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Anonymous Retaliates, Leaks Texas Police Emails 340

Posted by Soulskill
from the messing-with-texas dept.
An anonymous reader sends word that hacking group Anonymous has breached servers and accounts belonging to "dozens" of Texas police departments, leaking emails, documents and personal information. They say the attacks are in retaliation for "the arrests of dozens of alleged Anonymous suspects," and were done in solidarity with "the 'Anonymous 16' PayPal LOIC defendants, accused LulzSec member Jake Davis 'Topiary,' protesters arrested during #OpBart actions, Bradley Manning, Stephen Watt, and other hackers and leakers worldwide." Predictably, some of the leaked emails paint an unflattering picture of internal operations at the police departments.
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Anonymous Retaliates, Leaks Texas Police Emails

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday September 02, 2011 @09:26AM (#37285304)

    Not for racism, bigotry, their general unprofessionalism, etc. I mean, that's kind of a given for local-level Texas cops. No, they should be for the epic level of stupidity they showed in actually *writing all that down* and *sending it in emails*.

    Anyone *that* stupid probably shouldn't be trusted to operate the fry machine at McDonalds, much less be in charge of investigating crimes.

    I've had some pretty dumb friends over the years who ended up becoming cops (we're talking 2+2=5 dumb), but even they knew better than to BROADCAST their incompetence for the record. I just wonder how some of these departments are supposed to collect DNA evidence when half their force thinks DNA is a rap group from the 80's. Not that every Texas cop can be Sam Deeds from Lonestar [wikipedia.org], but geez.

    • by Hijacked Public (999535) on Friday September 02, 2011 @09:36AM (#37285446)

      Who would they hire as replacments?

      I'm not an idiot, but I don't want to be a cop. You don't. I think the job attracts that sort so maybe it should be eliminated...

      • by Stellian (673475) on Friday September 02, 2011 @10:22AM (#37286088)

        Who would they hire as replacments?

        Especially someone with the same level of commitment to getting the job done. I mean, this guy lives and breaths law enforcement. Listen to him go :

        "... Same with that pervert that got shot by the county. Fuck that guy, see ya. That all sounds like good police work to me. Those folks got the criminal cure. It's guaranteed, they will never commit a crime again."

        Ever heard a programmer put so much passion ? "Great job punching that project manager in the face, he finally got what it fucking deserved. I swear if catch him messing around here again with his fancy schedule and Gantt charts, not letting us code and shit, I'm stab him with my stapler !"

      • by Nidi62 (1525137)
        Hell, I'm in graduate school for political science and I've been applying for local police jobs in and around Atlanta. APD starting salary for someone with a Master's degree is something like $44,000. Pretty much every other job opening I can find that I am qualified for in the area starts at something around $30,000. In Atlanta, $44,000 a year goes a long way, especially if you're single.
        • by X0563511 (793323)

          How exactly do you go about doing that? I'm curious myself (and happen to be in the same area incidentally)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I have family in law enforcement, and many cops are just basically your average kids who go to police academy instead of higher education. They graduate and they're still your average kids- now with guns and badges. Whether they become good, honorable men/women is still up to them and many won't. Many will be hired by departments that will make it nearly impossible to be honorable and still have a career. Don't ever think they're the best of the best or that they were thinking of your safety when they took

      • by fyngyrz (762201) on Friday September 02, 2011 @09:56AM (#37285704) Homepage Journal

        Whether they become good, honorable men/women is still up to them and many won't.

        If they conceal the misdeeds of their fellow cops -- they're just as bad as they are. And if they're ignorant of those misdeeds... they aren't smart enough to be cops. The whole structure is corrupt, top to bottom. We'll know it isn't when the bad apples start getting thrown out. That hasn't started in any serious way, nor do I expect it to.... because the whole structure is corrupt, top to bottom.

        • And if they're ignorant of those misdeeds... they aren't smart enough to be cops.

          Pop quiz, if one of the employees in your company (not necessarily your division) was embezzling, and caught, should you be held liable too? Since obviously you should have known, and if you didnt, obviously youre inept and not smart enough for your job?

          Yea, thats really the kind of policies we want in place. Be aware of all misdeeds, or youre inept.

          The whole structure is corrupt, top to bottom.

          Thats a bold statement, with vague accusations. What type of corruption? Bribes? Who is being bribed?

          Care to clarify and give some substance to your rather

          • by fyngyrz (762201)

            Pop quiz, eh? ok. Here's my answer:

            Cops are tasked with detecting crime. Knowing it when they see it, taking action accordingly. Now, if my company was made up of people tasked with detecting crime, and none of them caught on to the fact that a goodly number of their co-workers were in fact committing crimes, I think I'd fire everyone and start over. Which, not co-incidentally, is exactly what I think most police departments should do.

            Thats a bold statement, with vague accusations. What type of corruption?

            • I think your logic on the first point is badly broken (developers arent fired when they miss bugs, for example), but it seems pointless to argue with that viewpoint-- its clear we have a fundamentally different view on what a person is responsible for.

              As for your list, thats a doozy. Lets take a look....

              *Arresting people for recording/photographing public scenes.
              ---Im not really sure that qualifies as corruption, and youre kind of begging the question by calling them "public scenes"-- thats precisely the i

              • by Khyber (864651)

                If you haven't had your ears open to the world long enough to be able to recall multiple cases or news stories regarding those things WITHOUT the source being thrown in your face, you're as incompetent as the police we are questioning here, and you have zero place in this discussion.

              • by shentino (1139071)

                The systemic corruption is what keeps those so called "individual" cops from being held accountable for what they are doing.

                The actions might be lone wolf stuff, but the coverups are institutional.

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_code_of_silence [wikipedia.org]
            And here ya go: A wikipedia article about cops covering cops, because they are cops, and not because they are actually free of any guilt.
            They will lie and attempt to cover everyones ass, even if they are all rapists and murders.
            Look at it this way: If you are asked to "cover" for a fellow cop, you are doing a felony you are well aware of.

            • Yes, that wikipedia article is impressive. In the first 3 paragraphs they make vague, weasly statements, with no source, and then on the end tack on a reference to an article that appears to be an opinion piece. This is one of the reasons wikipedia can be dangerous-- if you dont know how to check the sources on questionable statements, you shouldnt be reading wikipedia.

              Thanks for the link tho, maybe I can put it up for review so someone can actually try to find sources for the statements that it makes.

        • If they conceal the misdeeds of their fellow cops -- they're just as bad as they are.

          Like it or not, the police force is a civilian militia. You cannot expect it to operate without some kind of collective group code of conduct. I agree that such unwritten "codes" can be a source of very serious problems and even crime. But you cannot expect police forces to behave like just any other company or state organisation.

          A better response is to instil a powerful sense of ethics in police forces, so that those who c

      • by jimicus (737525)

        A job for two who are now of job age, you might say?

      • Generally, I don't see uniforms. Long, long ago, as a kid, I studied uniforms. Police, Army, Marines, even boy scout uniforms. Today? Nahhh. I wore a uniform for 8 years in the Navy, another uniform for 5 years as a boy scout leader, and I have another two years as a brownie scout leader. I see the uniform, and pretty much dismiss it. Instead, I see the man or woman IN that uniform. When I judge a man as good, bad, spectacularly good, or totally incompetent, that has a bearing on his department, in

    • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Friday September 02, 2011 @09:53AM (#37285666)

      They just suspended a cop here in Madison, WI the other day for illegally downloading the movie Hall Pass while he was on duty...not only did he download it on the police computer, but he got a virus in the process which he then tried to remove himself and obviously failed because, honestly, anyone that doesn't know how to even pirate a movie safely at this point sure as shit can't remove a virus...

      Best and brightest they are not.

      I went to school in Georgia, and I can pretty much tell you, the entire student body fell into one of two camps after graduation: Those that went to college (about 25%) and those that went into the military and/or Law Enforcement. You can probably guess which group had higher GPAs and SAT/ACT scores. It certainly gives me the warm and fuzzies knowing the guys that used to get their jollies beating up on Freshmen and drinking beer in the parking lot are now police officers...

      • but he got a virus in the process which he then tried to remove himself and obviously failed because, honestly, anyone that doesn't know how to even pirate a movie safely at this point sure as shit can't remove a virus...

        Best and brightest they are not.

        Hahah, yea, those idiots, who gets a VIRUS these days (oh yea, more than 50% of computer users)? And who cant remove the advanced bootsector rootkits floating around today? I mean HONESTLY?

        Part of my job as a consultant is helpdesk support. For lots of companies. Companies with really smart people, who just arent that computer savvy-- their masters is usually in economics, or law, or what have you. Theyre also people, and do dumb things some times, and get viruses. Laughing at them just makes you a si

      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        Yup. As far as my high school classmates - the proportion of students that went into military or law enforcement was FAR lower (5-10% at most), however, I grew up in a fairly wealthy county in suburban New Jersey. However, the students that later became cops were the worst troublemakers in school.

        Of all the people I knew from childhood who became police officers, I can think of only ONE who could have been described as a "good kid". In fact, he was an Eagle Scout in my Boy Scout troop - however, law enfo

    • Other questionable content includes the use of homophobic language, and this request for the Texan chiefs to investigate an officer's affair with a married woman. Tax dollars at work:

      From: Doug Lauersdorf Sent: Thu 9/16/2010 10:06 AM To: Bob Wieners; Luke Loeser Cc: Subject: Complainant Attachments: View As Web Page Chiefs: I conducted a preliminary inquiry into information received from Detective Price who received a call from Mr. Clements wanting us to know that one of our officers on midnight shift was having an affair with his wife. He also complained that the officer had run his criminal history. I asked KC to contact DPS to research their database to ascertain any person(s) that had ran his information to obtain information from any of the following: CCH, TDL, NCIC, TCIC, SETCIC, etc. The search revealed that the only person with the Friendswood Police Department that had run him was Elaine who had ran the information at KCâ€s direction at my request. This matter is mute until the time comes when he initiates the complaint process and provides us with the officerâ€s name. Sergeant Douglas E. Lauersdorf

      I'm just not seeing the homophobic language here. Am I missing something (besides moot/mute)?

      • by Baloroth (2370816)

        Yeah, I'm kinda wondering: if those three emails were the worst they found (true, the first two are kinda bad), then the picture painted is really not all that bad. The email you quoted seemed to be a police officer doing his job properly more or less properly (a police officer running a criminal background check for personal reasons would be corruption).

        True, there are a lot of emails to go through, but I rather strongly suspect Anon put the very worst at the beginning (makes sense as a tactic), and if th

      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        The homophobic language may be in another email. The first two emails were clearly racist. The one about the marriage affair investigation looks like an actual case of a department doing EXACTLY what they should have. They received a complaint that an officer had run a criminal background check against him for personal reasons - they investigated this complaint. Someone might have misread the email as indicating that the department ran a background check on the guy just because he complained - but they

    • by esocid (946821)
      But 2+2 does = 5, for large values of 2.
    • by cobrausn (1915176)
      As someone who has to put up with Texas cops on an occasional basis, I have to agree. There is a long history of Texas cops being particularly... 'tough'... shall we say (putting it nicely... there are other words). It was absolutely necessary at one point, all things considered (and near the border it may still be). But the time has come to give these good 'ol boys the same shakedown they have been giving us citizens for a while now, and see if we can't get some fresh blood in the (hopefully soon vacant
    • Jake Davis was framed by the real Topiary, Daniel Sandberg:

      http://www.dailytech.com/Exclusive+British+Police+Duped+by+LulzSec+Into+Arresting+the+Wrong+Guy/article22280.htm [dailytech.com]

      who is probably hiding in a cave right now since all his personal info has been freely available online for some time.

  • Retaliates? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Friday September 02, 2011 @09:34AM (#37285420) Homepage

    Since when does Anonymous not just act because it can? Does it really need a reason?

  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Friday September 02, 2011 @09:53AM (#37285668) Homepage
    So Bradley Manning is mistreated by the federal government. The BART protesters are badly treated (and the cell phone thing was probably illegal). Topiary was arrested in Britain. Can give a coherent ideological explanation why therefore one goes after police departments in Texas? These emails are full (unsurprisingly) of evidence of racism and corruption. So it isn't like having these out in the open is a bad thing. But let's not pretend this makes almost any sense as retaliation for previous actions against LulzSec or other individuals.
    • Coherent, No. Response, apparently.
      From their post For every defendant in the anonymous "conspiracy" we are attacking two top Texas police chiefs, leaking 3GB of their private emails and attachments.
    • For the lulz, and probably Texas was the biggest system they could get into quickly. There is little need to ask why they do things. It's a mob mentality.

      -lulz
      -low hanging fruit
      -opportunity
      -someone probably got a speeding ticket in texas once
      -random

      Pick one or more things on or off the list above, and there's your reason.

    • Can anyone give a good explanation for why they went after Nintendo, and Eve Online?

      Theyre children with loaded weapons; theres no trying to explain the havok they cause.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Shining light on corruption and racism is havok?
        Police emails should be public after X years anyway. Hopefully it costs some of these dirtbags their jobs.

        • Racism and corruption at Nintendo and Eve Online?

          Or in the Texas PD, where they would have had no cause to think there was racism prior to a break in? And as for corruption, none of those emails show any, sorry. Sounds kind of like you didnt bother to read them, and just assumed that the summary must be correct (are you new here?)

          As for "havok", yes, if you look over the list of hacks over the last 6 months (including The Escapist, Eve Online, Nintendo, a number of Sony divisions, etc), it starts to look

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      Anonymous are a very poor hackers.
      They use an sql injection tool called Havij to probe websites for vulnerabilities. If they try enough websites eventually one will let them in.

      It's like breaking into a building by trying the door handle. Sooner or later you'll find one that's unlocked.
      For every site they deface there are thousands, if not tens of thousands that they failed at.

  • I for one am glad they are out there.

  • Does Anon realize that retaliation legitimises the captures of those people? I mean, as I see it, if there was a shred of doubt before that these people were part of Anon, retaliation just advertised that the belief was correct and those people are guilty of being part of the organization... I'm all about pointing out corruption and opening up closed doors when there are problems behind them, but keep getting sloppy like this Anon and it's going to be hard to find supporters in the future.

    • by biodata (1981610)
      Since when was anon an organisation? Furthermore, since when did being a member of anon become illegal? Why do you say the arrested people were guilty when none of them have been convicted of anything?
    • by microbox (704317)
      It doesn't matter if you retaliate or not -- the captured people are hardly going to be treated fairly. Such is the nature of questioning an authorities cognitive construction. Consider the German spies that walked into FBI headquaters, gave themselves up, and then passed on intelligence of ongoing operations. First the FBI laughed at them, then some bombs went off, and then the FBI executed the spies that gave them the intelligence, in a public display of doing the job.

      I disagree with the actions of Anon
  • by nharmon (97591) on Friday September 02, 2011 @10:47AM (#37286448) Homepage

    I don't get it. The gizmodo article does a good job to show how some of the e-mails paint a really bad picture of certain police officials. But then it includes this as an example of a "request for the Texan chiefs to investigate an officer's affair with a married woman", and comments that this is "tax dollars at work"...

    From: Doug Lauersdorf
    Sent: Thu 9/16/2010 10:06 AM
    To: Bob Wieners; Luke Loeser
    Subject: Complainant

    Chiefs:

    I conducted a preliminary inquiry into information received from Detective Price who received a call from Mr. Clements wanting us to know that one of our officers on midnight shift was having an affair with his wife. He also complained that the officer had run his criminal history. I asked KC to contact DPS to research their database to ascertain any person(s) that had ran his information to obtain information from any of the following: CCH, TDL, NCIC, TCIC, SETCIC, etc. The search revealed that the only person with the Friendswood Police Department that had run him was Elaine who had ran the information at KCÃââs direction at my request. This matter is mute until the time comes when he initiates the complaint process and provides us with the officerÃââs name.

    Sergeant Douglas E. Lauersdorf

    Ok, Gizmodo. You were spot on with the other e-mails, but this does not at all fit into your story. For starters, it is not a request, but rather a report. Second, the investigation was on the improper use of police computer files, not the marital affair.

    See, use of police databases for personal reasons is a major no-no. And suspicions of such conduct is almost always looked into.

    In this particular instance, the effort was suspended because they did not know which particular officer was being accused. Had they known, they could have looked specifically at his search history (for say, misspelled names of the complainant).

    Anyway, the racist and other unprofessional e-mails should cause heads to roll. But in this last case I see nothing improper. Except that it is "moot", not "mute", Sgt Lauersdorf. :)

  • Some cops say some pretty tasteless and racist crap in private communications. Is anyone surprised? At the end of the day, any disclosures will be mildly embarrassing, largely ignored or might result in a slap on the wrist.

    Does anything think it will do a damned thing to stop arrests of anonymous members?

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