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Crime Your Rights Online

FBI Cybercrime Director Comments On Hacktivism 254

bdcny7927 writes "In an exclusive interview with, 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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  • 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.

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

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Monday December 19, 2011 @11:15PM (#38429832) 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 Anonymous Coward on Monday December 19, 2011 @11:56PM (#38430222)

    Even it everything you claim is true (it isn't) you aren't a bit disturbed that the people who own all these things are taking all those rights away? It still holds that these experiences are quite a bit different over the last 20 years, regardless of who "owns" them.

    Besides which, it is the TSA and not the airlines, buses, and trains that are instituting the ridiculous level of searches today. I started taking Amtrak all the time starting 3 years ago to get away from them, but now they've taken over that too. Amtrak is not privately owned.

    Not all of us are interested in living in a world where our existence is dependent on more powerful entities bestowing on us the privilege of existing, regardless of whether these powerful entities are government or commercial in nature. If that's the world you want to live in, why do you want to force it on the rest of us?

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990