back to article Anonymous pwns security firm that probed its membership

The Anonymous hacking collective took revenge on a security firm that had investigated its membership on Sunday. HBGary Federal has been seeking to uncloak the identities of senior members of Anonymous involved in attacks against financial services firms, such as PayPal and Mastercard, that had suspended accounts run by …

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  1. Hooch181
    Thumb Up

    :Popcorn:

    This should be good...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Yeah...

      If only I could remember where did I see references to this lot before.

      The name definitely rings a bell. It is not the first time they have shown themselves to be worthy of working with Jim Henman.

      Damn... It has been a very long time since I have put down the grey hat on the top shelf (and it was nearly white at that time anyway). If someone in the elreg readership can remember please post.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Boffin

        If only I could remember where did I see references to this lot before.

        Probably at ebaumsworld

      2. K. Adams
        Boffin

        Back in the day...

        ... (October, 2005), Greg Hoglund (who founded HBGary.com) decided to take a look at the guts of Blizzard's "Warden" anti-cheat software. He noticed that it was doing a whole lot more than just watching the WoW client for "cheat-like" activity; it was in fact actively scanning various textual elements belonging to "foreign" windows (chat programs, web browsers, etc.). "The Warden" would then aggregate the data and pass it back to Blizzard.

        The knowledge that Blizzard's "Warden" was performing such a thorough examination of users' systems gave it (Blizzard) quite a black eye...

        However, like you, I also believe that I have forgotten something else regarding the early years of HBGary's existence. Googling hasn't turned up much... Yet.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      +beer

      and watch the show!

    3. Deadly_NZ
      Pint

      Oh Yes

      It looks like Anonymous have go some new toys to play with, let the games begin.....

      A beer,

      A packet of Chips,

      and fireworks.

      Better than a movie...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Heart

    We are Anonymous.

    We are legion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No I'm Spartacus ...

      Say, isn't a body without a head just a corpse?

  3. David Hicks

    For all that it's mostly an army of me-too morons

    It would appear to have a very competent special forces unit as well, most likely made up of disgruntled and amoral black-hats with proxies and botnets all over the place.

    Piss them off at your peril, it would seem.

    1. Stone Fox
      Pirate

      don't piss them

      Surely everyone knows that's the first rule of the internet?

      Can we have a guy fawkes / legion guy icon now please?

      1. Sil_W
        Stop

        Guy Fawkes

        Better yet, can we have an icon that *isn't* based on a hopeless patsy who got caught and executed by The Man of the day, and furthermore is ritually re-burned every year by the common people?

        Come on. I can't be the *only* one who thinks Guy Fawkes is the most nonsensical choice for wannabe anarchists, can I?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Agreed

          Except ... it makes for a much more believable icon / hero.

    2. Hooch181
      Happy

      From what I can gather...

      this guy seemed to be trying to use the Legion to further his own career and that of the company he works/worked for...

      Well looks like that's not going to work out to well for him!

      You would have though a security consultant would be a bit more savvy.

      I think "Pwned" would be the operative word!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Troll

      me-too!

      Problem? =D

  4. solarian
    Alert

    IRC

    The reason they were able to launch an attack this strong on the guy is because they try to compromise the PCs of some "members" (by IRC vulns, for instance) as a matter of routine. They then have this in hand if ever they need it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Badgers

      Darker Corners of the Internet

      Here be dragons.

      Badgers icon for the lack of dragons.

      1. Deadly_NZ

        NOOOOooo

        The dragons live in FF land!!!!! lol

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    History Repeats Itself

    This reminds me of Great War generals ordering troops to march into new-fangled machine-gun fire.

  6. phil mcracken
    Grenade

    A security consultancy pwned?

    They obviously don't practice what they preach ;)

    1. Scorchio!!
      Big Brother

      Re: A security consultancy pwned?

      "They obviously don't practice what they preach ;)"

      My thoughts exactly. Poor password strength, no measures against brute force/dictionary attacks, such as long time outs for each failed password after, say, 3rd attempt, and much, much more.

      However, this will merely incite the appropriate bodies to work even harder at apprehending these people. It will happen.

      1. Mostor Astrakan

        Pah. Security consultants.

        The last security auditor I had to deal with suggested that we turn off FTP, because apparently it sends passwords across teh networkz in plaintext. No, really? Well, given that you've been *told* that this is a print server, and all they can do with FTP is waste our paper, also that it doesn't have a password, and even if it had one, they could still print stuff using port 9100, I don't think we'll prioritise on manually logging in on ~50 print servers.

        Run the script, take the output, cut and paste it into Word, profit!

        There are security experts out there who really deserve respect, don't get me wrong. But they don't work for the kind of outfit that ends every report with "And therefore you need to install our spiffy security package".

        1. Is it me?

          CLAS and CISSP do not a techie make.

          Nor a TDA, because offhand I don't know my TCP Port numbers, other than 1521. You probably wouldn't be surprised how often the blindingly obvious needs to be stated though.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Big Brother

          Re: Pah. Security consultants.

          There are a few things to be said about ftp and security.

          http://www.google.ca/#hl=en&source=hp&biw=1048&bih=829&q=ftp+secure+tunnelling&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&fp=2cebb34f216005c8

    2. Haku

      You don't turn up to a gun fight with a knife

      ...unless you're Ninja.

      (I have selected the Ninja icon, but you can't see it)

      1. Thomas 18

        Ninjas don't turn up for fights

        ...they are already there

  7. Ben Rosenthal
    Big Brother

    excellent work

    another one for the good guys.

    worst way to combat anon is to try and be sneaky and underhand, that's what fuels them and keeps them doing what they do.

    best way is to stop p1ssing all over the rights of the little people, people you are supposed to look out for dear governments of the world. Stop selling us out to the highest bidder.

    1. Sean O'Connor 1

      Good guys?

      Personally I don't think you should ever consider a group of self-appointed totally unaccountable people the "good guys". Maybe right now they are doing something you agree with but what if they do something that you don't agree with in the future? You have no recourse. I'll stick to calling people who are accountable (to me as a voter) and abide by the law as the "good guys".

      And if you don't like some law (or what your government is doing) get off your arse and change it. You know you are living in a democracy?

      1. kissingthecarpet
        FAIL

        O Rly?

        That is All.

      2. Hooch181
        WTF?

        Ah...

        "Personally I don't think you should ever consider a group of self-appointed totally unaccountable people the "good guys".

        You talking about Lobyists, Bankers, Corperations and others who run our governments or Anonymous?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          OR more specifically, the likes of...

          ....Peter Mandelson.

          1. Hooch181
            Alien

            Lol...

            don't get me started, I still reckon he has lizard eyes!

        2. Sean O'Connor 1

          Nope

          > You talking about Lobyists, Bankers, Corperations and others who run our governments

          No, maybe in your mind they run the government but in the real world they don't. Grow up. If you struggle to spell long words correctly (or even use a spell checker) I'm not surprised your grip on reality is tenuous.

          1. Hooch181
            Paris Hilton

            It's a forum...

            you got my meaning!

            Is spelling all you could pick up on?

            Paris, cause I bet she wouldn't care about spelling!

            1. Scorchio!!
              Happy

              Re: It's a forum...

              "you got my meaning!

              Is spelling all you could pick up on?

              Paris, cause I bet she wouldn't care about spelling!"

              Since your reading skills appear to be impaired - you missed a significant and large category in your respondent's post - perhaps you should stick to minding stuff like Paris, or ask your mummy to help you with the big words.

              1. Hooch181
                Badgers

                Oh noes...

                Someone is trying to be mean to me on the interwebz!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Flame

            Re: Nope

            I think you're the one who needs to grow up and see the world the way it really is.

            There is a ruling class in this country and it's not that mob in Westminster. I'm not even talking about the Royal Family. The Queen is a figurehead, nothing more. The political parties (if you can really see any difference between them) are all singing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to appeasing big corporations and stepping on the rights of the little guy.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            FAIL

            naive

            "No, maybe in your mind they run the government but in the real world they don't. Grow up. If you struggle to spell long words correctly (or even use a spell checker) I'm not surprised your grip on reality is tenuous."

            You don't have to be a conspiracy nut to see that financial institutions and corporate lobbyists have a hugely disproportionate say over how things are organised when compared to the rest of us. The idea that it's solely the government that runs the infrastructure free of outside influence is naive in the extreme and shows a complete lack of understanding of how modern society is arranged.

          4. Mike Flugennock
            FAIL

            Dude, stop digging...

            ...you're in deep enough already. (giggle)

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Stop

            Wait a second!

            You mean you're so naive to believe the governments are caring for the public interest ? You're cute!

          6. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Scorchio!!
          FAIL

          Re: Ah...

          ""Personally I don't think you should ever consider a group of self-appointed totally unaccountable people the "good guys".

          You talking about Lobyists, Bankers, Corperations and others who run our governments or Anonymous?"

          People who use non sequitur arguments (I'll spell that out real slow for you in case you are reading impaired; a non sequitur argument or conclusion is one that does not follow from the initial premiss or data; wheeee! Did you see that? Elephant! Julian Assange is kind!) make themselves seem lacking in wit, quite apart from the fact that two wrongs do not make a right, especially when they're committed by unelected individuals claiming to represent all that is good/the people.

          1. Hooch181
            Pint

            Or maybe...

            they don't take things quite as seriously...

            I never suggested that two wrongs don't make a right. I just give Anon more credit for comedy value!

            There are things they do that I do agree with and things I don't. But at least they are funny!

            Have a pint and chill out...

      3. Ted Treen
        Big Brother

        Humph!

        "You know you are living in a democracy?"

        Can't be a post from the UK...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Grenade

          @Ted Treen

          > "You know you are living in a democracy?"

          >

          > Can't be a post from the UK...

          Or the US for that matter.

          1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: @Ted Treen

            Seriously, have a little goddamn perspective. Put the news on, or something.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Blah

              > Seriously, have a little goddamn perspective. Put the news on, or something

              Sarah, having lived in the Middle East for the best part of a decade, I fairly quickly came to the conclusion that they have a more representative form of government than the "West". Please do not let yourself be carried away by the inaccuracies and stereotypes which you are all fed in this part of the world.

              Not talking specifically about Egypt and the reasons why a certain, largely unpopular "leader" is able to cling to power for so long, but in general, I would suggest that putting "the news on" is about the worst thing you can do, as usually neither you as an spectator, not the journalist as a communicator have the necessary expertise in the subject matter being treated to understand what's going on. To boot, access to reliable information is often lacking as well.

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                FAIL

                RE: Blah

                ".....having lived in the Middle East for the best part of a decade...." I have to ask where, as you seem to have missed a lot of what other people might call "local goings on"?

                ".....I fairly quickly came to the conclusion that they have a more representative form of government than the "West"...." Hmmmm, so we can rule out Saudi Arabia (paternalistic monarchy that siezed power by climbing over a garden wall and murdering the incumbent monarch of the day, with the backing of an Imperial power; no free elections; and a current ruler that has stated “A system based on elections is not consistent with our Islamic creed"), Libya (current military dictator in place after a coup against the popular King that had gained independence; no free elections and no intention to ever hold free and fair elections; and a ruler that maintains his rule by a combination of repression and popularist policies funded by quickly-shrinking oil reserves), Jordan (the Hashemites were the losers in the war to control Saudi Arabia and were parachuted onto the throne of a created "country" of Jordan by the Brits in order to keep the losing half of the Arab tribes from starting a civil war with the Sauds; not even a local, he's a Saudi Arab - the majority of the local Arabs are of "Palestinian" Syrian origin; elections that are carefully prepped to make sure the PLO, Islamists and Shia do not get real power; and a current ruler that reputedly maintains the largest secret police force in the region), Iraq (whilst struggling towards democracy now, if you've been out there for a decade then you were working with Saddam's lackeys in the dictatorship years; currently spinning into a mix of lightly Islamic to full-on Islamic parties with little representation of the minority Christains or any other sects), Iran (kinda hard to work out whom is running the country, is it the Ayatollahs or the politicians in the Majlis, or the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, but none of them are keen or really free elections or representation for the Iranian Sunnis, let alone the non-Islamic minorities; questionable policies on equality, especially if you're female or homosexual; but really ironic that the whole Islamic Revolution mess came about because Prez Carter fluffed it badly, in a very similar way to how Obambi is fluffing the Egyptian issue), Syria (they did have some elections, but only in the Ba'ath Party, which is how the Assads came to rule; paternalistic dictatorship with the Assads determined to keep themselves as the royal family in everything but name; unrepresentative - Assad is an Allawite and uses sectarian differences between the larger Sunni, Shia and Druze tribes to keep Allawites in key and unelected government roles), the Lebanon (another imperial fudge, this time by the Fwench, suffering from years of brain-drain as many of the educated and well-financed scarpered to other countries; suffered for years in a sectarian civil war between unelected parties and meddling from the Syrians, Israelis, Americans, Saudis, Russians, Iranians and Palestinians; and currently one step away from becoming an Islamic republic under the control of a party that alledgedly murdered the last popularist and elected Prime Minister) and probably not any of the Gulf emirates (seeing as they are all ruled by monarchies with very tightly controlled "parliaments" selected by nepotism, tribalism and controlled elections), so did you spend your time in the area out to sea?

                "....Not talking specifically about Egypt and the reasons why a certain, largely unpopular "leader" is able to cling to power for so long....." Interesting, but let's do a little number checking - Egypt has a population of 80 million, so if we assume say 50% are of the age and ability to demonstrate, we should be seeing millions on the streets, but the largest Cairo demo (with buses laid on to bring in "spontaneous" protesters) only hit 100,000? Oh, and there seem to be a few people counter-protesting too. Could it be that, whilst unelected, Mubarak is still popular with many Egyptians? After all, if he was so unpopular, surely the Army would have turned on him by now? Sure, the Muslim Brotherhood might win many seats in a truly fair and open election, but that's not to say Moob's NDP couldn't still win enough to remain in control. Until there actually are real elections it's pretty much anyone's guess. After all, one of the reasons Moob's been able to "cling on" for so long is because Egypt has been at peace for decades, unlike many of the neighbouring Arab states.

                ".....neither you as an spectator, not the journalist as a communicator have the necessary expertise in the subject matter being treated to understand what's going on...." Let me guess, you think only you can form an educated opinion? Hate to burst your bubble, but the BBC is actually quite thorough in how they select and prep their reporters. Sure, it doesn't remove all bias, and it certainly doesn't mean they are always the best sources going, but the Beeb is pretty careful to give the best info it can. And seeing as it is not a private or commercial operation, unlike many other news broadcasters, it usually has less of a political bent.

            2. magnetik
              Thumb Down

              perspective

              Sarah, I've lived in Africa and seen 3rd world dictatorships first hand. Thing is, there's plenty of corruption in the west, it's just more subtle and manipulative.

              Put the news on? Like we did when the govt lied to us and said Saddam could strike London in 45 min?

              1. david wilson

                @magnetik

                >>"Put the news on? Like we did when the govt lied to us and said Saddam could strike London in 45 min?"

                And when did the government actually say that?

                References please.

                The claims actually seemed to be that some weapons could be ready to use within 45 minutes of an order being given.

                Though being concerned about the precise timing always seemed very odd anyway.

                If one country could attack a target within 45 minutes of being given an order by a bloodthirsty leader, and a second country would need many hours' warning to do the same, unless there was real confidence that in the case of the second country there would be time to discover the orders and intervene to stop things, should a potential target *really* feel much safer with the second country than the first?

                If we knew that a country had had (and used) chemical weapons for battlefield situations, who would really have been shocked by a 45 minute claim anyway?

                In any case, even if there'd been a situation where weapons would normally take some time to get ready, in any real conflict situation we'd have to expect that things may be put on a more rapid footing, so claims as to precise times seem fairly meaningless.

                1. Is it me?

                  At least

                  We get to vote for our liars, and when you lot grow up, you'll understand what democracy and politics are all about, we can choose which lies to believe. We also have the advantage of an independent judiciary, not always the case, they can and do moderate politicians.

                  In the UK and US you can publicly and loudly dissent, you have a right to spout any rubbish you want too, and the rest of us can listen or not as we choose.

                  In a dictatorship or one party state, there is only one set of lies, and disagreement becomes the choice of the politician to chop your head off or not.

                  If you don't like the US or UK systems, you have the right to join a political party or form one of your own and change things, might take a while, but change a lot of things you can.

                  Look at the freedoms you have, and compare them to those in Egypt, Libya and Iran. Look at the corruption in the western world, and compare it to Africa, and the middle east, do you really think we are that bad.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Thumb Down

                    Re: At least

                    "In the UK and US you can publicly and loudly dissent"

                    Erm, and what exactly do you call all the protests in Egypt? If that's not publically and loudly dissenting I don't know what is!

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @magnetik

                And how do we know that the 45mins thing was made up by the then government? Step forward BBC Radio 4 news.

                So, yes, actually put the news on, you may learn something.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  @AC

                  >>"And how do we know that the 45mins thing was made up by the then government? Step forward BBC Radio 4 news."

                  Though magnetik is 'remembering' that the government claimed London was 45 minutes from attack, which is a bit different to the government issuing a report claiming that /some/ weapons might be ready for use in 45 minutes.

                  Which particular Iraqi ballistic missiles were supposed to be able to reach London?

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Big Brother

              Re: Egypt

              Here's the difference:

              In Egypt the people are trying to fight for a democracy. And well they might, because the rule that they are currently living under is a self serving dictatorship under one man who is accountable to no-one but himself. He can do whatever he wants and if the people take it then he gets away with it. No one to scold him, especially since the world powers are his buddies, you know, cos he buys stuff from them.

              In the UK the people have already gone through this, they've fought against repressive regimes time and again and won. We have political representation. However, we are so consumed with our daily lives, with work and play that we've forgotten about politics (the vast majority anyway). We've forgotten what this country can be like when we don't have the civil liberties that we do today. And because we've fogotten, we're letting the government and the corporations they work for erode our liberties in the name of security and everyone is ok with it. The illusion here is the one of change. When our leading party does something we don't like we change to the other. Then when they do something bad, we change back and nothing ever REALLY changes. Nothing. They are still the puppets of the same corporations feeding the little people minor "victories" to show that they matter... when they don't. The only thing that matters is money.

              The real difference between Egypt and the UK? The rulers of the UK discovered long ago how to keep the sheeple in their place.

              1. david wilson

                @magnetik

                I'm still waiting for you (or any of my downvoters) to actually point out where and when the UK government claimed that London was actually 45 minutes away from Iraq-sourced armageddon.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  @ David Wilson

                  Does it matter? Clearly Magnetik has got his facts a little bit twisted. However, that does not change the fact that our leaders lied to parliament about Iraq having capable WMDs. This led to the UK entering a war against the will of the people based on lies.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Misled, I think

                    IIRC they didn't specifically lie (at least not in public) but they deliberately produced a document that put two separate pieces of information close together and took advantage of the human brain's tendency to assume connections that aren't specified.* Politicians desperately try to avoid lying and use deception and evasion instead.

                    * I remember a maths A Level text book that had a text comprehension exercise at the front to emphasize the rigour of mathematics in comparison to how we normally read information. It was an excellent mental exercise. I've tried to find the text book but can't.

                  2. david wilson

                    @AC

                    >>"Does it matter?"

                    Of course it bloody matters.

                    If it's OK for people to just remember what they feel like remembering, then people will seem unlikely to learn much, including how easily they may have helped deceive themselves rather than having simply been lied to, making it easier for the same thing to happen again in future.

            4. Sil_W

              @ Sarah Bee - Democracy

              Hi, Sarah. Sorry that this is such a long post. For what my opinion might mean to you, normally I reckon you get it pretty much right with your no-nonsense smackdowns, but I think you missed here. Sure, if you're saying that we have it a lot better than some countries - even most countries - then I agree completely. It's one of the reasons I get irritated at the constant police-bashing that goes on on The Reg - like we really are living in some totalitarian dictatorship where no-one has any rights at all. That's very obviously complete crap: we have a lot of valuable freedoms, as evidenced by the ease with which people can make such comments in the first place.

              Yes, there are places where people are a lot worse off than we are. But that doesn't imply that everything's rosy here. You say to put the news on and get some perspective, but as others have commented, that's partially the problem: the news doesn't give us perspective. I know it's trendy to slate the BBC as having a 'leftist agenda' (whatever the hell that might mean objectively speaking), but of the various news agencies that have an input into our lives, the BBC is the only one that isn't subject to market forces and run as a profit-making exercise by a business executive. Which isn't to say the BBC is unbiased, but that the vast majority of information sources certainly do work to a specific agenda.

              'Citizen journalism' is fine, except that it stems from citizens, who not only have beliefs, attitudes and prejudices, but also don't have a PCC - even an apparently fairly toothless one - to regulate their reporting.

              As for democracy, it probably seems pedantic to point out that it doesn't exist, and hasn't done since ancient Athens. Unless you count pirate ships, and I'm not actually all that sure about that. Legend Has It, and so on. But we don't have democracy in Britain, however much we might claim we do; nor does it exist in the USA, or Australia, or (as far as I'm aware) anywhere else in the modern world. What we generally have is government by a relatively privileged elite somewhat removed from the 'common people' - it's far easier to get into serious, world-changing politics if you're well-educated and of independent means. We have a party system that seriously restricts the influence of the people over the government, because MPs are expected to act in their party's interests even where those don't coincide with the will of their constituents (I'm not claiming that MPs never act against their parties, but they're under pressure to conform). We have little direct control over central government if, as has been shown, it's able to take the country into war against the will of the people. The best term I've heard for the system of government we have in the UK is 'elective oligarchy'. We choose which of the elite we want to rule us this term.

              I think a few steps would reduce some of these problems. First, abolish the party system and install independent MPs across the board: their constituency pays for them and they are accountable only to their local people. That would move us a little way towards democracy. Second, free the press. A free press is an essential element of a free state - but at the moment, they aren't free: they're subject to the whims and agendas of their business directors, and that should stop. The press should be obliged to report honestly, truthfully and without bias - and if a press outlet doesn't have the will or the resources to fact-check and balance its reporting then it must have no future. Third, rein in the advertising industry. Again, require truthfulness and honesty, and prohibit advertising by deception and trickery.

              No, of course these things are never going to happen - there's still too much pork in the various barrels. But it's the fact that they won't happen that leads me to disagree with you, and to agree more with those who question the power of the people in our not-quite-democracy.

              1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

                Re: @ Sarah Bee - Democracy

                I think you're being absolutist. I said 'have some perspective', not 'shut up, everything's amazing'. I would never suggest that it is - I'm not rich, or anything.

                1. Sil_W
                  Coat

                  Re: @ Sarah Bee - Democracy

                  That's fair enough. Nor am I suggesting that everything's terrible. But I'd suggest - briefly - that seeing the flaws in the 'western' idea of democracy isn't a matter of having too little perspective, nor being absolutist. It's just seeing things and describing them as they are. Maybe that's conceited (assuming I have an objective view of things), but there it is.

                  I don't accept some of the more... passionate... comments here; but nor do I accept that it's as easy as "if you don't like it, change it, you're living in a democracy", which is what started all this off.

                  Okay, shutting up now. :o)

              2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                Boffin

                RE: @ Sarah Bee - Democracy

                Whilst I generally agree with what you say about the problems, there are a few points you may want to reconsider with your solutions.

                ".....First, abolish the party system and install independent MPs across the board....." Nice idea, but people tend to group together with the like minded, both for support and advantage. Pretty soon you'd just have a number of "independents" that "shared resources" and spoke together, and then you'd be right back to parties in all but name.

                ".....their constituency pays for them and they are accountable only to their local people....." Actually, they're paid out of central funds, otherwise you'd have the problem of wealthy areas just paying extra to get the better representatives, and poor areas struggling to get someone capable. And seeing as the wealthier areas usually vote Tory, pretty soon you'd have Tory domination (OK, I vote Tory, but even I don't like the idea of an unopposed Tory government in perpetual power).

                ".....Second, free the press....." Actually it is free - anyone can start a newspaper. The problem is it costs a lot to run a national newspaper, let alone one that wants to cover international news, and as they are facing a shrinking market due to the encroachment of the Internet and cable/satellite news channels, they seem to have jettisoned any idea of being newsworthy for simply spewing out whatever they think will get readers.

                "....The press should be obliged to report honestly, truthfully and without bias....." Hmmm, how are they being untruthful? If they are lying then there are legal and professional ways to seek redress. Then there's the problem of how do you make sure they are bias free, do you outlaw opinion pieces or expert analysis (or just the analysts that your bias means you disagree with)? And how do you know if they're telling the whole truth - if it's already known then it's not news! Attempting to control the press in any way other than obliging them to follow the libel laws and criminal laws (such as in the case of phone voicemail "hacking") seems an impractical and possibly dangerous idea to me.

                1. Sil_W

                  @ Matt Bryant

                  I've cut this down as far as I can (sorry, mod). Your points deserved replies, but I don't want to clog up the forums.

                  [Abolishing the party system] "Nice idea, but people tend to group together[...]"

                  I'd expect people would have to agree in order to make a representative system work at all. The point is that they express their constituents' views, not those of a party.

                  [Pay by constituency] "Actually, they're paid out of central funds, otherwise you'd have the problem of wealthy areas just paying extra to get the better representatives, and poor areas struggling to get someone capable. And seeing as the wealthier areas usually vote Tory, pretty soon you'd have Tory domination"

                  *Only if there was a Tory party*. But no: one constituency - one MP - one centrally set salary. No option for more MPs, or higher salary. If anything, such a system will likely discourage the wealthier candidates. And capability is nothing to do with wealth.

                  [Freeing the press] "Actually it is free - anyone can start a newspaper. The problem is it costs a lot to run a national newspaper, let alone one that wants to cover international news, and as they are facing a shrinking market due to the encroachment of the Internet and cable/satellite news channels, they seem to have jettisoned any idea of being newsworthy for simply spewing out whatever they think will get readers."

                  Precisely. So the news we hear is what makes the most money. So is skewed, unreliable, profit-driven news better than little or no news? Especially considering the last point:

                  [Press obligation to report truthfully] "Hmmm, how are they being untruthful? If they are lying then there are legal and professional ways to seek redress."

                  Redress is generally limited to fines and payouts. A huge, profitable 'news' corporation needn't fear some aggrieved little upstart being indulged by some court somewhere. Pay the peanuts and move on.

                  I recommend sites such as fullfact.org, mailwatch.co.uk, or flatearthnews.net (the latter is in effect a big plug for a book, but the site and the book do contain some thought-provoking material).

                  I'm not suggesting that journalists set out to lie. They may, or they may be mistaken, unconsciously biased or just plain ignorant (as a pagan, some of the claims I've seen in the DM about us are just downright baffling). But whichever's the case, news quality suffers.

                  [How to ensure balance in news] "Then there's the problem of how do you make sure they are bias free, do you outlaw opinion pieces or expert analysis (or just the analysts that your bias means you disagree with)?"

                  Opinion pieces are fine as long as they're balanced, clearly labelled as such and are kept out of 'news' reports.

                  Newspapers shouldn't have a 'position'. If you want your paper to have a political position then you make sure you label it as what it is: a political paper. Don't pretend - or allow readers to believe - that it's unbiased.

                  Too many people still honestly believe that "they wouldn't be allowed to say it if it wasn't true". You could argue that such people already believe and accept that there are certain controls on the press.

                  As for experts, you suggest that control might enable papers to give room only the experts they agree with. I'd argue that that's what happens now, and it's one of the things I'd like to see addressed.

                  "And how do you know if they're telling the whole truth - if it's already known then it's not news!"

                  Can't be helped. News reporting depends on there being something to report. Like witch-hunting depends on there being witches to hunt. When the witches run out, an honest witch-hunter (bear with me here) will accept it, hang up his pitchfork and put his ducking stool into mothballs. A dishonest one will try to manufacture more witches so he can keep charging to get rid of them. (Bad analogy from someone with a number of witches as friends, but you take my point, I'm sure.)

                  Journalism, on the other hand, only really means recording what's happened, and doesn't actually carry any connotation of 'exclusives' or 'breaking news'.

                  [Controlling the press] "Attempting to control the press in any way other than obliging them to follow the libel laws and criminal laws (such as in the case of phone voicemail "hacking") seems an impractical and possibly dangerous idea to me."

                  Dangerous it certainly is. But that's my point exactly: the press is *already* controlled to the point of being unhealthy and even - in some cases - touching on useless. It makes no difference that it's controlled by corporate interests rather than political ones. And in any case, just shouting and complaining and whipping up fear and hysteria (seriously: look at those websites), a news outlet isn't fulfilling the idealised purpose of the free press in protecting freedoms. In fact, it's socially damaging.

      4. magnetik
        FAIL

        democracy?

        "And if you don't like some law (or what your government is doing) get off your arse and change it. You know you are living in a democracy?"

        What, like when a million people march on the houses of parliament to say we don't want to go to war and they do it anyway?

        If you think there's any country on earth that really runs as a democracy you are truly naive.

      5. Mike Flugennock
        FAIL

        Living in a... WHAT?

        Sean O'Connor sez on 02.07.11 at 11:31gmt:

        "You know you are living in a democracy?"

        P'wah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hahhh... oh, damn, I've wet 'em.

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Living in a... WHAT?

          I hope you're going to take that amusingly exaggerated guffawing to Egypt, you arse.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @Fredric

              You do understand that saying something grossly offensive with the words "no offence, but" doesn't meant it's not offensive, don't you?

              1. Oninoshiko

                @Fredric (in responce to AC)

                "You do understand that saying something grossly offensive with the words "no offence, but" doesn't meant it's not offensive, don't you?"

                Nor does it make it any less of arumentum ad hominim.

              2. Sil_W
                Thumb Up

                Re: @ Fredric

                "You do understand that saying something grossly offensive with the words "no offence, but" doesn't meant it's not offensive, don't you?"

                No, no, it does. It's like making derogatory comments against an ethnic group. It's not racism as long as you open with "I'm not racist, but...".

                Also, did you know the calories in a pizza don't count if you have a Diet drink with it? Same principle.

          2. Someone Else Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Y'know...

            ...if I'd have said that...I'd have been censored for violating the "calling of names" enjoinder.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        Good guys

        "Personally I don't think you should ever consider a group of self-appointed totally unaccountable people the "good guys".

        So you agree the gouvernment are all crooks? And before you go all "but democraty" on me, consider what your choices are in that democraty and tell me if you really have one.

        After all, what's really the difference between one politician and another?

      7. Ron Luther
        Black Helicopters

        AND?

        "Accountable ... *and* abide by the law?"

        Oh! So basically your dog then?

      8. Ammaross Danan
        FAIL

        Since it hasn't been said yet:

        "I'll stick to calling people who are accountable (to me as a voter) and abide by the law as the "good guys"."

        Actually, the general population votes don't really matter. There's plenty of sheeple that will cause your vote to get drowned out. Therefore, you don't matter, unless you can convince a majority of voters to vote like you.

        "And if you don't like some law (or what your government is doing) get off your arse and change it. You know you are living in a democracy?"

        The USA is actually a democratic republic. Representatives are voted in democratically (democratic is basically "everyone gets to vote"). These representatives then vote on actual meaningful stuff, such as laws. Therefore, not only does your vote not really count (see above), but you're even one step removed from the true voting process for laws. And if you think you voted for Obama, you should Google "Electorial College."

        .

        1. Knochen Brittle
          Big Brother

          Democracy for Dummies

          "democratic is basically everyone gets to vote" ~ NERRRR, wrong answer ~ Democracy means that government bureaucrats live in fear of the People, as opposed to vice versa, the situation currently pertaining in USA + Britain, which follow a model of closet military dictatorship fronted by a ping-pong parliamentary Puppenspiel in the interests of imperialist monopoly capitalism.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Stop

            RE: Democracy for Dummies

            Wow! The only thing that mindless rant was missing was something about "running dog lackeys"! It was like one of those Kim il Jong comedy speech generators you find on the Web. I'm gobsmacked that, years after the fall of the Wall, there are still people peddling such obvious nonsense. Seriously, where do you have to go to get spoonfed this stuff?

            ".....Democracy means that government bureaucrats live in fear of the People...." Why? Surely the ideal is everyone getting along fine and happy, so why the need for anyone to fear anyone? And BTW, if there is this big, self-serving military-industrial complex, how come the Tories are making military cuts? Try just the tiniest little bit of logic in the next rant, please.

            Democracy is not perfect, it means the will of the majority usually gets enforced over the wishes of the minority. However, it seesm you lot have the idea that democracy is only democracy when it means your views and desires are passed regardless. Well, in this case, you Fosjays and Anonyputzs are so obviously a tiny minority, so for your "democracy" we'd actually be implementing a dictatorship of the few AGAINST the will of the majority. Which is a circular way of getting round to saying your just as bad as the dictators and cults you bash.

          2. Sil_W
            Thumb Down

            NERRRR

            Said Knochen Brittle:

            "NERRRR, wrong answer ~ Democracy means that government bureaucrats live in fear of the People"

            No it doesn't. It means that the people are in charge. 'Demos' 'kratos'. 'People' 'power'. The term 'democracy' doesn't convey any meaning relating to bureaucracy or fear. What we've added onto its meaning afterwards is entirely subjective, so doesn't lend itself to 'NERRRR' very convincingly.

            Still, *any* society in which there is fear between the governors and the governed is an unhealthy society, no matter who fears whom.

      9. wim
        FAIL

        to Sean

        "

        I'll stick to calling people who are accountable (to me as a voter) and abide by the law as the "good guys".

        "

        Did you meet any of that kind of "good guys" lately ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          It seems that

          To many people think democracy meens the government doing exactly what they want and anything else is unfair.

          "Actually, the general population votes don't really matter. There's plenty of sheeple that will cause your vote to get drowned out. Therefore, you don't matter, unless you can convince a majority of voters to vote like you."

          Realy WTF are you fools on about? This was an argument saying the UK isn't democratic. WTF?

          Grow up and stop living in a world of paranioa. The UK is a democratic country, we do not live in a mire of corruption. I call BS on the people claiming that the UK is less democratic than the middle east or central Africa. You didn't live there, and if you did it was as a rich westener living in a gated compound with lots of cash, armed protection and the ability to get out any time you want.

          I have never been stoped on the street by the police and asked for a bribe. I have never been told how to vote. I have never felt that UK elections were rigged. Thats not something that can be said about these places you claim to have been.

          We live in a free and democratic country and if you realise that you'll be much happyer and live longer. Its not perfect, but it is most definiatly not worse than a dictatorship.

          As for this bunch of stupid kids? They are bullies and must be stopped now. They are trying to force there will on people and use there power. They have attacked someone who found out who some of them are. Dosen't sound much like a force for good to me.

          What worrys me is what will happen when Assange is deported by the UK so Sweden. They will attack the UK. Who knows where and what.

    2. Scorchio!!
      Linux

      Re: excellent work

      "another one for the good guys.

      worst way to combat anon is to try and be sneaky and underhand, that's what fuels them and keeps them doing what they do."

      The 'good guys'? Oh puhleeese, a bunch of skiddies. Also it would seem that you have not learned from this lesson, never mind the target; the point is to remain sneaky, to be undetected, to use passive techniques, to use a machine isolated from a main network in such a way that it is not attributable, to use highly secure proxies and, above all, to zip it up and not say a word. The old saying is 'loose lips sink ships'.

      The rest of your loose cannon rant snipped

  8. Hooch181
    Black Helicopters

    According to this...

    http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/Cyberactivists-warned-arrest-ftimes-3487898538.html?x=0

    He has found the leaders of Anon, Lol...

  9. doperative

    some links ..

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:zoBJ578x9xYJ:www.hbgary.com/+HBGary&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&source=www.google.co.uk

    http://hizost.com/d/zjb

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2011/2/6/941730/-Anonymous-pwns-HBGary-Federal

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    HBGary?

    Sounds like an unfortunate pencil accident.

    Lucky it wasn't a 2H!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Didn't see this coming.

    /sarcasm

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    People in glass houses

    shouldn't throw stones.

    If you are going after a group known for DDos and hacking attacks, then make sure your assets are bomb proof. It looks to me that HBGary didn't even make theirs knat's piss proof.

    Grenade, because HBGary could do with one to defend themselves.

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: People in glass houses

      "shouldn't throw stones.

      If you are going after a group known for DDos and hacking attacks, then make sure your assets are bomb proof. It looks to me that HBGary didn't even make theirs knat's piss proof."

      More importantly the fool should not have opened his big fat orifice to give away his position, never mind the use of expensive, secure proxies to do his research, tightening up his security in a variety of ways. Discipline, defence in depth and so on.

  13. Dazed and Confused

    Like ACS Law

    I though El'Reg had reported that the "attack" on ACS Law was simply a case of all the files being on the webserver and not really constituting a hack at all - just not being blind.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Terminator

    Where will it all end?

    First they came for the communists,

    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,

    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,

    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

    Then they came for me

    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Yes, yes, very good...

      ... except it's more like this:

      First they came for the people who record movies in cinemas, and I did not speak out because I was not one of those people.

      Then they came for the hackers, and I did not speak out because I was not a hacker.

      Then they came for the filesharers, and I did not speak out because I was not a filesharer.

      Then Anonymous came for THEM...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      and there was no one left to speak out for me...

      I believe Anonymous are speaking out for you now.

      That's sort of the point. When the Government, Law Courts and everybody rubber stamp wrongs against the collective Anonymous will defend you.

      Bit like the Equaliser really

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
        Dead Vulture

        Edward Woodward

        Did that last comment conjour up a vision vision of Edward hacking into HBGary from beyond the Styx firewall?

        Or is it just me?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Or is it just me?

          I don't think so...but perhaps Edward Woodward would?

          1. Scorchio!!

            Re: @Or is it just me?

            "I don't think so...but perhaps Edward Woodward would?"

            As a certain famous comedian once had it, "Edward Woodward wouldn't", though perhaps he sells sea shells on the Styx shore.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC

        >>"I believe Anonymous are speaking out for you now."

        I think they're acting on their own behalf, not speaking out for me.

        Not that there's anything wrong in them doing that, as long as they're not pretending they're doing things on my behalf, since that would suggest they think they're a better judge of my interests than I am, and I'm not sure there are many people even of my own age I'd grant that status to, let alone people some decades younger.

        >>"That's sort of the point. When the Government, Law Courts and everybody rubber stamp wrongs against the collective Anonymous will defend you."

        What 'collective'?

        I don't remember being asked to join any collective.

        I'd always be wary of anyone claiming to be speaking/working on behalf of the people if they haven't actually asked to see if they're doing what the people want.

        Let's not forget that the person who did the things the originally quoted saying is referring to *also* claimed to be acting on behalf of some idealised notion of the people, and actually managed to convince rather more of them he was right than anonymous ever seem likely to do.

      3. Scorchio!!
        Grenade

        Re: and there was no one left to speak out for me...

        "I believe Anonymous are speaking out for you now.

        That's sort of the point. When the Government, Law Courts and everybody rubber stamp wrongs against the collective Anonymous will defend you.

        Bit like the Equaliser really"

        Aside from the fact that you've just emitted a damp squib, in the form of a series of bland clichés, The Equaliser was a television series. You know, a bit like Hollywood but on Tee Vee?

        Bland, thoughtless, lacking in analysis - the courts do a great deal of good, in spite of the glib way that you passed over the matter - and a 'collective'? Define the term; explain who is a member, why and how they became members. This all sounds very much like the clap trap spouted by Marxists when they took over, and subsequently started shooting, imprisoning and torturing people. Not that they were first. Oh no. Google for Robespierre. If you don't know how to do it ask your mummy, or follow this harmless link: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Robespierre+reign+of+terror .

        Speaking out for me? Ex soldier, list of letters after my name as long as a telephone bloody directory and some acne ridden anonymous poster claims these unelected skiddies are speaking for me? I'll meet them in the gymn, how about that? Then we can 'talk'. There now. Drink your Ovaltine and off to bed with you.

  15. Steve Brooks

    as opposed to

    "Personally I don't think you should ever consider a group of self-appointed totally unaccountable people the "good guys"

    As opposed to a group of self appointed totally unaccountable media moguls you mean?

  16. Simon Barnes

    naiveté

    "I'll stick to calling people who are accountable (to me as a voter) and abide by the law as the "good guys".

    And if you don't like some law (or what your government is doing) get off your arse and change it. You know you are living in a democracy?"

    how charmingly naive! I don't know enough about Anonymous to comment on their motives but I do know well enough that governements mostly serve entrenched power, which is allowed to ride roughshod over the law :(

    1. Sean O'Connor 1

      Do something then

      Go on then, stand as an MP at the next election. If you're so sure that "governments mostly serve entrenched power, which is allowed to ride roughshod over the law" it'll be easy for you to get elected.

      I bet you don't though, because either:

      a) you're too lazy

      b) you're wrong

      1. Santa from Exeter
        FAIL

        Correction

        Quote

        "Go on then, stand as an MP at the next election. If you're so sure that "governments mostly serve entrenched power, which is allowed to ride roughshod over the law" it'll be easy for you to get elected.

        I bet you don't though, because either:

        a) you're too lazy

        b) you're wrong"

        c) You don't have the £500 the process demands you to deposit before you can stand.

        There, that's better.

        1. Ainteenbooty
          Thumb Up

          Re: Correction

          "c) You don't have the £500 the process demands you to deposit before you can stand."

          Wow, that's a bargain! It costs at least 1000 times that to get anywhere in a US election.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            £500

            Is realy not that much money. If that is getting in your way then you realy don't care about changeing anything. Most of the people you claim are "standing up for you" as part of anonymous are doing using computers costing way more than £500.

            £500 seems like a very sensable amount to stop the system being flooded with loons, and you dont have to raise it all yourself. Surely if your ideas are that important people will be flooding to support you, and you could get 10 people to pay £50 each. And if you don't get voted for then the people don't want you. It's as simple as that.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        hmm

        Remind me, when was the last time an independent MP was elected to parliament - excluding those who were ex-members of one of the main parties and/or a media celebrity ? Unless you're fairly well off you'd need to spend years building up sufficient support to have a chance against the money and established channels of the existing parties - who of course would quite rightly tell the electorate that voting for you would be a waste since you'd have zero impact at Westminster anyway. As for working your way up through an existing party - very time-consuming for a newcomer without any contacts (although having the right kind of persona can be a big help), and very tricky if you don't want to keep to the party line.

        Personally I favour the tory's local communities approach - i.e. make waves a la private eye or wikileaks but concentrated on local politicians, using blogs & traditional fliers etc, and generally make their lives uncomfortable by showing the local voters what a bad deal they're getting. Then stand.

        1. Jedit
          Headmaster

          The last independent MP?

          That would be Richard Taylor, elected to Wyre Forest in 2001 and re-elected in 2005. I would have said Caroline Lucas, elected to Brighton Pavilion for the Green Party last May, but you didn't say an MP not of the main parties.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Here...

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_UK_minor_party_and_independent_MPs_elected

          That took nearly 20secs using FIWSE.

          On the main point though - You seem to be saying that the general public aren't interested enough, you wouldn't make much difference because everyone else isn't that interested in this issue and to make enough difference would take too long and cost too much of your time. Mainly it comes across as can't be arsed. Would you be arsed to join a facebook group, or is even that too much effort? Either you believe in what you say or you just fancy a whinge on the internet about how "the man" won't let you do exactly what you want, while stopping other people doing what you don't want them to do.

          As it happens, single issue politics rarely works because, in the words of Ben Goldacre "I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that."

        3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Stop

          RE: hmm

          You all forgot the rise of the Labour Party. Before they came along the two-party system in the UK was pretty much Tory and Liberal. It was when the unions and other assorted lefties got together to work in unison (pun unintended) that they got the public backing required to push their way into the political process. As individuals, the typical Labour voter was a poor worker, not at all likley to afford an election deposit and felt unrepresented by the Tory-Lib status quo, hence the wide support of Labour (that and the usual socialist whitterrings about "distributing the wealth"). But as a group, Labour had the monetary ability and could organise. Simply put, if you Anonyputz and Fosjays think you're so right, get together with some other assorted loons and make a political party. After all, if you can afford PCs for all your hacktivist work, then you're definately better off than the average Labour voter was when they started up. But then that would actually mean doing something tedious and boring, rather than playing at being new age Robin Hoods.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Wow

    I am amazed how many people support these cyber-thugs. As if Anon is really some heroic force for good and not just out to have fun with the troublemaking.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      "and not just out to have fun with the troublemaking."

      Even if they are.... trouble-making IS fun.

    2. scarshapedstar
      Big Brother

      I am not amazed

      Are you kidding? This 'security' firm is the modern day incarnation of the Pinkertons, hired by the most thuggish and usurious corporations imaginable (maybe you're unaware but in the US the credit cards have rigged the law so that nothing short of death can get rid of your credit card debt it's exalted over ALL other forms of credit as far as bankruptcy goes) to harass and intimidate a bunch of 14-year-olds who didn't really cause any harm in the first place.

      And this all began when these companies colluded to try and wipe Wikileaks off the map. You seem to be forgetting that.

      1. david wilson

        @scarshapedstar

        >>"And this all began when these companies colluded to try and wipe Wikileaks off the map. You seem to be forgetting that."

        "We don't want to do business with" == "wipe off the map?"

        They are businesses, not public services, and they do have some choice as to who they have as customers, *as long as they limit their actions to legal ones*.

        Even if they step over the bounds of what's legal, having Anonymous attack them if anything seems likely to make them look less bad in the eyes of many people.

        If a bank closed the account of someone when they really shouldn't have done, if various self-appointed friends of the 'victim' started to illegally attack the bank, many people would start to feel less sympathy for the victim and more for the bank, and conclude that the bank was probably justified even if technically in the wrong.

        The Anonymous lot really should understand that how they see themselves isn't necessarily how other people see them, and if people view their actions negatively, or less positively then they view them themselves, that's not all the fault of other people being stupid or brainwashed or misinformed, but can (and often is) be down to other people simply having different opinions.

        Personally, if I disagreed with what someone was doing (even if only from a tactical point of view) and was then told it was being done 'on my behalf', I'd be likely to look at it rather more negatively, and I suspect I'm not alone in that.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Ben Rosenthal
    FAIL

    heh heh

    "I'll stick to calling people who are accountable (to me as a voter) and abide by the law as the "good guys"."

    that's a good one!

    "You know you are living in a democracy?"

    lol another belter, and that entitles us to change laws we don't like? We actually vote on each decision the government makes for us? When did I miss that part? Or do I actually have to become an MP before I get a say? That doesn't sound very fair or democratic to me.

    Thankfully that's not the case and we 're mostly lucky enough to live in societies with a fair amount of free speech so we can discuss these issues (rather than your view of like it or lump it) and speak out against the things we disagree with, while lending support to any legal acts of dissent that we do agree with.

    In this case they got what they deserved, they used what sounds liek barley legal (if at all) underhanded methods to try and get information and got burned by not being as good at it as those they went after, I have no sympathy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      I was going...

      to make a rye comment about downloading a copy of Barley Legal, but I couldn't think of one.

      1. Scorchio!!
        Happy

        Re: I was going...

        "to make a rye comment about downloading a copy of Barley Legal, but I couldn't think of one."

        I was hopping mad, but like the Guinness I'm not bitter. ;-)

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Chris Miller

      It's a *representative* democracy, you twerp

      Very few democracies allow universal votes on each piece of legislation. This is for the very simple reason that you get lots of votes in favour of reduced taxes and lots of votes in favour of increased spending - not an approach that works too well in the longer term. So yes, you do have to become a representative to influence legislation, something that requires actual work rather than ranting on bulletin boards.

      Now back on the naughty step you go.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Hmmm.

        "This is for the very simple reason that you get lots of votes in favour of reduced taxes and lots of votes in favour of increased spending - not an approach that works too well in the longer term."

        Sounds like what they call in colonies the "Republican Party"

    3. David Ward 1
      FAIL

      Understanding democracy fail!

      "..that entitles us to change laws we don't like? We actually vote on each decision the government makes for us? When did I miss that part? Or do I actually have to become an MP before I get a say? That doesn't sound very fair or democratic to me."

      Don't like a law, complain to your MP, they will represent your views in parliment and get it repealed.. if they don't, vote for someone who does represent you, that is kind of the point of democracy!

      "(rather than your view of like it or lump it)"

      If you live in a democratic society you abide by its rules, and set them through the democratic process, see above..

      ".. and speak out against the things we disagree with, while lending support to any legal acts of dissent that we do agree with."

      What Anonymous do is illegal though. No one is suggesting you can't talk about anything or threatening your freedom of speech.

      "In this case they got what they deserved, they used what sounds liek barley legal (if at all) underhanded methods to try and get information and got burned by not being as good at it as those they went after, I have no sympathy."

      I have no sympathy for them either, however what anonymous did was still illegal which is all the post was saying..

    4. Sean O'Connor 1

      Title

      "lol another belter, and that entitles us to change laws we don't like?"

      Nothing's stopping you from voting for whichever political party you want to. Nothing's stopping you from writing to your MP. Nothing's stopping you from standing as an MP. Nothing's stopping you from organizing a demonstration. Have you tried any of them?

      " We actually vote on each decision the government makes for us? When did I miss that part?"

      You missed that part when you didn't understand how our democracy works.

      " Or do I actually have to become an MP before I get a say? That doesn't sound very fair or democratic to me."

      Sounds like your idea of democracy is whatever you personally think is right. You do realize that there might be people out there who don't agree with you?

      1. Hooch181
        FAIL

        Except...

        MP's vote along party lines and not with the will of their constituents!

        I double checked "constituents" just for you...

        1. Paul 4
          FAIL

          RE:Hooch181

          Only when it is a three line whip. Look up how the uk system works befor trying to be smug.

          1. Hooch181
            Happy

            True...

            but more often then not, they vote along party lines!

            Wasn't trying to be smug, there be spelling Nazis about. You might want to be careful about that yourself...

      2. magnetik
        FAIL

        @Sean O'Connor 1

        Funny, I'm sure my MP made all sorts of promises about fighting for various causes before I voted him in, but he hasn't delivered on any. He couldn't have been *gasp* lying to me just to get votes could he? Politicians surely can't do that kind of thing!??!? :-O

        Of course you could always try to petition no 10. directly through their website. I have, many times. Not a single one has resulted in anything other than a reply from the PM basically stating "your view is wrong, we know better".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @magnetik

          If your MP lied, call him out about it. Email him, you can get the contact details at www.theyworkforyou.com, if he doesn't reply, send a letter, no reply from that, go to his surgery and ask in person. Be polite, don't shout or hurl abuse, you may well get somewhere.

          More over, don't vote for him again, remind people you talk to that he lied, ask the other local parties about it, stick it on the internet, go to the hustings for the next election and ask him in public about his lies. If you really want to push the boat out a leaflet campaign.

          You do no have to be silent about this sort of thing.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Re: Title

        "Nothing's stopping you from organizing a demonstration."

        Last time I looked there was quite a bit of legislation stopping people from organising a demonstration, at least without having to apply for a permit, presumably have people perform various background checks on you, and be photographed by police officers for potential harassment down the line.

        "You missed that part when you didn't understand how our democracy works."

        Or doesn't work, because the Britard system of government is "bloke (typically from major party) who got more than any one of the others gets in", even if the vote was split almost equally four ways (check out some Northern Ireland results to see that happening), and will then suck up to the party leadership in order to have his five minutes of fame every other year while throwing any principles you might have agreed with overboard, all while Britard apologists whine about how having a local person in parliament is "best for local issues" despite the presence of a considerable local bureaucracy whose job it is to be "best for local issues".

        But keep lecturing us about the wonders of Westminster. When you pause to think about it, you might realise how undemocratic it actually can be to a lot of people, especially those whose votes will never influence policy throughout their entire lives because, say, Sir Horace Tory-Horsebanger is "a respected local figure" who'll always manage to round up enough votes amongst like-"minded" bigots.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Heart

    Anonymous member list is wrong

    HBGary is full of crud anyway; I just read their 'evidence document'; I'm not mentioned once.. And I'm about as anonymous as it gets..

  20. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Happy

    You poke a bee's nest, expect to get stung!

    So you go about poking around into the inner workings of a group of misfits known for breaking into systems and generally causing trouble, yet you forget to beef up your own kit to make sure this lot don't get the drop on you?!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    *sigh*

    When will they realize they are dealing with an amoeba, not a snake?

    You can't cut it's head off and any attempt will be messy.

    1. Scorchio!!
      Grenade

      Re: *sigh*

      "When will they realize they are dealing with an amoeba, not a snake?

      You can't cut it's head off and any attempt will be messy."

      Very poor analogy. Do you know why? Permit me, as a molecular biologist, to enlighten you; the amoeba is a single celled animal. It has no head. The way to kill it is to crush it, or perhaps try a toxin. In the case of a human I'd suggest 6-OHDA, bungarotoxin or anything equally nasty, but I don't deal with single eukaryotes.

      Now if you meant a hydra, well you'd still be bullshitting, because the hydra is an entity from Greek mythology.

      Next?

      1. foo_bar_baz

        Swooosh!

        I can tell you're a scientist, that's for sure.

  22. mhenriday
    Pint

    Poetic justice !

    For some strange reason, I find it difficult to touch upon any significant reserves of sympathy for organisations like HBGary - or, for that matter, the CIA, MI6, SÄPO, et cetera ad nauseam - and those who employ them, whether companies or governments. Up the kiddies !...

    Henri

  23. Tigra 07
    Thumb Up

    Ha!

    Well they got infiltrated much better than they Anonymous so maybe they should be standing at the side lines trying to learn a thing or two, rather than getting in the way?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    @Sean O'Connor 1 - The funniest thing...

    Maybe one of the funniest things I've ever heard Sean, thanks for that

    "And if you don't like some law (or what your government is doing) get off your arse and change it. You know you are living in a democracy?"

    Where is this democracy you speak off? The UK? The USA? Um...Since 1981, in the White House either a Bush or a Clinton

    Bush(snr), Clinton(Bill), Bush(Jnr), Clinton(H).

    Pick a card, any card.

    If this is what "democracy" means to you dude, you've a lot of thinking to do I'd suggest...Either that or keep pumping out the one liners; they're great :)

    Peace.

    1. Sean O'Connor 1

      Don't get your point

      As far as I remember all of those people you listed were elected democratically so I'm not sure what your point is there. There's no rule against standing in an election just because your dad won it previously.

      If you're struggling to figure out that we do live in a democracy go take a look at some of those regimes that are teetering in the Arab world for examples of what are not democracies. Prefer what you see there?

      Personally I think I'm exceptionally fortunate to live in a democratic country where I can choose to vote and to stand for election if I want. I like having an independent judiciary and a police force to uphold the law. I don't like a self-appointed group of people who are unaccountable to me deciding on what is right or wrong so coming back to the original point, they're not the good guys.

      Think about the slippery slope you're on. Who would animal rights extremists, Islamic extremists or virulent racists consider the "good guys"? We're lucky to have a fantastic system here, don't knock it.

      1. magnetik
        Thumb Down

        Re: Don't get your point

        "I don't like a self-appointed group of people who are unaccountable to me deciding on what is right or wrong"

        Right, so how many govt employees were made accountable for the fact that we entered a war based on the 45 min strike lie?

        "We're lucky to have a fantastic system here, don't knock it."

        Our leaders spend more and more time campaigning instead of doing their job and with every election campaign spending records are smashed. Good luck to anyone who wants to change the country without a few billion bankrolled to them by big corporations. What a great system.

        1. Sean O'Connor 1

          Title

          > Right, so how many govt employees were made accountable for the fact that we entered a war based on the 45 min strike lie?

          sigh...

          I give up. I'm going back to work.

        2. david wilson

          @magnetik

          >>"Right, so how many govt employees were made accountable for the fact that we entered a war based on the 45 min strike lie?"

          If people (MPs *or* citizens) were dumb enough to be convinced by an arbitrary time being mentioned /without even asking what it meant/, I'd despair of them.

          Also, do you have any link to evidence for your claim that the government said London was 45 minutes away from destruction?

    2. dave 54
      Alert

      bush/clinton since 1981?

      are you not skating over ol' Ronnie there, 1981-89?

      1. The Infamous Grouse
        Alert

        It's not just the President

        AC said 'in the White House', not behind the Oval Office desk. George H.W. Bush was Reagan's VP. What puzzles me, if you thought it was an erroneous list of Presidents, was why you didn't flinch at seeing Hillary Clinton's name at the end. Have you been time travelling? Is there something we need to know?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          /headdesk

          > Right, so how many govt employees were made accountable for the fact that we entered a war based on the 45 min strike lie?

          We, we'll find out after the enquiery that is still going on... Prat.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Old Ronnie...

        Sure...he was the leader... #43...Bush Snr...

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Vice_Presidents_of_the_United_States

        Just as a quick reference.

    3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      RE: @Sean O'Connor 1 - The funniest thing...

      ".....Where is this democracy you speak off? The UK? The USA? Um...Since 1981, in the White House either a Bush or a Clinton....."

      Whilst true, your statement misses out on the important fact that none of those parties simply walked into the role (not even Dubya), they all had to get off their backsides and work their way up through the ranks of publicly open political parties. Any US citizen can join either the Reps or Dummies and try the same, but I suspect a fair few would have neither the intelligence, charisma or just plain balls to be able to climb to the top. You also forgot that there is now a black US Prez that got elected in direct competition with a Clinton. Anonymous, Wikileaks, they're all tantrum politics - "I can't get people to see it teh way I want so I'll throw my toys out of the pram in as public a fashion as possible 'cos it makes me feel better."

  25. Mike Flugennock
    Pint

    Boo Yah!

    You fracking _rule_, Anonymous!

    That is all.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Troll

    Easy breesy

    The method was one password-'recovered' email account and a great stroke of social engineering.

    http://pastie.org/1535735

    We are Legion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      RE: Easy breesy

      "The method was one password-'recovered' email account and a great stroke of social engineering.

      http://pastie.org/1535735 "

      OMG - who needs a rootkit when your people will just give all your shit via gmail.

      Use the phone or PGP for god sake.

      Security "researchers" indeed - now all they need to do is figure out how to remove their heads from their asses - there seems to be a real pent up demand for that these days !

      Props..

    2. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      OH fuck. ROFLOCOPTER

      And this is supposed to be a SECURITY firm? My grand'ma wouldn't fall for that trick.

      With such secure procedures in place, they thought they could spank Anonymous and get away with it how, exactly?

      Anonymous tactics are sometimes dubious, but if the outcome is to unmask that type of crooks posturing as security types, good on them!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Err...

    "Nothing's stopping you from voting for whichever political party you want to. Nothing's stopping you from writing to your MP. Nothing's stopping you from standing as an MP. Nothing's stopping you from organizing a demonstration. Have you tried any of them?"

    Maybe you would like to hear from someone with experience in such matter.

    1) there is no political party in the UK that reflects my views. Libs/Lab/Con all sing from the same hymn sheet.

    2) I have, and do write to my MP. I might as well be talking to a brick wall. Same with the PMs office. This Friday I will be meeting my MP in person, not because I expect it to do any good, butfor the amusement of watching her completely evade my point.

    3) Having worked as campaign manager for an independent paliamentary candidate last year, I can guarantee that it doesn;t matter how much respect the candidate gets from journos, the editors will be leaned on to ensure they get no coverage by the established parties. Never seen In The Loop? Add to that the *horrific* cost involved (£85k in our case), no, I don't see this as either practical or possible for me to do.

    4) "nothing's stopping you organising a demonstration". :facepalm:. Well, I guess *technically not*, but there's a hell of a lot of shit that comes down around you when you actually come to demonstrate. Feel free to speak to students/the Countryside Alliance/Stop the War etc...

    When you're working on the coalface it really doesn't feel like democracy. Try it yourself sometime.

    1. Scorchio!!
      Happy

      Re: Err...

      Trans: "No one will give me everything that I want even if it is unreasonable I feel it is wrong 'n if I don't get it I shall thqueeem and thqueeem and DDOS and DDOS until I get it!!!!!!!!!!!!"

      What you get in an elected system is a compromise between the wants and needs of all of the population, not just a small portion of it. If you don't like it, start your own party. Call it the Pirate Party if you want.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Taking countermeasures

    In a move designed to calm investors, HBGary has obtained curtains, and a dog.

    1. int03h
      Flame

      Magic..

      and .. a dozen mirrors and planet sized smoke machine.. and a very very dumb-ass to work it all.

  29. tom 24
    Black Helicopters

    Irony!

    Authority figure has plan to "deal with those sneering punks on the corner once and for all" and ends up in way over their heads. It's like a sitcom. (Except that it's funny.)

    The assumption that Anonymous had (or has) shown their strength, considering the organization name, seems pretty poor.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    just a thought.....

    had any one put this possibilty up yet?

    that there may be another group other than annonymous doing the attack? i mean annonymous has reputation but this attack seems a bit to concise and too specific to be really the work of our fav anarchistic fun loving caffeine junkies. compare the recent attacks on paypal and credit companies this one seems a bit off. i cannot put my finger on it but it seems something is not right here and some one else may be using the annonimus reputation to their ends and goals that annon does not subscribe to.

    just athought...

  31. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Heart

      Penetrated ..

      "ROFL! The pretend wannabe "security" company did no such thing. I have to laugh. How does one "infiltrate" and "penetrate" public WIDE OPEN Internet Relay Chat networks where everybody is welcome? LOL."

      Yeah.. like 4CHAN - it's an exclusive club - OMG how do I join .. it's so fucking hard. At least The Jester was smart enough to pave the way but avoid the backlash. These asshats didn't. No pity headed their way - they better get back to "cracking" WiFi networks and bleating about zero day vulns. (assumption : I don't know what they actually do since their website has been down the whole day and google has their hacked site in cache ).. giggles to self.. fucking amateurs ... jeeezuz ;)

      Hearts for Valentines day .. maybe they will have their website back by then.

  32. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Not a good advert for a security firm

    Its hardly a good advert for HBGary Federal who are a security firm when your site gets pawned. Im guessing they may loose some of there customers of that one since a large amount of emails have been posted online.

    If your going to try and sneak about looking for anon then at least make sure your website is bullet proof

  33. Oninoshiko
    Big Brother

    I think you are all missing somthing...

    There was always those who would claim that an open port was invitataion to connect, making a DDoS not unauthorized use (a theory I do not subscribe to). From the couple of writeups (although none particularly technical, unfortunately (if anyone has a more technical writeup, I'd like to see it)) I've read of this, It invovled obtaining passwords through fraud. If those who commitied the attack can be traced, there will be a much stronger case. In addition the phone-calls and threats can be construed as personal harrassment.

    In the US, there is now a better claim to charge Anonymous members under RICO. Until now there where no attempts at getting anything, so it would be hard to argue under Hobbs for extortion. Now there is a pretty clear violation of the Hobbs Act (the passwords were obtained "with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, fear, or under color of official right"). Wire fraud also would have occured.

    A RICO violation is up to $25,000 and 20 years per count. As far as I can tell, it requires proving beyond a resonable doubt the act occured and that the person was a member of the "crimanl enterprise" when it did occur. There is no requirement the individual commited the act. (Remember this was created to go after mafia dons, who generally didn't commit the acts themselves)

    I think I'll take some of that popcorn too, this could get fun.

    (IANAL, this is based on information from all over the internet, YMMV)

    1. int03h
      Pint

      DDOS .. is illegal

      DDOS is illegal , annoying and very easy to prove. Your IP with the traffic that you generated will appear in the server/s that you target. It is TRIVIAL to lookup you up based on IP and time.

      The amount of traffic you create will be limited by your up speed and the shapers/routers/QOS rules/SLAs/proxys/line speeds for your location etc etc etc .. between you and the target.

      The only way to hide is to aggregate clients and control them to strike a single target to overwhelm it with traffic (while obfuscating the source) i.e. it requires HIDDEN COMMAND AND CONTROL ( orchestration and collaboration - very easily read as RICO ) .

      Beer ... this is getting to interesting... fucking popcorn is making me thirsty.

      1. Oninoshiko
        Boffin

        Yes, DDoS is Illegal, but

        RICO has an extensive but very spacific list of offenses that can be charged under it. The relevent ones are the fraud(s) and extortion.

        until now, fraud was not relevent, and extortion really wasn't relevent because of the legal definition:

        "Under the Hobbs Act, a defendant engages in extortion only if he "obtains" or attempts to "obtain" the property of another "with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, fear, or under color of official right." Since these protest activities do not obtain or attempt to obtain the property of another (they simply attempt to interfere with the business of another), it is difficult to depict them as acts of extortion."

        -- http://ricoact.com/ricoact/faq.asp#peta (IANAL, but this guy is)

        LOIC does not have hidden command and control, and I can find no part of RICO which applies. Extortion does not, as from the passage quoted above. The list of offenses which qualify as “racketeering activity” is in TITLE 18, PART I, CHAPTER 96, § 1961. The full listing of the text of the RICO act can be found at Cornell University's web site, if you can find something I missed:

        http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sup_01_18_10_I_20_96.html

  34. T J
    Thumb Up

    Well, thats the end of that 'security' firm

    Bye Bye HBGary, you will not survive this. That rumbling sound? Thats your customer base running over the hill to your competitors. Bye Bye. Good riddance.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We'll see who gets the last laugh

    I doubt the clowns from "anonymous" will be laughing from a prison cell after being convicted of hacking.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    So called 'security' companies

    These 'security' companies are mostly hot air. It was quite revealing to watch who was downloading the HBGary e-mail torrent from the Pirate Bay - some of the security companies that were downloading the torrent were doing it from their offices via a public IP address that showed by reverse lookup exactly who they were!

    Security? I don't think so!

  37. jon 72
    Thumb Up

    I want ringside seats

    When you urinate through somebodies letter box,

    knocking on the door to ask how far it went

    is going to start a fight.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Anonymous - defending freedom of speech on the internet.

    And from the comments it seems many of you took that joke seriously.

    Joke Alert - because anyone who thinks Anonymous are defending anyone or anything other than their own rights to act like a complete set of c*@ts (sorry Sarah) needs the joke of them defending internet freedom of speech HIGHLIGHTED with a big icon.

  39. The main man
    FAIL

    Not so anonymous

    Don't forget that on the internet you are not "anonymous" as you claim to be: http://www.simpleweb.org/reports/loic-report.pdf

  40. The main man

    come to think of it....

    Anonymous should know that Mr Barr is not stupid. He has their secret info stored offline somewhere. You think he would store it in his email or online? duh. Arcording to the BBC "He said he did not intend to hand the information over to the authorities unless forced to, but did plan to present his findings at a conference in San Francisco later this month." The fanboys went berserck and "Mr Barr's Twitter account was filled with a sequence of racial and sexual slurs, along with a string of personal details such as his mobile phone and social security numbers."

    Man they even stoop as low to make racist remarks.. I think Mr Barr will hand over his evidence to the police. One thing that "Anonymous" should realise is that they did not invent the internet and you are not really anonymous on it. It just takes a little flash of cash and some geniuses can bring down this organisation in a matter of days.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Terminator

      "This organisation"

      So, flashing a little cash can hire a genius to bring down 'this organisation'?

      That presupposes there's an organisation to bring down...

      Playing whack-a-mole is going to be a lot more rewarding if there's a mole there to begin with - what you're advocating is professional shadow-boxing... I wonder if you're touting the tickets?

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Pirate

        RE: "This organisation"

        Puts his hand up! After all, in concultancy terms this is called a "money-machine" - you can keep the gig rolling on indefinately and keep charging the customer as you keep whacking moles, and after each mole you say to the customer "Well, that was a big mole, but the LEAD mole is still somewhere out there, but we're getting close, should only take another six months of fully-expensed man days....." Etc, etc, etc.

  41. Bernard M. Orwell
    Megaphone

    Egyptian Democracy

    Ah yes, the people took to the streets and their leaders heard their cries of outrage and responded, now there's to be a free and open election isn't there? Democracy in action in the middle east at last! Hoorah for democracy and freedom!

    Wait....no...I see no sign of such. What I do see is that the current government is "in negotation with the opposition parties to form a new cabinet."

    No voting.

    Oh.

    Who's the opposition then? Ahh... that'd be the "Muslim Brotherhood", another group that the people of Egypt have expressed their doubts about having democracy at the heart of their agenda.

    So much for democracy. Glad that the outcome wasn't influenced by the west in any way....oh...wait...

    Plus Ca Change, non?

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: Egyptian Democracy

      "So much for democracy. Glad that the outcome wasn't influenced by the west in any way....oh...wait...

      Plus Ca Change, non?"

      Mais ouis, plus c'est la même chose. Robespierre, ou est tu? ;-)

  42. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge
    WTF?

    No choice in the USA

    "And if you don't like some law (or what your government is doing) get off your arse and change it. You know you are living in a democracy?"

    In the US, it's not a direct democracy, the people have no say on what laws are passed. The gov't passed VERY unpopular laws (that in a direct democracy would have been voted down). The people have very little say in the matter, the Dems and Reps have almost identical political views (both want huge, intrusive, and costly gov't while claiming they want to cut costs) to the point that it's effectively a one-party system. I've voted for true change, but we get clowns like Obama instead.

    I don't know what the solution is -- we've had third party candidates that initially had 10, 15, 20% popular support -- but then, the polls will ask "do you support the Dem or the Rep". I've gotten called twice for polls -- once the poll asked "Press 1 for the Rep, 2 for the Dem, or 9 for another candidate" and when I pressed 9 it said "that choice is invalid". The other time, I got a live person, but they HUNG UP ON ME when I said I was voting 3rd party and obviously didn't record my choice. So, then the polls lie and claim people only support one of the two main candidates. At that point, support for the third party candidate evaporates as a lot of those 10, 15, 20% decide they "don't want to throw away their vote" on someone who can't win, and throw away their vote on someone they don't want in office.

    "I'll stick to calling people who are accountable (to me as a voter) and abide by the law as the "good guys"."

    I don't know anyone that meets this definition. Due to our effective one-party system, most of our politicians are not accountable to anyone; unless they do something REALLY stupid, their opponent will have the same political views anyway so they have little to fear in terms of being voted out. And even if they are voted out, this gives the voter little power since the replacement will just behave the same way. They also tend to not be law abiding, up to and including passing laws they KNOW are unconstitutional (Senator Patrick Leahy was the only one with the balls to vote against the unconstitutional PATRIOT Act for instance -- despite all of them swearing to uphold the constitution).

    That's not to say I consider Anonymous "the good guys" either. It amuses me that they pwned this security firm so thoroughly, but indeed Anonymous is a loose cannon.

  43. magnetik
    Black Helicopters

    @david wilson

    "Also, do you have any link to evidence for your claim that the government said London was 45 minutes away from destruction?"

    Blair's foreword to the dossier said that Saddam's "military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them". Fair enough, that doesn't mean they could strike London within 45 min but that's how the media reported it.

    And how did the govt respond to the publications? Hoon said he didn't know the media was publishing that version of the story because he "didn't read the papers because he was out of the country". Sorry, that's a pathetic excuse. Surely he has a lackey who reads the papers for him and can report to him by phone / email / whatever !? Later he said he didn't bother correcting the media because "it's too hard to get them to print corrections"? WTF!?

    No doubt if the media had corrected the story earlier the govt would have found something else to pitch to the public to convince them to go to war. As I said before, the difference between the 3rd and 1st world is simply how sophisticated and sneaky the manipulation is.

    1. david wilson

      @magnetik

      >>"Fair enough, that doesn't mean they could strike London within 45 min but that's how the media reported it."

      All the media, or just some of it?

      Surely you're not reckoning a newspaper saying something as being the same as the government saying what the newspaper actually said?

      That'd be like assuming that everything the Daily Mail makes up about the EU is some kind of official position unless the government denies it.

      Anyway, as far as I can see, it was primarily parliament that *had* to be sold the idea of war, and whatever MPs may claim now for their reasons for supporting it, I'm not sure I'd really trust what they say..

      Certainly, it's understandable that people who voted for a war and then realised it wasn't as simple as they hoped would claim that *anything* that was even potentially misleading was what *really* made them vote in favour, as that gets them neatly off the hook.

      That said, if an MP woke up for long enough to hear '45 minutes' and didn't try and find out what the hell it was supposed to mean, the blame for their vote seems to be at least partly theirs.

      I'd wonder how many MPs who now claim to have been misled would still be doing that even if things had worked out nice and cleanly?

  44. EWI

    More to this story is coming out...

    "The e-mails ThinkProgress acquired are available widely on the web. They were posted by members of “Anonymous,” the hactivist community responsible for taking down websites for oppressive regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, and American corporations that have censored WikiLeaks. Anonymous published the emails from HB Gary Federal because an executive at the firm, Aaron Barr, was trying to take Anonymous down. Barr claimed that he had penetrated Anonymous and was hoping to sell the data to Bank of America and to federal authorities in the United States. In response, members of Anonymous hacked into Barr’s email and published some 40,000 company e-mails.

    It is widely believed that Wikileaks has sensitive information about Bank of America, and plans to expose it later this year. This revelation prompted Bank of America to hire the law/lobbying firm Hunton and Williams, which in turn, according to the e-mails posted online by Anonymous, hired HB Gary Federal and other firms to go after Anonymous and supporters of Wikileaks. For instance, one proposal from HB Gary Federal and its associates proposed targeting Salon reporter and Wikileaks-supporter Glenn Greenwald with “actions to sabotage or discredit” him."

    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/10/lobbyists-chamberleaks/

    1. Hooch181
      Black Helicopters

      Very interesting...

      Do you think some people in the Bank of America are getting a little worried?

      Makes you wonder what those leaks really do say about them!

  45. raivn

    You guyz

    lots of confusion here. :/

    The hack was mainly done by a 16 year old girl, and involved a social engineering attack on the sysadmin.

    TL:DR of events : Main reason for the fued this is a 'security researcher' named Aaron. He was attempting to sell data scraped poorly scraped from social networking sites implicating innocent people as 'ringleaders' of anonymous. Had he succeeded innocent people would have been arrested.

    The IRC chatlog of the event (including HBGary president attempting to negotiate) can be found here: http://pastebin.com/x69Akp5L

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