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UK Police Charge Suspected Anonymous Spokesman 247

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-so-anonymous dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Scotland Yard has tonight charged 18-year-old Jake Davis, who was arrested in the Shetland Islands last week, with five offenses including unauthorized computer access and conspiracy to carry out a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack against the SOCA (Serious Organized Crime Agency) website. When announcing his arrest on Wednesday, police said that they believed Davis used the online nickname 'Topiary' and acted as the spokesperson for the Anonymous and LulzSec hacking groups. Topiary's final twitter message said 'You can't arrest an idea' just before his arrest."
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UK Police Charge Suspected Anonymous Spokesman

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  • by future assassin (639396) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @11:05PM (#36943312) Homepage

    Back in the day we had fun stealing cars for joy rides and doing jewlery store heists. These days kids have fun attacking computers, much more victim less crime.

    • It really depends on the data. Remember that a large part of the protests against the Wikileaks release of Afghanistan info was the potential to endanger the lives of civilian informants. Such computer crimes as we see these days can have the potential to hurt a lot of people. Not that a terrorist couldn't also hurt a lot of people using a stolen car. It just depends on what's actually done.

      • by AHuxley (892839)
        "civilian informants"? I think they would be able to map out most local people having contact for cash ect....
        If the night raids get too good in your area, you have an informant..
        No need for complex computer files in areas where people are close .. the namers listed in any "free", "gift to the world" "download" databases might be traps ..
        COINTELPRO was great at getting groups to replace their own top leaders with well placed gossip.
      • by KiloByte (825081)

        Wikileaks data was thoroughly vetted. And revealing the misdeeds and, even worse, incompetence, of both the government and the chain of command has a serious potential of saving lives, both of Afgani civilians (whom I don't really care about) and our soldiers.

    • by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Sunday July 31, 2011 @11:25PM (#36943426)

      Back in the day we had fun stealing cars for joy rides and doing jewlery store heists. These These days kids have fun attacking computers, much more victim less crime.

      I think that Sony would disagree with you there. I doubt that the total value of your stolen cars and jewellery would add up to anywhere near what Sony has lost due to its recent hacks.

      • I think that Sony would disagree with you there. I doubt that the total value of your stolen cars and jewellery would add up to anywhere near what Sony has lost due to its recent hacks.

        I'll bet every person who was infected by a Sony rootkit or anyone who wants to mod or run a second OS on their Playstation will say it was just deserts.

    • by Tasha26 (1613349) on Monday August 01, 2011 @12:07AM (#36943604) Homepage
      I guess there isn't really much to do in the Shetland Islands! [google.co.uk]
  • by DreamMaster (175517) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @11:08PM (#36943326) Homepage

    You may not be able to arrest an idea, but it seems you can arrest the person.

  • Today's lesson (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @11:10PM (#36943348) Homepage
    Today's lesson: You aren't V. Neither the British or US government is an evil fascist state which brutally subjugates the populace. This isn't to say that they are perfect. Far from it. But the basic point is clear. Moreover, if either of the governments were so bad as to deserve fighting back then the method to respond would not involve hacking every single website you can most of whom are corporations which have nothing to do with anything. Sure it is probably fun to convince yourself that you are doing good, but your just a bunch of script kiddies who aren't being helpful while real activists spend their time and sometimes lives improving the governments and saving lives.
    • Re:Today's lesson (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 31, 2011 @11:24PM (#36943412)

      That does not matter.
      Do you think the riots which resulted in many death in other countries were the "right way" to do it? Probably not.
      The point is that no other way works. You can't spend 30 years of your life trying to get a big political party and get shot down by your own guys after those 30 years. What you can do is protest. And if you protest, it's not going to be an email or a blog post, even not a public performance.
      You protest with things that everyone is going to _care_ about.

      Riots. Hacking high level web sites. Whatever else. At least, they don't kill people or destroy their lives - the government does that, daily, if you haven't noticed. That the proven way to change things, so far.

      What I find the most sad, is such arguments as "real activists" "saving lives". It sounds like "and also they capture pedophiles" and such crap. They don't save lives. They also don't do shit. If you haven't noticed that either, the governments, corporations haven't changed, and never do, until a revolution rise. How long do your real activists need, 100, 200, 500 years? Please, get a fucking clue.

      Revolutions started by riots, and other such acts,once again. Hacking is part of that, now.

      • Re:Today's lesson (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DurendalMac (736637) on Monday August 01, 2011 @12:14AM (#36943634)
        Oh bullshit. This kind of skiddie hacktivism is what spineless yobs do when they're too scared to go out and try to make a difference in the real world. It's just another breed of armchair combat, and a pretty sorry one as well. If you want to make a difference then do something out in the real world. Most people can actually relate to that. Do it through a computer and far less people will give a shit. Those who think they do are deluding themselves into believing that they're actually doing something great from the basement. It's lazy self-justification. Get your ass out into your community and do something in the real world. Few people give a shit about your online community.
        • Like what?

        • Re:Today's lesson (Score:5, Insightful)

          by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Monday August 01, 2011 @04:56AM (#36944656) Homepage

          What alternative would you suggest? I have tried writing to my MP several times and either get fobbed off or nothing changes. Peaceful protest is pointless - 2 million marched against invading Iraq but where completely ignored. The only political party offering any real reform sold out the second they got into power. Corporations are even worse.

          On the other hand violence does work. The Poll Tax protests were ignored until people starting throwing things and smashing stuff up. It had to be sustained for weeks though, not just a one-off.

          The only non-violent thing that works is leaking evidence, such as in the MP's expenses scandal. Since most people are not in a position to leak information then hacking to get it is somewhat legitimised. Aside from anything else it lets us know which companies have a clue about security and can be trusted, and in several cases it has exposed law-breaking (ACS:Law, HB Gary, MediaDefender etc). I can appreciate the irony of hacking to expose law-breaking but if leaking data with no criminal intent is justified by the content of said data then acquiring it by hacking is not far off.

        • The international police response seems to indicate that this type of internet action is pretty powerful. You are basically arguing that guerrillas are cowardly for not lining up in plain view to be mowed down by the establishment's enormous stockpiled wealth and materiel. Even the President of United States is never more powerful than when he is in his basement bunker.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Khyber (864651)

      "Neither the British or US government is an evil fascist state which brutally subjugates the populace"

      You haven't been watching their actions lately, have you? Teahadists and Republicrats alike essentially holding our asses hostage over non-existent fucking money, acting like the world fucking police, and trying to undermine the foundation of their governments for the profit of their friends.

      Take your blinders off.

      • Teahadists and Republicrats alike essentially....., acting like the world fucking police

        No, you're getting it backwards.....Democrats act like world police, with Clinton in Srebrenica and Obama in Libya. Republicans tend to go on evil-clensing quests: like Bush in Iraq and Reagan against communism.

        • If they had been on a quest against evil, they would have resigned.
        • Re:Today's lesson (Score:4, Informative)

          by Phrogman (80473) on Monday August 01, 2011 @05:35AM (#36944820) Homepage

          The major purpose of Bush in Iraq was to advance US corporate interests and secure control over oil etc. The secondary purpose was to test new weapon systems and ensure vast sums of money were either "lost" or awarded to US military contractors and other companies. Most of the huge sums of money spent on the war went directly into corporate pockets.

    • Re:Today's lesson (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 31, 2011 @11:36PM (#36943462)

      Going to get troll modded for this but whatever.

      You agree that the governments are not brutally subjugating the populace. You agree they are far from perfect also.

      Then you claim that if they were brutally subjugating the populace hacking, defacing, and dossing websites would not be the correct response.

      I'm sorry but I think you just proved anons point and their methods (while claiming contrary). Anon is using defacing and dos attacks as a form of peaceful protest. I wouldn't condone them going much further at the current time but denial of service and high profile defacing in form of protest seems like the perfect response to freedoms, rights, and liberties being slowly eroded.

      If you ask me, sure they are a bunch of script kiddies, but I am certain what they are doing is required with the current state of things. I also applaud taking action, now, and peacefully, before shit really hits the fan and people in the US / Britain are required to pick up arms to fight for real. (I think we all agree getting to that point would suck)

      • I'm sorry but I think you just proved anons point and their methods (while claiming contrary). Anon is using defacing and dos attacks as a form of peaceful protest. I wouldn't condone them going much further at the current time but denial of service and high profile defacing in form of protest seems like the perfect response to freedoms, rights, and liberties being slowly eroded.

        That's more along the lines of censorship, because you're impairing their ability to communicate; you're doing the online equivale

        • If you let everybody speak, and let everybody listen, the truth will be known.

          To the tiny minority both smart enough to see through the bullshit and astroturfed lies and willing to spend the effort to do so. Remember the healthcare "debate" in the US?

          As another saying goes, the best argument against democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter. Also, "You'll have the vote of every thinking man, Adlai." Adlai Stevenson: "Thank you, but I need a majority."

        • by Bert64 (520050)

          If you let everybody speak, and let everybody listen, the truth will be known.

          However, the mass media is controlled by a very small group... While everyone may be able to speak, only the mass media will be listened to by any significant proportion of people and thus their agendas are furthered and everything else ignored.

          If someone were to put up their own website explaining their side, how would anyone even learn of the existence of that site?

          There is no way to be heard without money and power, and the only way to get money and power is to be a part of the current system and thus ha

      • I could not help but think of this woody guthrie quote:


        I never stopped to think of it before, but you know, a policeman will just stand there and let a banker rob a farmer; or a finance man rob a working man. But if a farmer robs a banker, you would have a whole dern army of cops out a shooting at him. Robbery is a chapter in etiquette.

      • by DrXym (126579)
        Peaceful protest my ass. They're children taking down sites and then engaging in some post hoc ergo propter hoc justification for doing it. There is no point believing there is anything more to it than that because their isn't.
    • So you can only protest against a government once it has opened the gas-chambers? Some might say it is a bit to late. In fact some people claim that the right to protest and even cause inconvience by doing so is the sign of a healthy democracy. A sign of a failing democracy is usually people going "oh it ain't quite a nightmarish hellhole yet, so lets all just lay on our backs until it is".

      Freedom, your attitude towards it sucks.

    • by daid303 (843777)

      But they have already brought change. They have shown digital data is not always safe, and that there is always an exposure risk. This has shown it's effects already in The Netherlands, where the public transport records are being kept for shorter periods now, and these records contain a lot of personal information, due to a new public transport system where you have a card which has your personal details linked to it.

      I rather see that these records are not kept at all, and luckily they also have anonymous

    • by Instine (963303)
      "Neither the British or US government is an evil fascist state which brutally subjugates the populace."

      Guess you've never been kettled [wikipedia.org] and charged by horses for taking part in a (up until that point) peaceful protest against the ideology of the ruling government? I have. It's life threatening, and has proven fatal on more than one occasion. And undoubtedly terrifying. This is state oppression of the population by any definition I understand.

      Or been detained indefinitely without charge and sleep depr
  • by rickzor (1838596) on Monday August 01, 2011 @12:05AM (#36943596)
    http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=22280 [dailytech.com]
    Evidence such as previously leaked information, IRC logs, and the age, identity and location of the suspect arrested suggest that they caught the wrong person.
    • You know, I have found it rather convenient that every single "Anonymous" person they have "caught" has been JUST over the legal age (18-22).
    • by Timmmm (636430)

      Did you actually read that IRC log? Worse. Double-bluff. Evar. Choice quotes:

      [removed]: S'up Daniel
      Topiary: s'appening [removed]

      Topiary: anyway I trust you so yeah
      Topiary: we can keep this between us
      [removed]: Wont say a word bro

      Right.

  • It seems those people are arrested thanks to the IP address they were using at the time.
    Are they too young to know Tor [torproject.org] and the like?
    • by Dan667 (564390)
      I remember reading tor is not perfect and you can poison / man in the middle it pretty easily.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Tor will successfully hide your IP from every node except your entry point. However, by inspecting the actual data, you can sometimes learn something about the origin of the packet. Just because an envelope has no return address, that doesn't mean you can't figure out who sent it by reading the actual letter.

  • You can't arrest an idea'

    What idea are they pushing? I thought they just liked hacking sites that have weak security.

  • Just like the last several times, another will take his place. I neither condone or condemn the actions of these groups, but I would like to point out the facts as they've unfolded.
  • by ibsteve2u (1184603) on Monday August 01, 2011 @03:14AM (#36944280)
    No, but you can declare that corporations are people and their wealth is free speech and drown that idea in an ocean of propaganda...
  • by Froeschle (943753) on Monday August 01, 2011 @03:48AM (#36944416)
    Lately it seems that most of the hackers getting caught are not even 20 years old, many of them still juveniles. Is this because it's juvenile behaviour and there are less adults out there doing the same type of thing or are the older (more experienced?) hackers just a lot more careful to not get caught?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 01, 2011 @03:49AM (#36944418)

    This is completely crazy. They guy was in Shetland, in Scotland, and the Met Police flew up from London in a light aircraft, landed, raided his house and flew him out on the same aircraft to London, England. He was arrested in one legal jurisdiction and is being held in another. This is like the FBI flying from Washington DC to Oregon, arresting someone, and flying them straight out to Washington again. It's not legal. Add to that that in Scotland he can only be held for 24 hours without charge but in England he can be held, it seems, indefinitely with court approval and you have an extraordinary rendition. The human rights court is going to have a nightmare with this one, and the UK is alreadytearing itself apart due to the incompatibilities of one sovereign state having two seperate 'sovereign' legal systems.

    Anyway, I asked for an answer from the Scottish First Minister. He's already fighting with the 'federal' UK government over this.

    Free @Topiary!

    • by OverlordQ (264228)

      This is like the FBI flying from Washington DC to Oregon, arresting someone, and flying them straight out to Washington again. It's not legal.

      Hint, the F in FBI stands for Federal. They have jurisdiction everywhere in the US on Federal crimes. You're seriously deluded if you think the FBI can only arrest people in Washington DC.

  • SOCA (Serious Organized Crime Agency)

    Is this really an organization? In other words, are they srs?

    • by ledow (319597)

      It is.

      It always makes me wonder what kind of organised crime *isn't* serious.

      • by Ash-Fox (726320)

        It always makes me wonder what kind of organised crime *isn't* serious.

        Stuff like feeding the poor is illegal in certain British counties. Those aren't considered serious crimes.

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