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LulzSec Calls For PayPal Boycott, Spokesman Arrested 425

An anonymous reader writes "British police have arrested a 19-year-old man believed to be 'Topiary', the official spokesperson of the LulzSec hactivist group. The man was arrested at his home in the Shetland Islands earlier today (July 27), and is being transported to a central London police station." Also today, LulzSec has called for a boycott of PayPal saying “We encourage anyone using PayPal to immediately close their accounts and consider an alternative.”
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LulzSec Calls For PayPal Boycott, Spokesman Arrested

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  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @01:01PM (#36897798) Journal

    Paypal has passed account closure information onto authorities for use in narrowing down Lulz members and supporters.

  • What alternative? (Score:3, Informative)

    by dward90 ( 1813520 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @01:03PM (#36897832)
    If someone can point me to competing service that is accepted at my preferred retailers, I would gladly switch. Paypal provides a relatively safe mask for my bank account online, which means I trust 1 company to not have a security breach instead of a dozen or more. It's a fantastic service. I don't honestly care about anyone's perceived unforgivable injustices from a private, opt-in, and largely free to use company.
    • by shish ( 588640 )

      I don't honestly care about anyone's perceived unforgivable injustices from a private, opt-in, and largely free to use company.

      So it's perfectly OK for CmdrTaco to come round your house and kick you in the nuts? You *did* sign up to his private, opt-in, and largely free to use website after all~

      • CmdrTaco is perfectly allowed to kick me in the nuts when I piss off his very powerful friends, yes. Unsolicited? No. But these guys were begging to be tracked down.
      • I kinda wish that the punishment for using barely applicable analogies filled with hyperbole in the service of bolstering a weak point was a swift kick in the nuts.

        • I'm sorry, I don't see anything about cars in that post, so I'm not sure what you're trying to say.
          • He meant "swift kick in the lugnuts". Completely valid car analogy. A little nonsensical, but completely car-based.
      • He could come around my place but he would be bringing a BOOT to a GUN Fight. I'd bet my bullets trump his boot any day.

        • Guns are only useful if you're prepared for an attacker, or see him coming from a distance. If the attacker gets within arm's length before you realize they're going to harm you, then it's too late to use a gun on them. If someone's planning to kick you in the nuts, it's probably safe to assume they're going to try to be a little stealth about it, instead of yelling at you from a distance, "here I am! I'm going to come over there now and kick you in the nuts!" A knife, however, is a good weapon in that

      • So it's perfectly OK for CmdrTaco to come round your house and kick you in the nuts?

        "OK"? Why the hell do you think I STARTED using slashdot?!?

    • by m2vq ( 2417438 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @01:22PM (#36898188)
      Bitcoin is a great alternative. Bitcoin wiki has a huge list of stores and services [] from wide array of areas that accept BitCoin.
      • Interesting. Virtual money you say? If I were rich with bitcoins instead of money, would this be the loophole necessary to allow me into heaven?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tridus ( 79566 )

      Until they decide to freeze your account for a few months because some joker on eBay lodged a totally fake complaint. At that point you may not like them so much anymore.

      Paypal's service is pretty terrible whenever there's any kind of problem. You're really just counting on getting lucky that you're not one of the people who does.

      • by Chemisor ( 97276 )

        How will account closure hurt me in any way? I do not maintain a balance there. All I'd need to do is open another PayPal account and everything will be fine again. I suppose it matters if you're a high-volume seller, but for people just using it to buy stuff poor PayPal customer service is not an issue.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by steelfood ( 895457 )

      "We encourage anyone using PayPal to immediately close their accounts and consider an alternative."

      Coming from these guys, this doesn't sound as much like a boycott as it sounds like they've found some laundry they're about to air.

      • That, or they tried and failed to hack it and they think if they can get a bunch of people to leave it's the next best thing.
    • I heard of MoneyBookers (go prepurchase Minecraft and you'll see them), but they too banned payments to wikileaks :( . This was on August and they are, IIRC, still in that position. Shameful.

    • Re:What alternative? (Score:5, Informative)

      by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @01:54PM (#36898732) Journal
      The problem with Paypal is they're established and they have a 800# call center and they're in the US. I call this a "problem" because I don't like them but these problems make them the only half-way legitimate solution. There's tons of alternatives, Bitcoin, Google Checkout and something called AlertPay, but Bitcoin is not established and they have no customer support, AlertPay is in Canada (no US laws) and too new to know if they're legitimate, and Google Checkout has it's [] share [] of [] complaints [] and they don't even have a 800 number. []

      If Google can't seem to come up with a decent Paypal alternative there's no way in hell anyone else will. Paypal's been around 10+ years and they're linked to eBay, it would take a miracle for a reputable alternative to spring up and become dominate because the alternative would have to convince millions of businesses and customers who are accustomed to Paypal to switch. Also it's important to note that Paypal has never been hacked in 10+ years which is very important for a company that stories credit card and bank account info.
    • by TheCarp ( 96830 )

      I guess I can see that. Personally.... I started boycotting them the moment that they stopped taking wikileaks donations. I don't care what service they provide, or how much more convenient it makes things. I actually had a vendor who only wanted to do paypal or a direct deposit from the bank. I actually setup the direct deposit rather than cross the virtual picket line.

      Its gone on too long for me now, no forgiveness, even if they change their tune...its too late for them in my eyes.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Google Checkout.
      Easy to setup.
      Low fees.
      You can send invoices via e-mail (or have them automatically generated).

      They also don't pretend to be a bank. You can't keep a balance, they shuffle it off into your bank account one a month.

      And unlike PayPal, they're not holding $2k+ of my money ransom.

    • Buy gift credit cards and use those online, they have a set limit. That's what I do. They have an activation fee and depreciate in value, but consider that the cost of insurance I guess.
    • Paypal provides a relatively safe mask for my bank account online, which means I trust 1 company to not have a security breach instead of a dozen or more. It's a fantastic service. I don't honestly care about anyone's perceived unforgivable injustices from a private, opt-in, and largely free to use company.

      It seems somewhat unwise to not care of other people's experiences with a company you trust with your bank account. And Paypal certainly seems to be involved in a lot of scandals, usually of the "we've d

    • by Idbar ( 1034346 )
      Sincerely, I use mastercard. Citicard has a CitiVAN (Virtual Account Numbers) so you use virtual numbers instead of your real one online and you can determine the amount you want to use. So if security fails at your "not so trusted" website of choice, the only thing they get is a single-use credit card number.
  • by rbrausse ( 1319883 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @01:05PM (#36897876)

    okay, so PayPal shows again its evilness. but though I dislike the quality of the service (I will never use my account to actually store any money) I don't see any competition.

    Can anyone advice a payment service with a similar acceptance and convenience?

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      check what gambling sites are using. those money services offer prepaid visa's etc to withdraw as well.

    • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @01:19PM (#36898130)

      Exactly how did PayPal show its evilness this time? Their website was DDoSed, which is against the law, and they had evidence showing where the attacks originated, which they turned over to authorities. What's evil about that?

      • the first sentence was more a fishing for attention...

        but I think one part of your statement is arguable; "their website was DDoSed, which is against the law" is at least in Germany not as clear as it seems. Sure, we have laws that can be used against DDoS attacks (mostly 303b "Computersabotage" of the criminal code) but in 2006 a court (on state-level) ruled that a "virtual sit-in" [i.e. DDoS] at was legitimate (see here [], not the best source but it was mostly covered in German)

        So the right to

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      A lot of my farm customers have started asking me to accept these folks - [] It's the worst named thing I've ever encountered, but apart from that it looks ok. They are a pretty new company, but growing fast. I did create an account with them, but have yet to accept payment using them.
  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @01:05PM (#36897878)

    Christ, with the slowness of BT, I'm amazed they even have internet out there yet.

    • by tool462 ( 677306 )

      As I understand it, a typical broadband connection is an SD card strapped to a sheep. You get great bandwidth, but the latency is really high. And given the absorbency of the wool, you frequently lose packets when crossing the sea to the mainland.

  • I wonder how many lulz you can have sitting in jail, or fined into bankruptcy?
    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      quite a lot, actually! being fined to bankruptcy means nothing in a world where you still get housing and pc's cost nothing. of course, did they get topiary or not? and if they did, is being a spokesperson for them illegal? it's not like they're a separatist group that goes around blowing mayors up.

      they did tweet this though for those guys saying that they didn't give an alternative to paypal...
      "LulzSec The Lulz Boat
      Get yourself a slice of MyBitCoin, Liberty Reserve, WebMoney, Neteller, Moneybookers, and st

      • They're not going to charge him with "being a spokesperson", same as they didn't charge Cleary with "running an IRC server". If they find evidence that he actively took part in (or even facilitated) any attacks on a company, they'll charge him under the Misuse of Computers Act.

        • by batquux ( 323697 )

          Got a link to this Misuse of Computers Act? I swear everyone on Twitter, Facebook, and at least half of everyone who has my email address should be charged with that...

      • by Nursie ( 632944 )

        Really? Bitcoin?


  • by Superken7 ( 893292 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @01:06PM (#36897900) Journal

    How easy is it to say "and consider an alternative" without even giving one?

    One of the problems with paypal is that it has no rival at all. Even if you do not take into account the fact that paypal is a de-facto standard payment method, there are very few alternatives.
    I'm sure lots of people would ditch paypal for lots of reasons. I would. I use google checkout whenever I can, because I particularly have more trust in Google than in paypal, even if checkout is in some ways worse than paypal. But very few people offer checkout support.

    I hope this guy knows that (almost) nobody will close their accounts because of his statements, but that this adds more weight on the "trend" that people are more and more dissatisfied with paypal and is seen as something "bad but necessary" and maybe "just good enough" in the eyes of many.

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      "MyBitCoin, Liberty Reserve, WebMoney, Neteller, Moneybookers" -- that's what they gave as alternatives. neteller is quite popular for things that paypal doesn't allow, paypal is like the sunday school money of the world.

      • "MyBitCoin, Liberty Reserve, WebMoney, Neteller, Moneybookers" -- that's what they gave as alternatives. neteller is quite popular for things that paypal doesn't allow, paypal is like the sunday school money of the world.

        You lost me when you said "Bitcoin" and I realized you weren't making a joke.

      • PayPal molests people?

    • Alertpay is the best alternative I've seen so far. Of course you can't use alertpay at most online shops, but if you're sending money to people you know, it works well.

  • I thought there were enough reasons, from a very quick Google search, to never sign up for a PayPal account. If your money isn't being stolen by someone you've purchased from, PayPal itself is stealing it all by closing your account and never paying out.

    It's been extremely obvious, for at least five years now, that PayPal is not a place to keep your money.
    • Been using it for many years. Never a single problem. I don't leave large piles of money in that account, but that's because I use their debit/credit card to spend that money on other things that I do ... and get a kickback for doing so. I invoice people, send money, process checkouts from multiple business entities, all with trouble or any hint of it. My customers gladly use it. And my experience is not an abberation. The handful of very noisy exceptions are.

      All of that said, I use Square (
  • []

    Of course, neither or both of the Swede and the Shetlander could be involved.

  • Here's the actual link to the original Anon / LulzSec / AntiSec / ... []
  • Now that LulzSec is calling for a PayPal boycott I feel even better about throwing some money at the "humble" indie bundle last night (for as much press as they get they should drop the humble) through PayPal.

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @01:19PM (#36898142)

    Its possible to close a paypal account? If you thought it was hard to delete your facebook acct, try paypal for a real challenge.

  • Police are doing it for the lulz too
    Great fun being had by all

  • by BarryJacobsen ( 526926 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @01:26PM (#36898266) Homepage
    Are they encouraging us to do so because they just don't like them, or are they're encouraging us because they're going to do something nasty and if we have money in Paypal we might lose it?
  • by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @01:34PM (#36898436) Journal

    Nothing against the Islands but that is probably one of the LAST places I'd look for him.

  • by Kamiza Ikioi ( 893310 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @01:36PM (#36898462)

    "You may stop this individual, but you can't stop us all... after all, we're all alike."

    The police, of course and for the benefit of society is more like Pokemon, "Gotta catch 'em all!"

    Imagine this for a second. 6 people are able to do massive hacks around the world. Remove one or all of them, and expecting at least 6 more to pop up in a world population of 7 billion is quite nearly inevitable.

    But this is different than terrorism. In terrorism, you have to have access to money, IDs, explosive equipment, and be willing to die for your crazy cause. All a hacker needs is a PC, a net connection, and time.

    I'm convinced that police could theoretically arrest every single terrorist that does or could exist (that isn't blowing themselves up before arrest) given enough time. But I don't believe they'd catch every hacker even if they worked the entire age of the universe given current technology and trends. And one day, someone is going to pull off the mother of all hacks that will have devastating consequences... but...

    It won't be a lone wolf. As many hackers as may exist in the wild, far more work for governments. Why? Not on principle, but because what could be better for a hacker than to hack all day, being paid, and having complete immunity for your actions. No, you can't go bragging on Twitter. But I doubt the hackers that took the Iranian centrifuges cared about bragging, because the entire world saw their work already.

    • by artor3 ( 1344997 )

      The police don't need to catch all the hackers. They just need to catch enough that the script kiddies in Anonymous look around nervously, see their buddies disappearing, and decide to stick to legal ways to pass the time. A few people will still become hackers, but their smaller numbers will make them less of a threat.

      All crime works this way. The criminal justice system has two goals -- reintegrate offenders into society, and visibly punish them so that other people are less likely to become offenders.

  • FTA

    What the FBI needs to learn is that there is a vast difference between adding one's voice to a chorus and digital sit-in with Low Orbit Ion Cannon, and controlling a large botnet of infected computers. And yet both of these are punishable with exactly the same fine and sentence.

    Doesn't really matter where you stand on this one.

    What the LulzSec needs to learn is according to the FBI that there is NO difference between adding one's voice to a chorus and digital sit-in with Low Orbit Ion Cannon, and contro

  • Years ago we used PayPal to accept payment for the check printing software we wrote. We didn't use any form of protection (sadly) and it was a great way to steal software. Buy through PayPal, enter a dispute and the user had my software for free because PayPal WOULD NOT honor the software vendor. Because of one rather large dispute PayPal closed our account. The wild part was they closed the accounts of every member of my family (over 6 would be users) even though they were not REMOTELY connected with our c
  • by Pax681 ( 1002592 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @02:09PM (#36898932)
    ther are English police Forces, Welsh police forces, Irish police forces and Scottish police forces...

    all have their own jurisdictions and there is NO SUCH THING AS THE BRITISH POLICE
    never has been and never will be.....
    • From the summary: "Shetland Islands" and "London". So what would you call a collaboration between Scottish police and English police if not "British police"?
    • So there are several different sets of police, all of whom are British, but there are no British police?
    • by artor3 ( 1344997 )

      Why not? We talk about American cops all the time (and usually not in a flattering manner). Both most of the time, the cops involved aren't even staties -- they're the local cops from whatever town. But they're still American.

  • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <> on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @02:31PM (#36899224) Journal

    If you don't know how to make yourself untraceable, don't do things that will bring the cops to your door.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll