise for the production of India's salt had been granted to a British company by the king of England.

        Did Gandhi break the law by going to the sea to make salt? the British Crown claimed he did but the Indian people hastened to disagree.

        Reverend King personally sp

        • Gandhi's choice of salt as the focus of protest was nothing if not genius tactical manoeuvering. He might well have studied under Sun Tsu. By choosing something as seemingly insignificant as salt production to cut the legs out from under the Raj, he not only galvanised pretty much the entire nation against Colonial rule, he instantly reduced the GDP of the entire colony by nearly a tenth yet apart from feeling a little wealthier from not paying any tax on salt, the populace felt no ill effects.

          On a similar

        • By the way, I do still listen to your Geometric Visions CD :) You got any more coming out?

  • by hedgemage (934558) on Monday December 19, 2011 @09:39PM (#38429198)
    Sure, saying my rights end at the end of my nose etc. makes for a good soundbite but the problem is that especially with digital media you have large monied interests who get to define their own nasal boundaries. SOPA is a good example where the mere implication that someone is TOUCHING MY CORPORATE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY'S NOSE can have far reaching penalties without any actual proof that there was harm done.
  • by Nethemas the Great (909900) on Monday December 19, 2011 @09:43PM (#38429224)
    That sounds all fair and reasonable. But then I find myself asking this: If picketing and protesting are "cool" with you then why are we not permitted this exercise of civil liberties/rights? Oh, that's right, because embarrassing and generally offending the establishment is considered blooding their nose...
  • by blahplusplus (757119) on Monday December 19, 2011 @09:50PM (#38429280)

    ... the problem with these organizations is that it depends on the quality of human beings of said institutions and said society. If human beings are stupid and corrupt then they will corrupt the institutions (media, school, business, government) and especially the lawmakers. If that wasn't bad enough the law makers are too old/ignorant/stupid to even process the social complexity of modern societies. His platitudes mean little.

    If anything these guys are simply blindly following dogma and not being able to think critically about how money allows you to game the system and transform what was once a free society into a society in which the people have rights in name only. The whole idea that the loss of rights would be 'obvious' to these organizations is nonsense. People are stupid, especially people in power. Most of humanity is too unsophisticated to understand the complexity inherent in how money transforms institutions and their effects on society and culture.

  • This guy sounds lawful neutral. The law allows you to be "free", but only to the point that the law tells you to stop. If we lived in soviet russia, his attitude may still be lawful neutral, and we'd get off way worse.

    • by wierd_w (1375923)

      I really hate dnd alignments. (And by proxy, analogies made with them.)

      The whole "lawful" branch of the alignment system tries to make the false implication that just because somthing is legal, it is unjust to question or defy its practice. A good example is slavery. Many nations openly legalized it for centuries. A "lawful neutral" would not care about the slavery bit, only the legality bit.

      It would also cast famous historical figures in disfavorable light, such as gandhi. Chaotic good. (Blatant disregard

      • by danlip (737336)

        The problem seems to be you are equating lawful and good, which is exactly the opposite of what the system implies. They are on separate axes for a reason. For example you say "it would cast famous historical figures in disfavorable light, such as gandhi". Why would calling someone chaotic cast them in an unfavorable light? Do you have some judgement on chaotic? That is your judgement, I don't think it comes from the 2-axis system. And I don't think it really implies the problem that you imply on the

        • by wierd_w (1375923)

          You misunderstand. I too play as either chaotic good, or chaotic neutral, and for exactly the reasons you stated. I believe that if a law is unjust, you are morally obligated to break it.

          The problem I have stems from world designs created by dms that often conflate the two. An example I had was with the unrelenting dumbassness I have playing wizards of the coasts computer games, which defacto enforce the "party alignment" rules, which is why I brought up the abolishionist angle. WoC insists that a party

          • by danlip (737336)

            Well, that's very different than what you said in your original post. Sounds like you hate stupid DMs or stupid game systems. Well, who wouldn't? (obviously some people or they wouldn't exist). But in your original post you said you hate analogies made with the 2-axis alignment meme.

  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Monday December 19, 2011 @10:05PM (#38429412) Homepage Journal

    That Shawn guy is all huffy because Anonymous and LulzSec break the law, as if legitimate political protest is on the same level as robbery or mindless vandalism.

    During the Civil Rights Movement some white clergymen published an open letter thatvwhile ostensibly supporting equal rights for blacks, urged them to comply with The Whie Mans law during their protests, for example by not shutting down entire cities for days on end.

    While spending some time in the slammer, The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior wrote "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" on a few scraps of paper that he begged from the jailer, in which he said "One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."

    http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html [upenn.edu]

    I regard that letter as King's most important written work.

    My colleagues at Kuro5hin fault me for not being a Team Player because I regard raising Hell as the greatest contribution I can make to society. We would all be better off if there were fewer Team Players not more of them. Consider what happened when the "Guter Deutschers" - that was the German word for Team Player back in the day - failed to heed the dictates of their consciences and so encouraged Hitler's rise to power.

    If you are not up to Hacktivism, don't just politely hand out some leaflets when you protest in meatspace. No, get yourself hauled off to jail by shutting down the entire business district of a city.

    • by wierd_w (1375923)

      The only addendum I havee to this, is to practice the disobendience properly.

      When you practice disobedience, you should expect to be caught. If you aren't caught, consider it a happy accident.

      Don't ride high on the disobediencec, then grovel like a worm once caught. Own up to your disobediences, and be proud of them. Openly proclaim them, and why you did them.

      That is the correct way to be disobedient.

      • My personal objective is in part to do away with the greed, corruption and incompetence that permeates the software industry. I have never made a secret of that fact, because the software industry sickens me so.

        Yet the not men but mice who inhabit Kuro5hin fault me for not devoting more of my time to shipping software products. I really don't see how that would be a productive use of my limited time on The Mortal Plane. We have lots of software products, but few who are willing to take a stand against co

        • by wierd_w (1375923)

          The only way this will happen in any meaningful way, is through personal responsibility for the software created, both in terms of direct consequences, and also of indirect ones.

          Personal responsibility is exactly what corporations are created to avoid.

          As such, only the systematic obliteration of software produced by corporations will have the desired effect.

          The alternative, is to force the creators and marketers of abusive software products to bear unrelenting heat for their activities, and come clean. Thi

          • Consider the End User License Agreements that disclaims liability for causing real damage, as when a completely reproducible bug in Excel led my boss to overdraw the company checking account by four grand.

            I recently turned down a lucrative remote consulting gig because the client was in Arizona, which recently passed an appallingly racist law that is clearly intended to keep Hispanic people down. I didn't just decline the gig, my email about it went on at some length about how wrong I feel that law is.

            Huma

            • by wierd_w (1375923)

              Most software people are rules based system builders.

              Many have issues violating the rules of systems, even if those rules are obviously defective. (Really? Your old boss wanted you to train people to ignore exception safe practices? How, other than "we can't be held liable, so why invest the time and energy?" Could he possibly justify that position? This is exactly what I meant when I said "personal responsibility." That man is personally responsible for the poor code practices at the firm he manages.)

              Often

            • I don't like supporting the Mexican illegal immigrant invasion, but at least you seem to put your money where your mouth is on that and the other comments

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday December 19, 2011 @10:37PM (#38429616)

      Note that he's advocating disobeying unjust laws like, say, laws requiring segregation, laws treating people with a little more melanin in their skin as inferior.

      So what are the laws "hacktivists" break? Laws like "You aren't allowed to DDoS someone's website," or "You aren't allowed to access someone's computer without their permission." Hmmm, those laws sound pretty just to me. I think when there's a victim, it is quite just to have a law against victimizing that person.

      So if you believe that copyright law is unjust, and you distribute copyrighted works for that reason then ok I can understand that. However if you believe that the government doesn't respect your rights so you go and DDoS Amazon, I can't respect that. The first is like you refusing to obey a law banning breast feeding, because you believe it is unjust, by breastfeeding a baby in public. The second is like you burning down my house because you believe the city council isn't respecting your rights.

      Something else to remember, something important: Those people involved in great acts of civil disobedience did so knowing the consequences, and putting their names on it all the same. They stood up publicly, and accepted the consequences they faced. Again look at Dr. King's letter you linked, that he wrote from jail, again with his name on it. He didn't try and circulate a manifesto anonymously, he was a public face for a movement and accepted the consequences for it. Or take the start of it all int he US, the Declaration of Independence. The founding fathers signed their names on it, knowing they were signing a death warrant for them if they lost the fight. They didn't write it anonymously and pin it to a tree then play dumb, they said "Yes this is us, we stand behind this with our lives if necessary."

      This bullshit of random hacking and DDoSing of sites is not civil disobedience and is not the sort of thing people like Dr. King would respect.

      • They wrent just violating segregation laws by refusing to sit in the back of the bus. They violated all manner of laws by braising all kinds if Hell. The "Civil" in Civil Disobedience doesn't mean one is polite, just that one is nonviolent.

        An example of the way the Civil Rights Movement would violate the law, which those white ministers I mentioned claimed was wrong, was that the protestors would shut down entire cities by blocking the streets.

        That negatively impacted corporate profits, pretty much what A

  • by Genda (560240) <[mariet] [at] [got.net]> on Monday December 19, 2011 @11:00PM (#38429734) Journal

    Director Henry, could I please get your take on "Section 1031 of the National Defense Authorization Act". President Obama has already signed this piece of legislation and it declares the entire world including The United States of America as the battlefield. In short it give our government the authority to detain or assassinate American citizens, without due process, the right to an attorney, or even the dignity of informing our friends and families that y'all decided we should be shot.

    Our government has just declared war on the American people, and how exactly would you expect that we deal with this? Tea and crumpets? A harsh dressing down of our political representatives... posh, you naughty boys have subjugates my civil rights and get off my lawn! Sir, our founding fathers fought and died to give us the rights we now cherish, and with the stroke of a pen, we've seen these rights obliterated by self serving sycophants.

    You sir say you are a keeper of law, a protector of America's freedom, well then why have you not arrested the very people who have seen fit to rob every American of that which is most precious. We've seen this behavior before, in Germany in the 1930s. The rich and powerful building a mote around themselves to protect themselves from the havoc that followed. This is not the America of our Founding Fathers, and for myself, I protest, I protest to high heaven, and I demand that my government be returned immediately.

  • Whose nose, and why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday December 19, 2011 @11:15PM (#38429832) Homepage Journal

    But the freedom for me to swing my arm ends where your nose begins.

    I've heard this many times, but I'm wondering if and where you find anything like this notion in the US Constitution. Or is it part of the writings of Madison or Jefferson? Or maybe it's something Thomas Paine wrote, or some other Enlightenment thinker?

    Or is it just another one of the many insufficiencies of the US Constitution that needed to be added by a wise and powerful Supreme Court? Sort of like "money is speech" and "corporations are people" and "war is peace".

    I'm not saying I disagree with the notion of freedom and arms and noses and all that, but I really wonder how that gets morphed into "You have freedom of speech as long as it does not inconvenience anyone".

    I think about the original Boston Tea Party and the mess those guys must have made in Boston Harbor, dumping all those crates and barrels and tea into the harbor. Plus, I'm sure that there were quite a few hard working colonial farmers and tradesmen and merchants who just wanted to sit down with a nice cup of tea with their dinner who were really put out by the fact that all that Ceylon and Oolong and Earl Grey got dumped into the drink. And what about the colonial merchants who just got by making a meager living selling tea to those folks? I wonder how much income they lost because of the Boston Tea Party and how many of them had their businesses shuttered because they couldn't float their expenses until the next shipment of tea came? Or the longshoremen who loaded the tea onto wagons and shipped it inland? Do you think they were inconvenienced? Did they lose income too, you think?

    I think about that original Boston Tea Party in light of all the comparisons that get made between the misnamed "modern" Tea Party Patriots and the Occupy Wall Street movement. A lot is made about how well-behaved and "clean" and obedient the Tea Party Patriots are compared to the "filthy" and "violent" and obstructive OWS protestors, who caused the poor sandwich shop near Wall Street to lose income while they held their protest. The horror! LOST REVENUE!

    I wonder how "clean" and "obedient" and "well-behaved" the original Tea Party dudes were when they dressed up like Indians and started dumping other people's property into Boston Harbor. I wonder if they cared that they were inconveniencing all the tea drinkers and/or tea sellers (which meant just about everyone at the time).

    No, I just took a quick look at the Constitution again and I don't see any "right not to be inconvenienced by someone else's free speech". I see an "inalienable" right to free speech, but not the former. No "inalienable" right not to have protestors cause you to have a bad day. This is important, because it speaks directly to the notion of the innovative "free speech zones" that have been going up since the 2000 Republican Convention. And the idea that you can be arrested for singing near the Lincoln Memorial, or that free speech in Zucotti Park ends at 11pm (for safety purposes).

    I'll have to think about this a little bit...

  • by bmo (77928) on Monday December 19, 2011 @11:17PM (#38429860)

    "My organization is a believer in civil rights and civil liberties, and the first amendment is something I hold very dear personally and professionally."

    No he doesn't.

    Nobody in government cares about rights. Just look at the votes for NDAA and the paucity of votes against, and the current SOPA bullshit.

    Habeas Corpus - Eliminated
    Due Process - Eliminated.

    It's like the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights never happened. At least in England they still have the right to due process retained from the Magna Carta (there are only like 3 rights retained from the Magna Carta in England anyway, but the right to due process is a biggie).

    As much as I thought Prison Planet and all that shit was bullshit, the past month has changed my mind.

    I seriously think that Chilean style "Disappearances" are in the offing. But instead of a military junta doing it, it will be our "elected" government.

    Remember, the dems and republicans are the same, so vote republican. *spit*

    --
    BMO

  • that is what he means right? There is never a case for civil disobedience like written by Thomas Paine in Common Sense?

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