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November 7, 2014

Edinburgh\’s \’Million Mask March\’ flies distinctly Scottish colours

Edinburgh’s ‘Million Mask March’ flies distinctly Scottish colours

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Amongst other Guy Fawkes Night partying, the now-regular march to the Scottish Parliament by Anonymous saw significantly higher attendance, Wednesday, at this year’s event. With Catalan flags and pro-Independence Saltires flying, activist numbers had clearly been swelled by the referendum result.

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Banner — later used to lead the march — laid out on the Castle Esplanade before setting off.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Police waiting, on the adjacent Johnston Terrace, prior to the march setting off.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Saltires by moonlight, as the growd gathers on the Castle Esplanade.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Anonymous Scotland banner surrounded by group of protesters.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Independence supporters mingling with masked members of Anonymous.
Image: Brian McNeil.

As the march prepares to set off, the banner is raised and the crowd asked to assemble behind it.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Crowd heading off Esplanade, with the Outlook Tower Camera obscura to top-right of frame.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Police Scotland watch as the crowd progresses down Edinburgh’s High Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Walking down Castle Hill on the Royal Mile.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Edinburgh Castle as backdrop to the crowd leaving the Esplanade.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Further down Edinburgh’s High Street, with the banner passing the High Court.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The crowd progressing down Edinburgh’s High Street towards the Scottish Parliament
Image: Brian McNeil.

Passing the top of Cockburn Street on the Royal Mile.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Passing the top of Cockburn Street on the Royal Mile.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The crowd progressing down Edinburgh’s High Street towards the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A Police van leads the procession down the bottom-half of the High Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

March walking down The Canongate.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Passing Edinburgh’s New Street, which leads down to the City of Edinburgh Council‘s Waverley Court HQ.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Marchers walking down Edinburgh’s High Street towards Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The March progresses through the city’s Canongate area.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Regardless of chanting, which included taunts over the lack of BBC presence, marchers were in good spirits.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The crowd outside the Scottish Parliament was a wide mix of ages.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Not all who took part wore Guy Fawkes masks.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Most of the crowd were well wrapped-up to guard against the night air chill.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Catalan independence flag flying as part of the protest at the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Police Scotland were conspicuous amongst the crowd, although not present in large numbers.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Catalan independence flag flying as part of the protest at the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Some protesters self-identified as part of the 45% of the Scottish electorate who voted Yes to Independence.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Independence sentiment was highly-visible amongst protesters at the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Some banners were particularly direct with their message.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Several humorous Independence-related tropes were on display.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Some banners were particularly direct with their message.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Several humorous Independence-related tropes were on display, although the protest was good-natured throughout.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Free paper masks were being handed out to those not prepared to buy mass-manufactured ones.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters waiting for the event’s speakers whilst PA problems were sorted out.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Guy McV at the protest outside the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Crowd walking across grassy area between Parliament and Queen’s Drive.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters waiting for the event’s speakers.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Kilted protester with Saltire mask.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters waiting for the event’s speakers.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Kilted protester with Saltire mask.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Banner with Scottish Parliament partially visible in the background.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Much of the crowd treated the gathering at the Parliament like a party.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Attendee filming the event, with Parliament building in the background.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Wrapped up against the cold, outside the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Many draped themselves in Scotland’s flag, the Saltire.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Staring through a paper mask into the camera.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Not all present were overly-concerned with the cold weather.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters outside the Scottish Parliament after marching from Edinburgh Castle
Image: Brian McNeil.

Speakers address the assembled crowd after some technical difficulties with the PA system.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A documentary-maker films the protest speakers.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A few of the collected donations intended for a local food bank.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Many treated the protest more like a party.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protested, with beard jutting out below Guy Fawkes mask.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The crowd listening to speakers at the Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.




Related news

  • “Scotland says ‘No’ in independence referendum” — Wikinews, September 19, 2014

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April 12, 2013

Anonymous muscle in on Canadian teen rape case

Anonymous muscle in on Canadian teen rape case

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Friday, April 12, 2013

On Wednesday, the Internet hacking collective Anonymous vowed to publish the names of the four suspects involved in the alleged rape of Canadian Rehtaeh Parsons, who committed suicide last week.

A message sent to Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) by the hacktivist group called “for immediate legal action” in the case, citing that “If we [Anonymous] were able to locate these boys within 2 hours, it will not be long before someone else finds them.”

This latest operation by the group, dubbed “Operation Justice For Rehtaeh”, led to expression of concern among the members of the RCMP. In an interview with the National Post, Nova Scotia Justice Minister Ross Landry spoke of the dangers of releasing this crucial information in this ongoing investigation, “We don’t want another child taking their life because some vigilante group think it’s OK … maybe it’s a wrong name — then what would they do to someone?”

The 17-year-old Parsons was taken off life support on Sunday following an attempt to take her own life days before. Her mother erected a Facebook page celebrating the life of her daughter as well as acknowledging the true reasons for her daughters tragic passing, “Rehtaeh is gone today because of the four boys that thought that raping a 15-year-old girl was okay, and to distribute a photo to ruin her spirit and reputation would be fun.”



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December 20, 2012

Internet security firm to donate revenue to charity after Anonymous protest of Westboro Baptist Church

Internet security firm to donate revenue to charity after Anonymous protest of Westboro Baptist Church

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

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Black Lotus Communications, which “prevents malicious traffic from reaching” websites, such as a Denial-of-service attack (DDoS), has announced their decision to donate revenue made from the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) to charity. The company has confirmed their intentions in a statement to Wikinews.

“We have received overwhelming support for donations to be given to various groups supporting the Newtown community, veterans groups like the Wounded Warrior Project, and LGBT groups like The Trevor Project“, said Jeffrey Lyon, Certified Information Systems Security Professional with the Black Lotus team, to Wikinews. Lyon also says The United Way may be the first charity to receive their donation. “We’ve not [yet] made a formal decision,” Lyon noted, but the company “supports all of these groups and will give very serious consideration in ensuring that our donations have a strong impact.”

The announcement comes after the internet activist group known as Anonymous called on the companies that host and protect the Church’s website to discontinue providing services to them after the Church announced their decision to protest funerals of those killed in the December 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. According to Lyon the company decided to donate revenue made from WBC to charity after, “‘Anonymous’ supporters began a full blown Twitter campaign boycotting any company who provides services to WBC.” Lyon also said the company, “reached out to Anonymous spokespersons and asked their opinions on how the matter should be handled.”

The attack on WBC has been dubbed ‘#OpWestBor’ on the social network site Twitter. As part of the operation, the Church’s website was defaced and taken offline for most of the day Monday. Twitter accounts belonging to Shirley Phelps-Roper, the Church’s spokeswoman, and leader Fred Phelps, were hacked and taken over by Anonymous. At the time of this report, both accounts were still under control of the group. Roper’s account has been under the control of Anonymous since early Monday morning.

On Sunday, in a video posted on YouTube, Anonymous announced their intentions saying, “From the time you have received this message, our attack protocol has past been executed and your downfall is underway. Do not attempt to delude yourselves into thinking you can escape our reach, for we are everywhere, and all-seeing, in the same sense as God. … We will render you obsolete. We will destroy you. We are coming.” As a result of the breach, Anonymous claims to have gained access to and leaked alleged personal information such as names, home addresses and telephone numbers belonging to Church members. On Wednesday, following the leak, Twitter suspended one of Anonymous’ most followed accounts ‘@YourAnonNews’, claiming, according to Anonymous, that the profile posted “private and confidential information” regarding the lawyer for WBC and Roper. The account was reinstated a short time later and that is when Black Lotus contacted Anonymous.

“As a security service, we value freedom of expression … and have mandate to guarantee passage of data across the internet, which ultimately means that companies like Black Lotus should not interrupt services based solely on public opinion. By terminating their service, we would not actually take their sites offline. Instead, they would be without DDoS protection for a short period of time until they found another service that would harbor them. This logic did not add up for us”, Lyon added. He would not elaborate on how long WBC has sought the services of Black Lotus, but stated, “they did not come to us because of any one specific attack.”

Lyon didn’t state how much revenue is made from WBC, but he added the amount they receive “from WBC is very small.” As a result, Lyon says the company will “actually make donations well in excess” of the fees WBC pays. “These donations will be in the thousands [of dollars], but we’ve not come to a final decision on the exact amounts”, he added. According to Lyon, WBC is aware of the company’s intentions.

“We made it clear that while they have a right to expression, we have a social responsibility [to] ensure our services benefit society and to aid those in need”, said Lyon. Wikinews has contacted the WBC for a statement, but as of this report, no response has been received.

For now, Lyon states only revenue received from the WBC will be considered for donation, but they hope the project can be expanded to include other customers. “While we’re attributing this specific decision to WBC, our long term plan is to expand our philanthropy program to substantially offset any harm that may have been caused by those serving content over our network”, said Lyon. The company hopes to formally announce their decisions in a press release at the end of the week.



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December 18, 2012

Hackers target Westboro Baptist Church website, Twitter account

Hackers target Westboro Baptist Church website, Twitter account

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

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Police outside the school shortly after arriving on scene of the shooting December 14.
Image: Voice of America.

Hackers claiming to be associated with the internet activist group Anonymous have attacked the website belonging to the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) and hacked into the Twitter account belonging to Shirley Phelps-Roper, the Church’s spokeswoman. The attacks are part of an operation dubbed ‘#OpWestBor’ on Twitter and is in response to the Church’s decision to picket funerals of victims of the December 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

“Westboro will picket Sandy Hook Elementary School to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment,” said Phelps in a post to her Twitter account on Saturday.

On Sunday, in a video posted on YouTube, Anonymous announced their intentions saying, “From the time you have received this message, our attack protocol has past been executed and your downfall is underway. Do not attempt to delude yourselves into thinking you can escape our reach, for we are everywhere, and all-seeing, in the same sense as God. … We will render you obsolete. We will destroy you. We are coming.” The Church’s website has been unreachable for most of the day. At the time of this report, the website was unreachable. As a result of the breach, Anonymous claims to have gained access to and leaked alleged personal information such as names, home addresses and telephone numbers belonging to Church members.

Also as part of the operation, early yesterday morning, a member of Anonymous called ‘CosmoTheGod’ hacked the Twitter account belonging to Phelps, posting a ‘tweet’ saying, “This account is now being ran by @CosmoTheGod #UGNazi #oops.” As of this report, Anonymous still has control of it.

This isn’t the first time hackers took control of the Church’s website. In 2011 the Church blamed Anonymous for circulating a letter claiming an attack on the Church’s website was imminent and blamed them for taking down their website in an earlier attack, something the group denied. Shortly after the incident, user “th3j3st3r” on Twitter claimed responsibility for circulating the letter and the initial attack. When Phelps and one of the group’s members were interviewed on live television shortly thereafter, she denied hackers could break into their website or take it offline. However; during the interview, Anonymous hacked into the Church’s website, defaced it and took it offline.

“I was just going to say in the time that Shirley was blabbing her religious preachings I actually did some business and I think if you check downloads.westborobaptistchurch right now you’ll see a nice message from Anonymous”, said Anonymous nine minutes into the interview.

On December 14, a gunman identified as 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother Nancy then went into Sandy Hook Elementary school carrying a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle and two other handguns, where he opened fire killing 26 people, 20 of them children between the ages of five and ten years old. Shortly after the incident, Lanza shot himself, committing suicide.



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December 2, 2012

Leaked Syrian government emails indicate weapons supplied to Hamas

Leaked Syrian government emails indicate weapons supplied to Hamas

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

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Emails allegedly hacked from Syrian government accounts, leaked onto the Internet, indicate Iran and Syria are supplying weapons made in Ukraine and Belarus to Hamas in Palestine.

One of the leaked letters from the Syrian Embassy in Tehran, requesting Iranian tourist visas for the Syrian Ambassador’s brother and son, who have Romanian citizenship.
Image: Syrian Embassy.

The online activist group known as Anonymous takes responsibility for the leak, which comprises over 2,000 emails and other files totaling around 1 gigabyte. The leak is part of Anonymous’ ongoing campaign known as ‘#OpSyria’ or ‘Operation Syria’ on the social networking website Twitter.

On Monday at 2030 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), ‘Par:AnoIA,’ one of many Twitter accounts connected to Anonymous, stated that the group would “release a stash of Syrian Government emails in the next 24h, featuring Kofi Annan correspondence, cash & weapon deliveries.” Three hours later the same user announced a leak of “1 Gigabyte [of] internal emails from [the] Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs” onto the internet.

The first email leaked was called a “teaser”, from the Syrian embassy in Tehran on November 20, to the British embassy in Belarus. In the communique, the embassy confirms the Iranians are supplying helicopters and Ukrainian made weapons to Hamas, which operates mostly from the Gaza Strip in Palestine. “1.2D projectiles of Ukraine origin found in Egypt and Syria” are some of the weapons being sent to Palestine along with “EC725 Helicopters“.

“Since 2008 Iran is the main transit point for Palestine armament”, says the email. It also goes on to say the weapons are made in Ukraine as part of “2008 arms trade operations sanctioned by The [Ukrainian] Minister of Defense Anatoly Gritsenko.

Although evidence could suggest Iran’s willingness to supply arms to Hamas, in a report compiled on November 2, by the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Iran is trying to stop weapons from being sent into Syria for the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The report quotes Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei, who called for the FSA “to lay down their arms to be able to deliver their demands to the Syrian government.”((ar)) In regards to the civil war in Syria, Khamenei went on to say that if outside entities “were to provide the opponents in every country of weapons from outside the country, it is natural that the regime responds to opponents”((ar)).

This is not the first time Anonymous has hacked into Syrian government email accounts. In February, the group hacked into 78 Syrian government email accounts and leaked the usernames and passwords associated with them. The accounts accessed reportedly belonged to aides of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. One of the leaked emails, allegedly written by a press aide at Syria’s mission at the UN in New York named Sheherazad Jaafari, talks about Assad’s preparation for a December 2011 television interview with ABC NewsBarbara Walters. In it, Jaafari wrote about ways the Syrian president might be able to manipulate the television audience.

“The American audience doesn’t really care about reforms. They won’t understand it and they are not interested to do so…. American Psyche can be easily manipulated when they hear that there are ‘mistakes’ done and now we are ‘fixing it.’ … Its[sic] worth mentioning also what is happening now in Wall Street [Occupy Wall Street] and the way the demonstrations are been suppressed by police men, police dogs and beatings,” wrote Jaafari.



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November 27, 2012

Leaked Syrian government emails indicate weapons supplied to Hamas, massive cash transfers

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

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Emails allegedly hacked from Syrian government accounts, leaked onto the Internet, indicate Iran and Syria are supplying Ukrainian made weapons to the Palestinian group Hamas.

One of the leaked letters from the Syrian Embassy in Tehran, requesting Iranian tourist visas for the Syrian Ambassador’s brother and son, who have Romanian citizenship.
Image: Syrian Embassy.

The online activist group known as Anonymous takes responsibility for the leak, which comprises over 2,000 emails and other files totaling around 1 gigabyte. The leak is part of Anonymous’ ongoing campaign known as ‘#OpSyria’ or ‘Operation Syria’ on the social networking website Twitter.

On Monday at 2030 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), ‘Par:AnoIA,’ one of many Twitter accounts connected to Anonymous, stated that the group would “release a stash of Syrian Government emails in the next 24h, featuring Kofi Annan correspondence, cash & weapon deliveries.” Three hours later the same user announced a leak of “1 Gigabyte [of] internal emails from [the] Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs” onto the internet.

The first email leaked was called a “teaser”, from the Syrian embassy in Tehran on November 20, to the British embassy in Belarus. In the communique, the embassy confirms the Iranians are supplying Ukrainian made weapons and other materials to Hamas, which operates mostly from the Gaza Strip in Palestine.

“Since 2008 Iran is the main transit point for Palestine armament”, says the email. It also goes on to say the weapons are made in Ukraine as part of “2008 arms trade operations sanctioned by The [Ukrainian] Minister of Defense Anatoly Gritsenko”.

The email also alleges that the Iranian government requested use of Belarus airspace to transport arms and other material to Hamas from Ukraine. The Iranian government made the request because they fear outside involvement. They believe that some within the Ukrainian military, “people … outside Syria” and “abroad” are attempting to interfere and help fund the manufacturing and shipment of weapons through “offshore companies controlled by the former high rank military command of Ukraine”.

Although evidence could suggest Iran’s willingness to supply arms to Hamas, in a report compiled on November 2, by the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Iran is trying to stop weapons from being sent into Syria for the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The report quotes Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei, who called for the FSA “to lay down their arms to be able to deliver their demands to the Syrian government.”((ar)) In regards to the civil war in Syria, Khamenei went on to say that if outside entities “were to provide the opponents in every country of weapons from outside the country, it is natural that the regime responds to opponents”((ar)).

This is not the first time Anonymous has hacked into Syrian government email accounts. In February, the group hacked into 78 Syrian government email accounts and leaked the usernames and passwords associated with them. One of those accounts accessed belonged to an aide of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. One of the leaked emails, allegedly written by a press aide at Syria’s mission at the UN in New York named Sheherazad Jaafari, talks about Assad’s preparation for a December 2011 television interview with ABC NewsBarbra Walters. In it, Jaafari wrote about ways the Syrian president might be able to manipulate the television audience.

“The American audience doesn’t really care about reforms. They won’t understand it and they are not interested to do so. American Psyche can be easily manipulated when they hear that there are ‘mistakes’ done and now we are ‘fixing it.’ Its [sic] worth mentioning also what is happening now in Wall Street [Occupy Wall Street] and the way the demonstrations are been suppressed by police men, police dogs and beatings,” wrote Jaafari.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

January 19, 2012

US government, music industry websites taken offline in web attack

US government, music industry websites taken offline in web attack

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

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The day after several major websites staged a mass blackout over proposed United States anti piracy legislation, namely the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) proposals, members of online activist group Anonymous have knocked US Justice Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI), Recording Industry Association of America‘s (RIAA) and Universal Music (UMG)’s websites offline in apparently coordinated web attacks. Several other websites such as BMI.com were also taken offline.

At about 4:15 p.m. EST both www.justice.gov, www.fbi.gov, and www.universalmusic.com went offline. Shortly after 5:00 p.m. the RIAA’s website also went dark. At the time of this report, all three websites are still offline. Just after 6:00 p.m., Universal Music Group shut down their website for “maintenance.” In postings to Twitter, members of Anonymous claim responsibility, saying the attacks are a response to the FBI‘s seizure and shutdown of file-sharing website Megaupload, and in protest against the American anti-piracy laws. The group calls this “the largest attack ever by Anonymous” with over 5,600 people participating in the attack.

“The government takes down Megaupload? 15 minutes later Anonymous takes down government & record label sites. Expect us,” stated a message from ‘YourAnonNews’ on Twitter. Another member of Anonymous told RT News that there are more attacks to come.

Megaupload was a file-sharing website boasting over 50 million visits per day. On Thursday the FBI seized and shutdown the website, arresting its founder and three other people. A total of seven people connected to the website were arrested and indicted on charges that include copyright infringement, racketeering, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Authorities say Megaupload allowed individuals to download movies “often before their theatrical release, music, television programs, electronic books, and business and entertainment software on a massive scale.” They also claim the website was costing entertainment industry copyright-holders “well in excess of US$500 million” in damages.



Related news

“Wikipedia, Reddit in ‘blackout’ against SOPA, PROTECT IP laws” — Wikinews, January 17, 2012

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October 19, 2011

Occupation in London enters fifth day

Occupation in London enters fifth day – Wikinews, the free news source

Occupation in London enters fifth day

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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Occupy London protest on Saturday.
Image: Crispin Semmens.

Tents outside St Paul’s cathedral.
Image: Neil Cummings.

Protestors holding up a sign reading ‘Capitalism IS Crisis’.
Image: Neil Cummings.

In solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street and other “Occupy” protests, activists set up camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London on Saturday, and they plan to remain indefinitely. The protest thus far has been described as “largely peaceful” by a police spokesman.

On Saturday, an estimated thousand or more people attempted to protest in Paternoster Square, the site of the London Stock Exchange, but were blocked by police enforcing a High Court judgment. Julian Assange from Wikileaks also joined the protest to address the activists. A flag flies over the occupation showing the ‘Anonymous‘ logo of a headless man in a black suit.

At around 9:30am Wednesday, many campers were still asleep, but around 30–50 people were listening in solidarity to trade union representatives from the National Shop Stewards Network, while 20 to 30 officers from the City of London police watched on. On the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the speakers spoke about a variety of struggles including strikes by electricians that started in August against Balfour Beatty, one of Britain’s largest construction firms. Solidarity was expressed with the travellers at Dale Farm, and speakers described how the media and others were trying to “divide” workers, students and elderly people. One of the speakers said that while today they are occupying the square in London, “tomorrow we will be occupying universities and colleges” and spoke of the suspension of Vik Chechi, the Unison branch secretary who has been suspended by Queen Mary University. By 9:45am, the trade union talks had finished and the sound system was reactivated and reggae music started playing.

After the talks peter out, activity begins to resume on the site: people sorting out tents and serving food, under signs and banners playfully mixing politics (“The London Stock Exchange: Britain’s Biggest Casino”) with Internet memes (a Reddit cartoon man depicted saying “Y U NO JOIN US?”).



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April 25, 2009

Pirate Bay case: Internet group attacks websites in \”Operation Baylout\”

Pirate Bay case: Internet group attacks websites in “Operation Baylout”

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

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Anonymous, the loosely defined online activist group most known for organizing mass protests against the Church of Scientology, has begun a campaign against the websites of entities associated with the prosecution in the Pirate Bay Trial, Wikinews has learned.

Anonymous stages a masked protest against Scientology in Washington, DC last year
Image: Lewis Francis.

Termed “Operation Baylout”, the group claims that hundreds of volunteers are taking part in coordinated efforts to jam the websites of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and MAQS, a law firm working with the prosecution in the Pirate Bay case. As of Friday evening MAQS’s website read “Our website is currently under attack and we have therefore decided to shut it down until the attack ceases.”

The group is also coordinating efforts to jam the fax lines of the MPAA’s anti-piracy office and of prosecuting attorney Monique Wadsted.

Andrew Norton of Pirate Party International rejected the attacks, saying, “While we can’t condone these acts, it does show there is a wealth of feeling that opposes the decisions and actions of this trade body. Perhaps if this trade group [the IFPI] was not so focused on increasing their members’ short-term profits, and focused on long term growth and giving customers what they have wanted for the last 10 years, we would not all be in this situation now. However, if people really want to make a difference, and get a result, then they should be supporting their local pirate parties, which will give a lasting result, by providing a government that is more resistant to the lobbying efforts of the IFPI and their ilk.”

While one participant told Wikinews that he or she had taken part in the Church of Scientology protests, and while websites announcing the attacks claim to be affiliated with Anonymous, the decentralized and informal nature of the group makes it difficult to verify whether the attacks are a “legitimate” Anonymous operation.

Some seven hundred to one thousand users took part in an April 20 distributed denial of service (DDOS) “raid” against the IFPI’s website, taking it down for several hours.

The group makes use of Anonymous’s tactics from Project Chanology in coordinating raids. Ideas for targets are proposed in open discussion forums on a range of websites, mainly spinoffs of 4chan, although both participants Wikinews spoke to expressed disdain for that site particularly. When an idea finds favor with a significant portion of the group, it quickly — sometimes within four hours — evolves and is elaborated through a number of IRC channels. As a plan develops, word is put out to other members, and when enough people are assembled, the members activate customized but rudimentary programs downloaded from popular anonymous upload sites such as RapidShare to their home computers. These programs, “Epic Fail Cannon” and “Bayloutlazer”, execute a UDP ping flood against the target website. Most participants are by and large not computer experts, instead relying on the instructions and programming skills of others.

The group also coordinates its efforts through Anonymous’s message boards and one message announced, “Do local coordinating for individual cells on their respective Chanology boards.” Posters to those boards express common themes in support of The Pirate Bay: against censorship, for freedom of information and in personal concern about being jailed for internet piracy.

However, most participants are casual rather than dedicated members, involved “for lulz” — cheap entertainment at the expense of others.

One participant quoted to Wikinews the following statement from 888chan.org, a message board where the Baylout raids originated: “Project Chanology began as an online attack against Scientology because they fucked with our Internets. Nothing more. 2) It has since morphed into a caricature of itself, in which moralfags genuinely think it’s all about destroying an evil cult. We couldn’t care less about how evil they are except that they fucked with our Internets. 3) The lulz value of Project Chanology now lies in the fact that Anon has managed to personal army thousands of people into destroying our enemy for us. People will go to great lengths to participate and contribute to a “cause” when they don’t know they’re the victims of a very grand and subtle troll. The lulz is not in what they do but in the fact that they are being PA’d by Anons. This moralfag personal army in turn trolls everyone who takes them seriously, because they take themselves seriously, without ever being aware of the fact of the troll themselves. It’s pretty slick tbh.”

It is, however, entirely possible that this assertion is itself a bluff.

Coordinated attacks against Swedish government and media industry websites have become commonplace in retaliation for legal actions against The Pirate Bay.

The group plans its next raid to take place at 12:00 GMT on April 26, against the IFPI’s Swedish website. Previous attacks on websites have been attributed to the same group. On January 20, 2008 Anonymous claimed responsibility for attacking the Church of Scientology’s website which resulted in an arrest. In October 2008, Dmitriy Guzner, aged 18, admitted to the DDOS attack on the Church and pleaded guilty to computer hacking.



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January 23, 2009

Internet group Anonymous hacks No Cussing Club\’s website, owner\’s e-mail account

Internet group Anonymous hacks No Cussing Club’s website, owner’s e-mail account

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Friday, January 23, 2009

The No Cussing Club’s website at 9:26 a.m. on January 21. (EST).
Image: Internet group Anonymous via nocussing.com.

Wikinews has learned that the internet group known only as “Anonymous” has hacked the website of the No Cussing Club (NCC), nocussing.com, for at least two days in a row. On day one, the group hacked into the website, replacing the content with links to images of alleged e-mail conversations. The e-mails appear to be from the founder’s e-mail account, accusing organization members of forgery and using the site for their own personal financial gains. The website was also replaced with Anonymous’s logo and a message. On January 22, they again attacked the website, by means of a Distributed Denial-of-service attack (DDoS), bringing it offline periodically throughout the day. Anonymous attacked the Scientology website in 2008 with a DDoS attack, taking it off-line for at least two days.

“It has come to our attention that the creators of the no cussing club, McKay and Brent Hatch have done so at great personal gain. Their material promotes the organization as the brainchild of their 14-year-old son, when actually the material is written by his parents, who also manage his profitable career while using his speaking events to plug their own material,” said Anonymous on the hacked website. On Encyclopedia Dramatica, a satire Wiki, they claim further responsibility for the hack and exposition saying they managed to break into McKay and Brent Hatch’s email accounts. “[the accounts got] haxx0rd and via this astonishing development passwords were got and a certain website got its shit ruined.”

According to the NCC’s website, it has 20,000 members worldwide, was founded in 2007 by McKay Hatch, a 14-year-old boy, and aims at discouraging swearing in public places such as schools. In 2008, McKay even succeeded in making cussing illegal in his hometown of South Pasadena, California and has appeared on various talk shows such as that of Doctor Phil. However, according to e-mails leaked to Wikinews, allegedly written by the boy’s father Brent, a motivational speaker also owning Dawson Publishing, the parents are allegedly using the site and their son’s material for their own personal financial gain. Anonymous also claims that the parents have forged some of their son’s writings and claim it to be his.

The e-mails allege that Brent along with his publishing company, the name which “nocussing.com” is also registered under, were trying to set up assemblies in the No Cussing Club’s name at schools across the United States for US$1,500.00 per show and would then pocket the money, doing the same for postcards they created for churches and schools.

“McKay spoke last night to a group of 40 people, and at the end of his presentation, there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd. I know this is going to work because the message is so important. Thanks for all you do and I hope we can work together for a long time, and of course make money in the process,” said Brent in an alleged e-mail conversation on November 25, 2008. Earlier in August 2008, Brent spoke about hoping to reach a “goal” of “2.5 million dollars” by selling thousands of postcards to “schools and churches”.

On January 19, 2009, ABC News.com reported that McKay claimed Anonymous was sending him and his family hate e-mail and death threats, nearly 50,000 per day, “almost all of them filled with obscenities” and spam. On the NCC’s website, McKay calls himself the “most cyberbullied kid on the planet” because of Anonymous’s attacks.

NCC logo.
Image: NCC.

“A lot of people were saying I was taking away their freedom of speech,” said McKay to ABC News on January 16. “All I was trying to do was raise awareness.” He says he formed the club because his schoolmates were sick of hearing people swear in public. Wikinews contacted the NCC to confirm or deny the reports, but would only say that “the FBI is [working] on it [the case]” including “our attorney and we will press charges” against those who are responsible for the crimes.

Anonymous is known to prank and hack websites and e-mail accounts. In September 2008, the group hacked into BillOreilly.com, the official website of Fox News Channel commentator Bill O’Reilly, exposing personal information of the site’s users in a document posted on the internet.

The NCC is located in South Pasadena. According to the California Penal Code §502 part C of the computer hacking laws, depending on the offense if caught, punishments could be a “fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, or two or three years, or by both that fine and imprisonment, or by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment”.

On October 20, 2008, Dmitriy Guzner, aged 18 from New Jersey, admitted to the charges related to carrying out the DDoS attack on Scientology’s website. He was subsequently charged with computer hacking crimes and faces a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment.



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