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Anonymous Helps Find Evidence In Gang Rape Case 436

Posted by timothy
from the sometimes-you're-glad-people-are-dumb dept.
jfruh writes "Evidence of a gang rape committed by members of an Ohio high school football team, including video, was, in the way of digital native teenagers today, put online on various social media sites — and was quickly taken down as students began realizing the magnitude of the situation. The hactivist group Anonymous has been able to find archived and cached versions of the damning content, which may help prosecutors make their case." (The original story from December at the New York Times adds more detail.)
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Anonymous Helps Find Evidence In Gang Rape Case

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  • Finally... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:51AM (#42519129)

    Anonymous does something truly useful and good!

    Way to go guys!

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:55AM (#42519185) Homepage

    The really disturbing part is not just the fact that a 17-year-old was gang-raped, and no charges have been filed. No, the really really disturbing part was that a significant portion of the population of the town have actively opposed doing anything about it.

    I mean, why bother even having laws against rape if you're not going to enforce them?

  • by kilodelta (843627) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:58AM (#42519229) Homepage
    I know. I love what Anonymous is doing. It's the Justice League of the net.
  • Re:Finally... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ciderbrew (1860166) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:58AM (#42519235)
    I'm sure they'll say the evidence isn't admissible.
  • It would appear... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:59AM (#42519249) Journal

    The better title might be 'Anonymous actually gives a damn about gang rape case, unlike clannish and football crazed natives of some backwater hellhole'.

    The perps in this case were almost unbelievably sloppy in concealing their activities; but the people supposed to be enforcing the law were, by turns, overtly apathetic and far more interested in protecting their hometown heroes and their precious football season than actually seeing justice done.

  • by alen (225700) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:01AM (#42519277)

    but these were jocks, football players

    they are more equal than others

  • by EdZ (755139) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:05AM (#42519343)
    Anonymous.
  • This just in (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s0nicfreak (615390) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:08AM (#42519377) Homepage Journal
    Anonymous wanted for possession of child porn
  • by CurunirAran (2811035) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:09AM (#42519399)
    But sadly most police forces are actually incapable of gathering such evidence,
  • by ZorinLynx (31751) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:15AM (#42519477) Homepage

    Why is being able to run fast and throw/catch a ball accurately considered something that elevates these people above everyone else?

    Why can't people be elevated for doing things that actually contribute to society?

    Our priorities as a culture are SERIOUSLY fucked up.

  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:16AM (#42519487)

    Yeah, and they would never frame anybody or tamper with evidence or anything, because their motives are always pure and above reproach. And unlike public officers, they're completely accountable!

    Wait, who are these people again?

  • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:18AM (#42519543) Journal
    Uh. They're chaotic-whatthefuck. They do what they want with no regard for impact, just attention.
  • What's next, cutting off a thief's hands? Death penalty is not proportional to the crime. Yes, rape is bad, but it's not murder.

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:20AM (#42519565)

    >In the process, Anonymous successfully managed to get the accused released by tainting the evidence. Congratulations, assholes.

    Um no. First of all, Police get evidence ALL THE TIME from secondhand sources. And they don't need a warrant for that either.

    Second, I doubt anonymous was able to touch the item that filmed this video. It's still in the camera, even if "deleted". Police got a big heads up to its existence.

    Courts most of the time don't go "OMG, IT AINT PURE!!!". They consider many factors and some even *gasp* come to reasonable conclusions.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:25AM (#42519639) Journal

    In the Duke case, the DA was pandering to constituents who wanted action(it was a serious town/gown thing, and students don't do much voting in local politics). In this case, the relevant authorities are pandering to constituents who want inaction to protect their precious football heroes.

    Different incentives; but both good examples of the fact that criminal investigations can be...modified...by the desires of local stakeholders.

  • by cusco (717999) <brian...bixby@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:32AM (#42519753)
    There are two civilizations that I've heard of that were almost crime-free, medieval Japan and the Inca. In both the punishment for almost any crime was death, delivered quickly and with no possibility of appeal. The death penalty can work, just not the way we implement it.
  • Re:Finally... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nametaken (610866) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:33AM (#42519783)

    Maybe, maybe not.

    More important, cops will know who to question directly, same as if they'd had an anonymous tip. They can do that.

    Apply pressure to the people involved, one will flip. Everyone goes down, one with a lesser charge.

  • by KozmoStevnNaut (630146) <henrikstevn&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:34AM (#42519801)

    Do you know how much porn is online from what counts as respectable pornographic film companies doing exactly that? I don't mean staged content; I mean a couple 40 year old guys slip into a college party and fuck a completely drunk, barely awake (if even) college girl.

    You probably believe those Dancing Bear videos where a male stripper shows up to a bachelorette party and ends up fucking the bride-to-be and all the bridesmaids aren't staged either.

    No, those bangbus guys don't just pick up random girls on the street and fuck them in the back of a van for cash, either.

    Repeat after me: all porn is fake. Yes, ALL of it.

    Do you have any idea how much pressure is on porn producers to verify and document the legal age of every single performer in their productions? They will get shut down if records are missing or tampered with. All performers are required to submit to regular health and STD checks. Stringent records and contracts are kept.

    Why take a gigantic risk and have your male talent (which is in severely limited supply) rape some random girl on camera, provided they would even agree to do so and not just hand you over to the cops immediately? They would basically be filming their own confession.

    It's fake. All of it. Yes, even that video you just found that looks really authentic. Fake.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:35AM (#42519825)

    So, who are the Legion of Doom?

    The MPAA/RIAA, obviously.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:37AM (#42519865)

    Yeah, and they would never frame anybody or tamper with evidence or anything, because their motives are always pure and above reproach. And unlike public officers, they're completely accountable!

    Wait, who are these people again?

    I can't tell if you're a smart guy trying to slam Anonymous or an idiot idolizing public officers. Either could be corrupt and/or unaccountable. Anonymous, however, has no vested interest either way in the lives, well-being and reputations of those in Steubenville Ohio - or their football team (which, if you read the NYT article, seems to be the main concern of many in the town)

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:38AM (#42519881) Homepage

    people such as this who have no regard for others do not deserve any sympathy or regard from the rest of society.

    I agree, but then why are you regarding them so much? Why are you spending so much of yourself on hating them? Why not just remove them from society and get on with your life? Why would you let them turn you into a killer? Why let them poison who you are?

    It's like torturing terrorists when you don't get actionable intel; even if they genuinely deserve it, that's not the point. It's about what we subject ourselves to. We choose not to torture because torturing harms us, not because the sonofabitch doesn't deserve it.

    We choose not to kill because killing is a nasty business, and is not necessary to achieve the goal of minimizing the rapist's ability to effect our world. Rather, it increases his effect on who we are. He does not deserve that power.

  • by slim (1652) <john@hart n u p.net> on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:43AM (#42519985) Homepage

    They do, however, have girls sign consent forms, then genuinely coerce them into doing stuff they didn't want to.

    That is, the girl makes it clear when she takes the job that there's no anal, nothing rough, no bondage - then one by one, her agent, the director, the male co-star, etc. - browbeat her (verbally) into submission. It wouldn't surprise me at all if girls were given alcohol to expedite the process.

    For example, recently a documentary aired on British TV (sorry, can't remember the name) in which exactly this was happening, until the documentary film crew felt they had to intervene, rather than be accessories to rape.

  • by spidercoz (947220) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:49AM (#42520091) Journal
    Being originally from Small Town, Ohio, I can attest to the fact that people who live there have small minds and neither know nor care about things outside their own little world of shitty beer and Friday Night Lights. Quite simply, they make these dumb fucking children who have never been taught right from wrong into hero-figures because that is all they have. A few of those kids who are lucky/rich/smart enough will make it out, but for the majority of them, HS football is the peak of their lives, and they will spend their years after graduating living in the same town, working a shit job, and clinging to those days of "glory". Then when they have kids, they try to live vicariously through them, pushing them down the same path, and the cycle perpetuates itself. It's ridiculous and pathetic, but it's all these sad sacks of shit have.
  • by tnk1 (899206) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:50AM (#42520113)

    Anonymous has no accountability at all. If taken with a grain of salt and backed by good police work, what they provide could very well be useful, but they're essentially no different than the anonymous tip line. Tips do provide leads, but they also provide a significant ratio of noise as well.

    We need police forces that at least have checks on them, even if they are sometimes broken. We definitely cannot rely on, or uncritically applaud the motives of those who choose to take certain actions under the Anonymous umbrella. It's like saying that being a little biased or corrupt is the same thing as being completely uncontrolled to begin with. The "intentions" of an anonymous tipster can be anything from helpful to just trolling or even character assassination, at the worst.

    So, let me say "Good job" to the individuals who ran down this data, but given the fact that there are no entry requirements for the group, Anonymous remains, as always, completely unpredictable in both quality of work, and even intent.

  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:51AM (#42520143)

    I can't tell if you're a smart guy trying to slam Anonymous or an idiot idolizing public officers

    I was trying to say that the only difference between Anonymous and public officers is accountability. Public officers are also prone to frame someone or tamper with evidence -- this happens frequently. But the fact that they're accountable is important, and makes me more inclined to trust lawful authorities than a faceless mob.

  • by slim (1652) <john@hart n u p.net> on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:56AM (#42520209) Homepage

    I know too many girls who, when I bring up that I don't mess with girls once they've had more than a minor buzz, proceed to carefully explain to me that what they do when they're drunk as fuck is their business and their responsibility--up to and including fucking the hell out of everyone when they're too far gone to remember their own name (or stay conscious).

    People just don't see this as wrong. I don't know why.

    Well, (assuming you're male, heterosexual, available, and not opposed to casual sex in general), let's turn it around. If someone tells you, hey, if you're 8-pint drunk, you're not allowed to consent to sex, what would you say? I'd say, to hell with that! Why should it be any different for girls?

    If you're not conscious, you can't consent; you can't even imply consent. So that's rape, no question. I doubt the girls you're talking about were defending their right to be shagged while unconscious.

    You can be very drunk indeed, still know what you want and what you don't, and still say no.

  • by tattood (855883) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:07PM (#42520365)
    The problem is, that if Anonymous obtained the videos illegally, then the police will not be able to use it to prosecute the people that did it. The police can only use evidence in a trial that was gathered legally via a warrant.
  • by mellon (7048) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:09PM (#42520383) Homepage

    Yup, because when the authorities frame people and then later get caught, they almost always get punished, and the victims exonerated. Oh wait, no, that's not what happens...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:21PM (#42520563)

    I don't think browsing sites' caches and archived versions is illegal activity, and I don't think the idiots had any expectation of privacy when uploading their boasts there. If it was dowloaded from public area of public site, what's there to be inadmissible?

  • by misterooga (1172837) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:35PM (#42520787)

    I'd have thought it's the other way around.

    If you are murdered, that's it. After rape, you have to live with not only the physical AND mental trauma, but also the society's finger pointing that says "yeah she is victim but she probably deserved it."

    No one deserves it.

    And what would she do if she got pregnant by the rapists? She will need to go through another nightmare deciding what to do.

    I honestly think death sentence is too lenient in this case. Burning isn't good either; it will end too soon.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:57PM (#42521123)

    You obviously have no conception of what rape is or does to people. Be thankful. But stop talking about shit you know nothing about.

  • by spire3661 (1038968) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:57PM (#42521139) Journal
    Be careful who you dehumanize, for we may decide next it is you who is not human.
  • by Thomasje (709120) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:02PM (#42521233)

    Yeah, and they would never frame anybody or tamper with evidence or anything, because their motives are always pure and above reproach. And unlike public officers, they're completely accountable!

    Wait, who are these people again?

    I can't tell if you're a smart guy trying to slam Anonymous or an idiot idolizing public officers. Either could be corrupt and/or unaccountable. Anonymous, however, has no vested interest either way in the lives, well-being and reputations of those in Steubenville Ohio - or their football team (which, if you read the NYT article, seems to be the main concern of many in the town)

    How would you know Anonymous has no vested interest? You don't even know who they are. It worries me that people refer to Anonymous as an entity, rather than a mask of anonymity that could be worn by anyone or everyone, and that people ascribe lofty motivations to what is just another bunch of ACs.
    Also, lack of vested interest, proven or not, is no guarantee of benign intent. I was falsely accused of several acts of vandalism once, back in school. Once the accusation was made, the entire class believed it and turned against me, and several came forward in following days making additional accusations. I didn't do any of those things but that made no difference to the court of public opinion. Now, you could argue that a bunch of stupid naive kids can't be expected to make sound judgements as to what is true and what is false, but unfortunately most adults are just as credulous, and for anyone to throw accusations about in public can create a dangerous situation. Not something I'd applaud the way I see people doing here. The place to find truth is in a proper court of law, not the court of public opinion.

  • by cusco (717999) <brian...bixby@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:04PM (#42521279)
    I always shudder when I hear people say they're going to raise their kids in South Treestump because they want them to grow up with "small town values". Of course almost none of these people actually grew up in a small town (and the ones who did were from the upper class), or they'd know better.
  • Re:Finally... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:07PM (#42521341)
    You really ought to read the article so you can provide informed comments. Your basic premise is way off the mark. If the reports are true, these punks did hatch a plan to kidnap her, drug her, and abuse her for the purpose of retaliation. These sick, twisted little fuckers deserve the utmost that the law can throw at them. Don't even start blaming the victim, in this case.
  • Re:Finally... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by casings (257363) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:09PM (#42521361)

    Your conclusions are wrong, you are an idiot, and the world would be a much better place if you killed yourself.

  • by emho24 (2531820) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:09PM (#42521377)

    I would rather be raped 100 times before murdered.

    Says the man that has never been raped.

    If you equate the two, then you don't have any respect for life.

    I don't have respect for the life of a rapist. Rape is murder of the soul.

  • Re:Finally... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HaZardman27 (1521119) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:20PM (#42521543)
    So even if she knew she was going to a party to drink and intentionally consume drugs, how the fuck does that make it ok for her to be assaulted while essentially unconscious?!
  • Re:Finally... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jason Levine (196982) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:49PM (#42522057)

    Exactly. And if she was lured under false pretenses, she could have easily been slipped something in an otherwise innocuous drink. Remember the recent news story about the kid who drugged her parents with sleep medicine in milkshakes so she could get more Facebook time? How easy would it have been to hand the girl a soda with some sleeping medicine (or something worse) mixed in. By the time she realizes what's up, she's waking up from having passed out the night before and the guys have violated her.

    As for the guys "debating" whether it's rape, consent isn't an opt-out system. It's not "you're allowed to do whatever you want to someone as long as they don't get the chance to say 'No'." It's opt-in. If the person doesn't say "yes" then you don't have consent. (Even if they say yes, there might be mitigating factors such as being drunk, underage, etc. But in general "yes = consent" and absence of yes = no consent.)

  • by Uberbah (647458) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @02:35PM (#42522747)

    You obviously have no right to comment on this. Talk to an actual victim of rape sometime, or get raped yourself.

    You're obviously a raging asshole and a demagogue. First, victims of crimes do not set the level of punishment for their victimizers for obvious reasons. Secondly, you're also a raging moron if you think rape is as bad as death - go talk to any parent who's child has been raped AND murdered and see if they'd rather have a rape survivor if you want to play that card.

    Third, talk to the Duke Lacrosse men and the Central Park five about how they should have all been executed. Before they were found to be innocent.

  • by oursland (1898514) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @04:57PM (#42524643)

    BTW...there's a big difference between what happened in India which was violent and evil with the intent to harm/kill which went far beyond rape vs the kind of rape that involves having sex with a passed out girl.

    What we have here is a kinder, gentler rape.

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