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FBI Executes 40 Search Warrants For 'Anonymous' 221

Posted by Soulskill
from the that's-a-lot-of-john-does dept.
CWmike writes "Police agencies worldwide are turning up the heat on a loosely organized group of WikiLeaks activists. After yesterday's news that UK police arrested five people, US authorities announced that more than 40 search warrants have been executed in the US in connection with last month's Web-based attacks against companies that had severed ties with WikiLeaks. Investigations are also ongoing in the Netherlands, Germany and France, the FBI said Thursday. Acting on information from German authorities, the FBI raided Dallas ISP Tailor Made Services last month, looking for evidence relating to one of the chat servers used by Anonymous. Another server was traced to Fremont, California's Hurricane Electric. On Thursday, a Web page used by Anonymous to coordinate this latest round of DDoS attacks was offline, and the group's Twitter and Blogspot pages were silent." Reader Ajehals contributes a link to the UK Pirate Party's explanation of how the law applies to DDoS attacks.
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FBI Executes 40 Search Warrants For 'Anonymous'

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  • by EdZ (755139)
    Cue the many, many Party Van jokes.
  • by zill (1690130) on Friday January 28, 2011 @05:46PM (#35038246)
    Please allow me to re-iterate this silly argument that I've heard before:

    Anonymous cannot be destroyed by prosecuting its individual members. In order to charge someone, the prosecution must first de-anonymize that person, which immediately voids their membership in Anonymous.
    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday January 28, 2011 @05:55PM (#35038354)
      Of course, if they got pinched, it begs the question of how they were "anonymous" to begin with.
      • by SheeEttin (899897)
        Anonymous is not about anonymity in that sense. Anonymous is anonymous in that it could be anyone and everyone.
        Think Fight Club's "Project Mayhem".
        • by gknoy (899301)

          I would imagine that only foolish members of Anonymous don't attempt to preserve/protect their anonymity.

          • It's pretty hard to make your connections anonymous the whole time. Tor is mighty slow and blocked in many sites. I'm not sure which of the other options are very reliable. Open wifi is not always available. And if it's your neighbor's, well, that's pretty close to you.
    • Anonymous is a cult where everybody gets to be the leader.

    • by Phoghat (1288088)
      If anonymous can't be destroyed, I will henceforth post anonymously and achieve Super Hero Status.

      So long I'm going into hiding.

      Oh yeah, thanks for all the fish

  • It's more of a "movement" than a "group" no?
  • FBI (Score:5, Insightful)

    by damicatz (711271) on Friday January 28, 2011 @05:53PM (#35038320)
    It's nice to know that when corporate interests are threatened, the US Government is more than willing to come to the rescue and do their bidding. Of course, when Goldman Sachs lies, cheats, and defrauds the American people, the US government looks the other way.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Err...they didn't look the other way. They were willing to do whatever it takes to rescue Goldman Sachs too.

      • by Venik (915777)

        Err...they didn't look the other way. They were willing to do whatever it takes to rescue Goldman Sachs too.

        If they didn't rescue Goldman Sachs, who would have given Facebook the billion dollars? Thanks to the prompt response by the Federal government, I may finally get a working Facebook app for my iPhone. So think before you talk!

    • Re:FBI (Score:4, Informative)

      by westlake (615356) on Friday January 28, 2011 @08:04PM (#35039564)

      It's nice to know that when corporate interests are threatened, the US Government is more than willing to come to the rescue and do their bidding. Of course, when Goldman Sachs lies, cheats, and defrauds the American people, the US government looks the other way.

      Taxpayers Earn +23% on Goldman Sachs TARP Repayment [foreignpolicyblogs.com]

      • by celle (906675)

        "Taxpayers Earn +23% on Goldman Sachs TARP Repayment"

        And how much money did Goldman Sachs get from the government before tarp and how much interest did they make investing the tarp money while they had it?

      • by MrL0G1C (867445)
        That's besides the point because they're not paying for the damage caused to the economy by the fear of collapse they caused, also they make every penny back by taking advantage of the current financial conditions.
  • - Excuse me, officer, you're mistaken. You are looking for A.Nonymous and my name is .......

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 28, 2011 @06:02PM (#35038400)
  • by thue (121682) on Friday January 28, 2011 @06:03PM (#35038408) Homepage

    I am sure that the US is pursuing those who DDoSed WikiLeaks [msn.com] with equal energy.

  • I'm sure the subject line drew some rolled eyes or a wistful smile. You know why? Because we all know that any legal avenues to get what we want from the government are closed. And guess what kind of avenues people take when their legal ones are exhausted. The French Revolution was illegal as hell, too.
    • Nope, didn't get me to roll my eyes. Those who support wikileaks have *not* exhausted the legal avenues available to them. At least try. Seriously, write your congressman. Comparing this to other events in history at this point is just dumb. I myself wouldn't mind a bit more transparency (not as much as wikileaks, though). You'd probably be surprised of the amount of support you'd get if you did this with democracy.

      • It comes down to how much confidence you have in the system. If you have a lot of confidence, then yeah, you'd believe that you'd share your views with your representatives, and they in turn would apply the correct political pressure to shape the government to match.
        If you little or no confidence in the system, then you don't believe that anything you do will be able to change the government. Being governed without representation is tyranny.

        All that said, the political involvement for most people is dam
    • by JSG (82708)

      >The French Revolution was illegal as hell, too.

      And so was the (N) American one and many others as well.

      The thing about the aftermath of a revolution - the winners get to redefine legality.

      Cheers
      Jon

  • by MWoody (222806)

    I was wondering when they'd start doing this one. Many of the attacks were done using a program called "low orbit ion cannon," essentially an opt-in botnet: run the program and it waits for a signal from a master node, then starts spamming requests at the specified target. Meaning that the participants in the attacks, far from the usual unknowing and unwilling infected, were in fact choosing specifically to join in the action. What's more, the nature of a DDoS makes proxy use counter-productive and ineff

    • Mod this up!
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think you're missing the point. People knew they were putting themselves at risk. It was deemed to be worth the risk because joining those attacks was considered the right thing to do. Perhaps people just thought with thousands of people joining in what were the chances of them being pulled before a judge over it.

      It's silly to think that people had no idea what they were doing. I don't think anyone could know so little about computers as to believe they were 'anonymous' while using LOIC.

  • I'm kind of interested in what's going to happen here. It was widely reported on every news affiliate that Anonymous was PROTESTING these companies. I heard several news casters compare the DDOS attack to a picket line outside a business. The picketers make it harder for customers to go to the business, just like a DDOS attack does.

    I'd like to see what the supreme court makes of it. After all, the companies that were targeted certainly had the means to thwart the attack, Paypal and Amazon didn't even have a
    • by celle (906675)

      "I'm kind of interested in what's going to happen here. ..."

      Me too, as I'm still trying to figure out the illegal part since a DDOS is an steroid version of regular website operations.

  • by Sparr0 (451780) <sparr0@gmail.com> on Friday January 28, 2011 @06:31PM (#35038742) Homepage Journal

    The problem with calling a DDOS "unauthorized access" is that the access is implicitly authorized by the server being on the internet. The real world analogy here is getting your hundred closest friends to visit WalMart and go through the checkout lines VERY VERY SLOWLY. You have the intent to negatively impact their business, and you are acting recklessly, but that is only 2/3 (well, more like 9/10) of the criteria for violating the laws in question here. You are not using their store without authorization (they have to TELL YOU TO LEAVE before they have any legal relief for your being there).

    • The FBI won't let logic and sense stop it!

    • by DRJlaw (946416) on Friday January 28, 2011 @08:15PM (#35039634)

      You are not using their store without authorization (they have to TELL YOU TO LEAVE before they have any legal relief for your being there).

      Citation needed. Really. I can pretty much guarantee that a group of 100 would be charged without necessarily being asked to leave. Tresspass, unlawful assembly, disturbing the peace... the particular charge would vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; but don't mistake private damage control with a legal requirement.

      The problem with calling a DDOS "unauthorized access" is that the access is implicitly authorized by the server being on the internet.

      No, since you're implying that the implicit authorization is unlimited rather than limited to expected or customary activities. Want a REAL real world example? Student newspaper theft. You are implicitly allowed to take one free paper (or, practically, a few) due to the papers being set out in a kiosk or bin. You are not allowed to take every paper with the intent of preventing others from obtaining them or the paper delivering them. Really [splc.org]. You don't have to be told not to do it [splc.org].

      You can be charged with a crime for taking something that is being given away for free when you exceed the scope of an implicit authorization, and you can be charged with a crime for entering into locations that exceed the scope of an implicit authorization. Really [google.com]. You don't have to be told not to do something unusual [opengovva.org].

      There is nothing magical about a DDOS when it comes to the explicit or implicit authorization that you may have to interact with someone else's computers and services. It's criminal. You damn well know it. Protest is not a legal justification; so welcome to the real world, where you may end up with a criminal record no matter how worthy you, rather than society at large, believe your cause to be.

      • by Sparr0 (451780)

        The newspaper theft references apply to the LOIC specifically, but not to something like my WalMart example or a very-very-distributed DOS such as the /. effect, where any single person is NOT exceeding the normal scope of authorization.

        That is, if I take all of the free newspapers, it is very likely that I am breaking the law. But if I take one newspaper, and you take one, and Bob takes one, none of us have committed a crime. We haven't even conspired to commit a crime (since we actually did the thing, and

    • The problem with calling a DDOS "unauthorized access" is that the access is implicitly authorized by the server being on the internet. The real world analogy here is getting your hundred closest friends to visit WalMart and go through the checkout lines VERY VERY SLOWLY. You have the intent to negatively impact their business, and you are acting recklessly, but that is only 2/3 (well, more like 9/10) of the criteria for violating the laws in question here. You are not using their store without authorization (they have to TELL YOU TO LEAVE before they have any legal relief for your being there).

      The problem with this "real world analogy" is that it doesn't take into account the "real world" laws criminalizing this behavior in the United States. There is a difference between "unauthorized access" and "exceeding authorized access". The latter can lead to prosecution under federal law.

      My sources:
      Title 18, United States Code, Section 1030
      Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029

    • As I tried to explain in the linked article, "authorisation" wrt websites seems to be a really problematic area. I think due to a lack of case law (or statutes; probably a good thing) no one is quite sure how websites work legally. While some Internet stuff (particularly contracts, sales etc.) was supposed to be sorted out (in the EU) by the 2002 E-Commerce Directive, there still seems to be a lot of confusion over how the Internet works, although as we gradually get more judges and lawyers used to the Inte

  • The lesson here? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Beelzebud (1361137) on Friday January 28, 2011 @06:39PM (#35038828)
    Don't be a useful idiot. Don't take your marching orders from people on the interet who don't give a fuck about you. A DDOS attack like the one 4-chan (let's call them what they are) did, could have actually been anonymous had the morons actually been hackers. This is what it looks like when one pseudo-hacker can write a DDOS program, and a bunch of tech-illiterate morons run it on their network without actually knowing what it's doing, or how to mask their identity.
  • by bsDaemon (87307) on Friday January 28, 2011 @06:40PM (#35038840)

    Can't we just save the effort and convict 'Anonymous' in absentia? It'd be much more efficient.

  • It makes you wonder how effective it actually is in some cases. I hope it is able to continue its work against scientology.
  • Whew! (Score:4, Funny)

    by mr1911 (1942298) on Friday January 28, 2011 @07:06PM (#35039068)
    There for a minute I read the headline as "FBI Executes 40 Search Warrants For 'Anonymous Coward'", which is why I logged in to make this post.
  • I think the point that law enforcement is trying to make is that finding you is easier than you think. Win-Win for both sides because the FBI gets to look savvy and Anonymous is required to step up their game.

  • What did they really expect when they downloaded and used LOIC to DDOS? That somehow they would be protected because of the political nature of the attack, or that they'd be off the hook because someone else actually points that cannon? Talk about stupid.....

    There's probably a bunch of people who installed the software on other people's computers, or maybe just ran it on other people's wifi nets. That is what is to be expected. Do we have to tell these people, so eager to don their Guy Fawkes masks and join

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