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Andrew Auernheimer Case Uncomfortably Similar To Aaron Swartz Case 400

Posted by Soulskill
from the struggling-to-find-a-reasonable-punishment dept.
TrueSatan writes "Andrew Auernheimer doesn't appear suicidal, no thanks to U.S. prosecutors, yet he has been under attack for his act of altering an API URL that revealed a set of user data and posting details of same. 'In June of 2010 there was an AT&T webserver on the open Internet. There was an API on this server, a URL with a number at the end. If you incremented this number, you saw the next iPad 3G user email address. I thought it was egregiously negligent for AT&T to be publishing a complete target list of iPad 3G owners, and I took a sample of the API output to a journalist at Gawker.' Auernheimer has been under investigation from that point onward, with restrictions on his freedom and ability to earn a living that are grossly disproportionate to any perceived crime. This is just as much a case of legislative overreach and the unfettered power of prosecutors as was Swartz's case."
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Andrew Auernheimer Case Uncomfortably Similar To Aaron Swartz Case

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  • by tsa (15680) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @07:07AM (#42667805) Homepage

    Here in the Netherlands we had a similar thing just before Christmas. Someone had altered a URL on the website of our monarchy and in this way found the Queen's Christmas speech that was to be broadcasted on Christmas Day (logically). He made that public and there was some consternation about whether or not this was a punishable act, but mainly about how our government fails in securing their internet activities tima and time again. The person who had found the speech was not prosecuted and the speech was broadcasted as planned.

  • by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @07:24AM (#42667893)
    Federal Prosecutor Oritz said Aaron's suicide won't change how she handles cases:
    http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/01/ortiz_says_suicide_will_not_change_handling_cases [bostonherald.com]

    And Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Heymann 'drove another hacker Jonathan James to suicide in 2008 after he named him in a cyber crime case':
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2262831/Revealed-Aaron-Swartz-prosecutor-drove-hacker-suicide-2008-named-cyber-crime-case.html [dailymail.co.uk]

    Here are some other grubby cases Oritz has been involved in: http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/01/17/carmen-ortizs-sordid-rap-sheet/ [whowhatwhy.com]

    Ortiz’s husband attacked the Swartz family on Twitter: "Truly incredible that in their own son's obit they blame others for his death and make no mention of the 6-month offer ... 6 months is not 35 years or lifetime" What an asshole.
    http://www.boston.com/business/innovation/blogs/inside-the-hive/2013/01/15/attorney-carmen-ortiz-husband-attacks-swartz-family-twitter/vzxbY5lrrG7BvGjQGnNDtJ/blog.html [boston.com]
    http://twitchy.com/2013/01/15/husband-of-mass-attorney-general-deletes-twitter-account-after-defending-prosecution-of-aaron-swartz/ [twitchy.com]

    There are "We the people" petitions to remove both Orirz and Heryman, but don't hold your breath. She is an Obama appointee and Heymann's father is a Clinton staffer. How about Someone in the press corps ask Obama what he thinks of his appointees killing off bright young kids?
    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/remove-united-states-district-attorney-carmen-ortiz-office-overreach-case-aaron-swartz/RQNrG1Ck [whitehouse.gov]
    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/fire-assistant-us-attorney-steve-heymann/RJKSY2nb?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl [whitehouse.gov]

    Civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate said of Aaron: "He was being made into a highly visible lesson, He was enhancing the careers of a group of career prosecutors and a very ambitious — politically-ambitious — U.S. attorney who loves to have her name in lights.” http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57564212-38/prosecutor-in-aaron-swartz-hacking-case-comes-under-fire/ [cnet.com]

    The problem is Federal Prosecutors pick a career-building target and then shop for a crime. Big Criminals are too much work, but small fry like Aaron don't have the resources to fight back so all they have to do is bully them into taking a plea bargain and then bask in the glory. It's been going on for a long time and many people have been swallowed up, but the media usually never reports it:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=Tu5RB6YHf10C&pg=PP1&lpg=PP1&ots=51Ya4U8XFt&dq=lynch+in+the+name+of+justice [google.com] (Go to page 43 of this Google Books preview).
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @07:59AM (#42668113) Journal
    Yeah and, if what I read on wired [wired.com] is true, this guy should probably get the book thrown at him:

    Spitler: I just harvested 197 email addresses of iPad 3G subscribers there should be many more weev: did you see my new project?

    Auernheimer: no

    Spitler: I’m stepping through iPad SIM ICCIDs to harvest email addresses if you use someones ICCID on the ipad service site it gives you their address

    Auernheimer: loooool thats hilarious HILARIOUS oh man now this is big media news is it scriptable? arent there SIM that spoof iccid?

    Spitler: I wrote a script to generate valid iccids and it loads the site and pulls an email

    Auernheimer: this could be like, a future massive phishing operation serious like this is valuable data we have a list a potential complete list of AT&T iphone subscriber emails



    Spitler: I hit fucking oil

    Auernheimer: loooool nice

    Spitler: If I can get a couple thousand out of this set where can we drop this for max lols?

    Auernheimer: dunno i would collect as much data as possible the minute its dropped, itll be fixed BUT valleywag i have all the gawker media people on my facecrook friends after goin to a gawker party

    At one point the two discussed the legal risks of what they were allegedly doing:

    Spitler: sry dunno how legal this is or if they could sue for damages

    Auernheimer: absolutely may be legal risk yeah, mostly civil you absolutely could get sued to fuck

    At the same time, others on the IRC chat allegedly discussed the possibility of shorting AT&T’s stock.

    Pynchon: hey, just an idea delay this outing for a couple days tommorrow short some at&t stock then out them on tuesday then fill your short and profit

    Rucas: LOL

    Auernheimer: well i will say this it would be against the law for ME to short the att stock but if you want to do it go nuts

    Spitler: I dont have any money to invest in ATT



    Auernheimer: if you short ATT dont let me know about it

    Spitler: IM TAKIN YOU ALL DOWN WITH ME SNITCH HIGH EVERYDAY

    In the wake of news stories about the breach, they allegedly discussed their failure to report the vulnerability to a “full disclosure” mailing list, as well as the opportunity to push their Goetse Security business as a result of the breach:

    Nstyr: you should’ve uploaded the list to full disclosure maybe you still can

    Auernheimer: no no that is potentially criminal at this point we won

    Nstyr: ah

    Auernheimer: we dropepd the stock price

    Auernheimer: lets not like do anything else we fucking win and i get to like spin us as a legitimate security organization

    Sound like some classy fellows there. It's a shame for Swartz that he's being lumped in with this guy. At some point, I hope Slashdot pulls its collective head out of its own ass and realizes that these aren't black and white issues and stops comparing them to things that were like the Civil Rights Movement. Auernheimer: "this could be like, a future massive phishing operation serious like this is valuable data we have a list a potential complete list of AT&T iphone subscriber emails" ... yeah, no criminal intent there.

  • Re:US Attorneys (Score:5, Informative)

    by sesshomaru (173381) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @09:27AM (#42668879) Journal

    n 2009, the 69-year-old owner, Russ Caswell, received a letter from the DOJ indicating the government was pursuing a civil forfeiture case against him with the intention of seizing his family's motelâ"it was built in 1955 by Russ's fatherâ"and the surrounding property. Ms. Ortiz's office asserted that the motel had been the site of multiple crimes by its occupants over the years: 15 low-level drug offenses between 1994 and 2008 (out of an estimated 125,000 room rentals). Of those who stayed in the motel from 2001 to 2008, .05% were arrested for drug crimes on the property. Local and state officials in charge of those investigations never accused the Caswells of any wrongdoing.

    Nor is the U.S. attorney charging Russ Caswell with a crime. The feds are using a vague but increasingly common procedure known as civil asset forfeiture. In criminal forfeiture, after a person is convicted of a crime the state must prove that the perpetrator's property had a sufficiently strong relationship to the crime to warrant seizure by the government. In civil forfeiture proceedings, the state asserts the property committed the crime, andâ"under civil lawâ"the burden of proof is on the defense to demonstrate their property is innocent.

    "I've found... I'm responsible for the action of people I don't even know, I've never even met, and for the most part I have no control over them," Mr. Caswell told WBUR Boston. "And when they do something wrong, the government wants to steal my property for the actions of those people, which to me makes absolutely no sense. Itâ(TM)s more like we're in Russia or Venezuela or something."

    According to the sworn testimony of a DEA agent operating out of Boston, it was his job to comb through news stories for properties that might be subject to forfeiture. When he finds a likely candidate, he goes to the Registry of Deeds, determines the value of the property in question, and refers it to the U.S. attorney for seizure. It is DEA policy to reject anything with less than $50,000 equity. -- Carmen Ortiz's Sordid Rap Sheet [whowhatwhy.com]

    The US Attorney's office is a breeding ground for monsters, and it certainly isn't any better under the current administration than previous ones.

    In the old Roman Empire, this kind of property seizure was done by emperors like Caligula using similar methods.

  • by Jmc23 (2353706) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @11:29AM (#42670339) Journal
    Try not to make an ass out of yourself. If you knew anything about IQ you would know it's deemed a regular bell distribution.
  • by Firethorn (177587) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @12:33PM (#42671123) Homepage Journal

    Please note that murder (and all its variants) are State-level crimes (unless performed on a Federal agent/employee).

    It would be more correct to say 'unless performed on Federal [i]land or property[/i]'. As a federal employee, if I was murdered in my home, the suspect would be tried in a state court, under state law. If a random civilian was killed on base though, it would go through a federal court.

    There are added complexities with jurisdiction - if there's any question as to under who's aegis the act was committed, it's pretty much up to the court/prosecutors as to who will actually press the charges.

    An example would be a drunk driver caught driving intoxicated onto base. If civilian, it'll typically be processed by the state - city or county level. If military, generally the military wants a piece of him, and will claim jurisdiction. In some cases, even if it happens downtown. Due to the UCMJ, a military member is ALWAYS under it's jurisdiction.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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