Wednesday, March 9, 2011
When the FBI is handing American tax dollars to a company to do a job, I fully expect that company to do a good job. However, if that company fails to do its job and engages in some shady extracurricular activities, it should be open season.
In this scenario, the security company HBGary was looking to expose a group of hackers known as Anonymous bit off more than it could chew. The company was planning on selling information that was "publicly available via our IRC networks," stated Anonymous. In response to the threat, Anonymous planned to "give it to them for free," and then some. They "compromised the company's website, gained access to the documents that HBGary had collected on its members, and published more than 60,000 of HBGary's emails to BitTorrent." They also hacked into the CEO's Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and posted his social security number and other personal information about him.
While this is extreme, I definitely find hacktivism to be an effective means of protest. Anonymous proved their point and the message is simple. In the famous words of Tyler Durden: "The people you are after are the people you depend on. We cook your meals, we haul your trash, we connect your calls, we drive your ambulances. We guard you while you sleep. Do not... f*** with us." Like I said, what Anonymous did was extreme. Posting the social security number and other personal information about the CEO of a company most certainly violates civil rights. There should not be more international regulation, because it's not possible, and any attempts at such regulation would simply be adding fuel to the hacker fire. These people are smart, and when a group of them feel threatened, they band together and unleash their fury on anyone who opposes them.
It should be up to the companies to protect their websites from being hacked into and turned into a spot for political protest. The governments of the world have their hands full with all of their bureaucracy and red tape and trying to create cyber police for this purpose would create a big mess. It would be impossible to find people and would take even more tax dollars and time to prosecute anyone for hacking and posting. Even if new security and regulation comes about, hackers will find a way around it, whatever that may be. They will find new ways to protest and voice their opinions, and it will be up to everyone else to react accordingly.
Posted by Matt Pindera at 8:45 PM