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Hacker Admits To Scientology DDoS Attack

Soulskill posted about 6 years ago | from the may-xenu-protect-you dept.

The Courts 275

lbwbl writes with news that a New Jersey man will plead guilty to one felony count of 'unauthorized impairment of a protected computer' for his distributed denial of service attacks on Scientology websites as part of 'Anonymous' earlier this year. From Wired: "He faces a likely sentence of 12 to 18 months in prison based on stipulations in his plea agreement, which also obliges him to pay $37,500 in restitution. ... Friday's case, in US District Court in Los Angeles, marks the first prosecution of an Anonymous member for a series of attacks against the Church of Scientology that began in mid-January. The secretive religious group strayed into Anonymous' sights after trying to suppress the publication of a creepy Tom Cruise video produced for Scientology members."

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scientology needs a worldwide campaign launched (5, Funny)

TheSovereign (1317091) | about 6 years ago | (#25424097)

against them. Its high time these scammers got whats coming. Its time for a new age of reason! inspiring eh?

Re:scientology needs a worldwide campaign launched (4, Interesting)

camperslo (704715) | about 6 years ago | (#25424281)

Will someone help protect me against the free-trade exploit tool (DMCA takedown notice) that I'm told the church would use against me if/when I try to sell my E-meter on Ebay?

The E-meter isn't a fake or an unauthorized copy.

Re:scientology needs a worldwide campaign launched (4, Interesting)

Brad Eleven (165911) | about 6 years ago | (#25424509)

I remember a chapter in a text for a health class in junior high school. The topic was "Quacks," and the direction was to "beware of them." I remember being interested in the first view of doctors I'd seen that didn't portray them as completely trustworthy and somehow authoritarian.

One section described a particularly heinous form of quackery that involved "gizmos purported to measure the electrical charge on the surface of the skin." This seemed outrageous to me. Electricity on the skin??? Obviously this was a big-time scam. These gizmos were obviously fakes; I could tell just by reading the damning text and staring at the weird black and white photos.

I thought about this from time to time as I grew up, especially when I learned about the vast array of electrical charges and how ubiquitous electricity is. I still held onto this strange form of pity for those who had fallen for the scams of these quacks and their bogus gizmos. Something about the tone of the textbook made the whole thing seem very dangerous, e.g., there were people spending all of their money on something that couldn't possibly work. And what if they had a serious ailment which was being ignored in favor of the, the ... quackery !!!

Well, a few years ago, when the Scientology documents were exposed to the public, I perused them out of curiosity. Even though I knew about Xenu, I was still surprised to see it all there in print. Then I ran across the man's story of getting to some advanced Thetan level, and he described the self-auditing with the e-meter. Something in his narrative caused the neurons in my own brain to fire just so, and I realized that this was what was being described in the textbook.

I think it would be interesting to research how detectable electrical currents in the human body relate to physical, mental, even emotional processes. I believe it's dangerous to toss around half-baked notions of the same, in exchange for money and time, based on the ramblings of a science fiction author on alcohol and barbiturates.

I mean, the guy should have been on psilocybin, or mescaline. Alcohol and other depressants are cruel drugs.

Re:scientology needs a worldwide campaign launched (0, Offtopic)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 6 years ago | (#25424759)

Hunter is that you?

Re:scientology needs a worldwide campaign launched (3, Informative)

camperslo (704715) | about 6 years ago | (#25424909)

Well, a few years ago, when the Scientology documents were exposed to the public, I perused them out of curiosity. Even though I knew about Xenu, I was still surprised to see it all there in print. Then I ran across the man's story of getting to some advanced Thetan level, and he described the self-auditing with the e-meter. Something in his narrative caused the neurons in my own brain to fire just so, and I realized that this was what was being described in the textbook.

I think it would be interesting to research how detectable electrical currents in the human body relate to physical, mental, even emotional processes.

The E-meter isn't about anything as weird as trying to pick up signal currents in the body (at least not the model I have from about 30 years ago). It's just a resistance bridge, a device with a meter that can show small changes in resistance (inverse of conductivity). One puts a juice can in each hand and tensing of the grip and/or changes in perspiration cause a measurable shift as one responds to questions etc. It's basically doing just one of the things a so-called lie-detector does.

I was never a member of the church. I guess I should dig out the various booklets that are with the E-meter to see just how they used it. It's probably helpful in telling if someone has been successfully brainwashed or is holding back during questioning LOL.

Re:scientology needs a worldwide campaign launched (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25425011)

Sample E-meter questioning:

Holden: You're in a desert, walking along in the sand when all of the sudden-
Leon: Is this the test now?
Holden: Yes. You're in a desert walking along in the sand when all of the sudden you look down-
Leon: What one?
Holden: What?
Leon: What desert?
Holden: It doesn't make any difference what desert, it's completely hypothetical.
Leon: But how come I'd be there?
Holden: Maybe you're fed up, maybe you want to be by yourself, who knows? You look down and you see a tortoise, Leon, it's crawling toward you-
Leon: Tortoise, what's that?
Holden: Know what a turtle is?
Leon: Of course.
Holden: Same thing.
Leon: I've never seen a turtle. (pause) But I understand what you mean.
Holden: You reach down, you flip the tortoise over on its back Leon.
Leon: Do you make up these questions, Mr. Holden, or do they write them down for you?
Holden: The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun beating its legs trying to turn itself over but it can't, not without your help, but you're not helping.
Leon: What do you mean I'm not helping?
Holden: I mean, you're not helping. Why is that Leon? (pause) They're just questions, Leon. In answer to your query, they're written down for me. It's a test, designed to provoke an emotional response. (pause) Shall we continue? Describe in single words, only the good things that come in to your mind about: your mother.
Leon: My mother?
Holden: Yeah.
Leon: Let me tell you about my mother. (shot fired)

Re:scientology needs a worldwide campaign launched (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424941)

I think it would be interesting to research how detectable electrical currents in the human body relate to physical, mental, even emotional processes.

Acupuncture theories involve these sorts of studies. (although I don't think they usually include mental/emotional processes)

Re:scientology needs a worldwide campaign launched (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424807)

This is happening. http://www.whyweprotest.net. DO IT NOW.

Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer (5, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | about 6 years ago | (#25424105)

Yep no tears for him.

But what counts as "Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer"?

DRM that stops your OS or drives from working properly?

Re:Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer (4, Insightful)

nightfire-unique (253895) | about 6 years ago | (#25424329)

But what counts as "Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer"?

DRM that stops your OS or drives from working properly?

No, because DRM is installed by corporations, not a person.

Re:Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424345)

Corporations are people too!

Re:Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer (4, Funny)

kurzweilfreak (829276) | about 6 years ago | (#25424719)

Soylent Green is corporations?

Re:Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424407)

No, because DRM is installed by corporations, not a person.

Corporations are persons in the legal sense.

The difference is customers voluntarily buy the DRM'd goods.
It is pretty safe to say that the Scientologists didn't hire Anonymous as a tiger team.

Re:Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer (4, Insightful)

nightfire-unique (253895) | about 6 years ago | (#25424549)

Corporations are persons in the legal sense.

No they aren't; corporations cannot vote and they have an unlimited lifespan. They cannot be jailed.

The corporation is a legal entity to shield shareholders from some liability (both criminally and from civilly), and provide a common entity to direct. Nothing more.

Re:Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer (1)

fedcb22 (1215744) | about 6 years ago | (#25424733)

It is pretty safe to say that the Scientologists didn't hire Anonymous as a tiger team.

And I bought a game so that I could get DRM?

Re:Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer (5, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | about 6 years ago | (#25424611)

maybe corporate crimes should be prosecuted using the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act.

people use corporations to protect themselves against legal liability in case they are sued or otherwise break the law. this is similar to how mafia bosses distance themselves from the criminal activities they profit from in an attempt to buffer themselves from potential legal repercussions.

the military chain of command and other hierarchical organizations also have a similar effect of absolving personal responsibility. but when people are not held accountable for their own actions (including ordering unethical actions or authorizing criminal activities) this encourages corruption and has facilitated many injustices and atrocities in human history.

Re:Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | about 6 years ago | (#25424769)

"No, because DRM is installed by corporations, not a person."

I would also argue that DRM is "authorized" since you made the conscious choice to purchase and install it. As much as I hate DRM, if you didn't read the fine-print then that's your own fault.

Of course if the media comes with absolutely no warning then maybe the parent is on to something ...

Re:Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer (1)

Threni (635302) | about 6 years ago | (#25425035)

> As much as I hate DRM, if you didn't read the fine-print then that's your own fault.

I don't agree. If the averagely sane/intelligent person wouldn't expect a piece of software to do something, then unless it's made crystal clear up front, and not hidden away in the small print, then it should be illegal/considered invalid. The expectation should be that bullshit is not allowed unless specifically allowed conciously. There's a reason why certain contract terms ("you will not work for a competitor") are not allowed in most rational parts of the world.

Re:Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424477)

But what counts as "Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer"?

DRM that stops your OS or drives from working properly?

For it to count as "Unauthorized impairment" it has to be unauthorized. You authorize DRM.

Re:Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424645)

No you don't. You authorize whatever is advertised on the front of the box, the DRM slips its way in without you knowing.

Re:Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer (1)

theLOUDroom (556455) | about 6 years ago | (#25424949)

For it to count as "Unauthorized impairment" it has to be unauthorized. You authorize DRM.

Not if it's a Sony music CD!

Re:Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer (5, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | about 6 years ago | (#25424483)

1~1.5 YEARS in prison for a relatively minor script kiddie DDOS? Thats way way WAY too harsh. He would have got less if he went their climbed up the pole and manually cut their connection. Thats WITH a plea. Totally not fair.

Re:Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer (3, Funny)

jmickle (941634) | about 6 years ago | (#25425051)

How is it not fair? What about bandwidth charges for the network? THe time that he took away from some engineer's life to get up at 2am to go and mitigate the attack? what about all the people who were affected simply by his attacks? Who cares about the website..... This should be a lesson for all the script kiddies out there. i think the sentence should be 5 years..... this guy is not a hacker... hes just another person who got a computer for christmas and learned some tricks.... now he thinks he is all so powerful and think hes the best developer in the world.....

Re:Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer (1)

Loualbano2 (98133) | about 6 years ago | (#25424667)

It is a legal term from the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996.

A protected computer is:

(A) exclusively for the use of a financial institution or the United States Government, or, in the case of a computer not exclusively for such use, used by or for a financial institution or the United States Government and the conduct constituting the offense affects that use by or for the financial institution or the Government; or
(B) which is used in interstate or foreign commerce or communication, including a computer located outside the United States that is used in a manner that affects interstate or foreign commerce or communication of the United States.

Since it was a web server, it falls under the interstate or foreign commerce or communication definition.

Definition lifted from here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_Computer [wikipedia.org]

-ft

Re:Unauthorized impairment of a protected computer (4, Insightful)

sfraggle (212671) | about 6 years ago | (#25424747)

Script kiddies are still script kiddies. I don't feel any sympathy for him just because it was Scientology he attacked. It's good to see that anonymous have put their initial tactics behind them (ie. attacking websites) in favor of organised protests instead. Global protests with hundreds of people holding placards is both more effective *and* lets them keep the moral highground.

That's our government! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424749)

Gotta love the intentionally vague wording of that law just so they can use it in any circumstance they don't like what you do with a computer.

Kinda like when I got busted in school for doing something that wasn't explicitly against the computer use contract I signed, but they said I still violated it because they tacked on "This is not a complete list of rules." at the end so they can say anything they want was an offense. Fuckers.

Oh, and I, for one, wish the server had exploded and taken a few of those scientolobastards with it. They're pure evil. Hey scientologists: what are YOUR fucking crimes? What are YOU hiding?

Anonymous (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 6 years ago | (#25424107)

I guess they're not as anonymous as they thought. This anti-scientology campaign is well meant, but they should really try harder not to get caught.

This anti-scientology campaign is well meant (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424147)

What exactly is well meant by it?

It seems that a crazy cult acts in a legalistic way they don't like, so a bunch of self-appointed web police lower themselves to behave in exactly same way they are decrying.

Re:This anti-scientology campaign is well meant (2, Informative)

TheSovereign (1317091) | about 6 years ago | (#25424175)

Exactly the same way? Seriously, you believe that? It just so happens that Anonymous isn't charging us to help stop the flood of misinformation and life destroying cult beliefs. They do it because they feel they need to. Like some sort of crazed anti communism civic duty(think Joe Mccarthy). So, yes they do mean well on a whole. Sometimes the ends justify the means.

Re:This anti-scientology campaign is well meant (4, Insightful)

Dan541 (1032000) | about 6 years ago | (#25424327)

Some members of Anonymous are just assholes this guy is one example. allot of asshats are jumping on the Anonymous bandwagon just to do things like this.

As an enemy of this vicious cult im glad this asshole got caught, You can't say you oppose something due to it's opposition of free-speech, morals, illegal activity ect by committing the exact same offences against it.

Re:This anti-scientology campaign is well meant (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424913)

Anonymous has from the beginning been a gathering of internet nerds who were mad/bitter at Scientology, majority of them it was over exposing readings that are copyrighted in their readings. Hence the copyright nazis from Slashdot and other open-source agenda driven websites have gone all out with trying to fight these guys.

Seriously though, there is a lot of effort to put down a group who nobody pays attention to and do not hurt anyone. This just seems nothing more than the Streisand effect. I live in Southern California and we have one of the Scientology centers down here, they are nice people who stand out in front when I have passed by them and the groups have grown in ridiculous numbers. Come on fear mongers, scientologist are one of the least threatening people in the world.

Why not go after cults like 'Heavens Gate', whose member have actually caused deaths(mass suicide) and there are still member who survived to this day trying to spread the word of that cult. There were actually a couple programmers who participated in that mass suicide and one of them worked for Novell.
Why not go after the 'Westboro Baptist Church' group who do far more offensive things?
Why not go complain about gang war fare that kills hundreds of people a year over nothing?

Re:This anti-scientology campaign is well meant (4, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | about 6 years ago | (#25424639)

i guess you could say Joe McCarthy meant well in the same sense that the church meant well during the Spanish Inquisition or Salem witch trials.

Re:This anti-scientology campaign is well meant (5, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | about 6 years ago | (#25424221)

Erm last time i checked anonymous didnt:
*use copyright law to prevent any embaresing details being released about them
*get its members to discomuniacte from others who disagree with their teaching/methods
*get tax discounts for being a registerd church
*break into federal offices
*get people arrested for crimes they didn't commit
*not have cake

Infact while anonymous may act like a bunch of twats (although they often use the slogan "one of us, isn't as dumb as all of us" or something like that to cover there asses) other than breaking the law they are nothing like Scientology.

Re:This anti-scientology campaign is well meant (4, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 6 years ago | (#25424469)

If you're going to make spelling mistakes, at least have some fun with them. Instead of 'a registerd church', try 'a registurd church'.

Just tryin' to help out.

Re:This anti-scientology campaign is well meant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424631)

lol? I'm pretty sure Anonymous has:


*Get its members to discomuniacte from others who disagree with their teaching/methods (gb2gaia, tits or gtfo (and after tits gtfo anyways), etc.

*Get people arrested for crimes they didn't commit

And they haven't had cake for a long time.

Re:This anti-scientology campaign is well meant (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | about 6 years ago | (#25424907)

erm theres a difference between gtfo and discomuniacion in that 1 is asking person A to leave the other is asking person A to never speak to person B.
If A is freinds with B and A is told to GTFO, he can still talk to B in real life or on any other forum, but if A is told to discommunicate B he cant speak to B anywhere.

as for getting people arrested for crimes they did not commit. [citation needed]. I doubt no much about them pre the scientology stuff so it is possible, I mean they were just a bunch of trolls before then.

Last time i saw them they had plenty of cake, although it was before the summer

Re:This anti-scientology campaign is well meant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424835)

Let's not forget the Lisa McPherson case.

Re:Anonymous (3, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | about 6 years ago | (#25424151)

Xenu sees all.

Oh, and sues all too.

Re:Anonymous (5, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | about 6 years ago | (#25424183)

Or they could just stay on the legal side of the line. I know a guy who protested outside of a scientology center and as far as I'm concerned there's nothing illegal about that. You could go around handing out flyers explaining to people who you view Scientology as dangerous and still not get arrested. Encourage televised debates about it in a public forum and take it to them there.

You don't need to try and not get caught if you're not doing anything illegal to start with. If the CoS tries to get you arrested for peaceful protesting they'll be the ones that end up looking like assholes.

Re:Anonymous (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424249)

If the CoS tries to get you arrested for peaceful protesting they'll be the ones that end up looking like assholes.

Judging from their past behavior, I'd say they don't give a damn if they look like assholes.

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424251)

Yes but then they know who you are, which is how they intimidate, harass and 'punish' people who speak against them.

Re:Anonymous (1)

alvinrod (889928) | about 6 years ago | (#25424379)

If they eventually do something illegal they'll end up in hot water. Go after them for emotional distress for all the harassment and milk the CoS for a few million dollars of these fools' [wikipedia.org] money. It'll be a long legal struggle and probably annoying as hell, but the odds are a few idiots from the CoS will harass you during the trial and make it all the worse for themselves. It might also reach the national spotlight and start some kind of public outcry against the CoS.

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25425053)

Yes, because they are in such hot water after killing Lisa Mcpherson [wikipedia.org] ...

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424555)

This is true. They get your name and then use their minions to trash you publicly though the individual Cult^H^H^H^HChurch of Scientology members doing so oddly remain mostly anonymous. How's that for irony.

Re:Anonymous (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424573)

Actually 2 people were arrested for protesting Scientology in Atlanta . . . for having a dust mask and a voice amplifier.

Re:Anonymous (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424641)

You don't need to try and not get caught if you're not doing anything illegal to start with. If the CoS tries to get you arrested for peaceful protesting they'll be the ones that end up looking like assholes.

Keith Henson [wikipedia.org] wasn't that lucky.

Re:Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424887)

I know one as well. His name is Gregg Housh and he has done nothing illegal. However, for the past 6 or 7 months he has had to fight CoS in court over a series of bogus claims. They make up new charges with every hearing, just hoping to ruin him before the lawsuit gets thrown out.

As far as I am concerned, these people are outlawed. Do whatever you want to them. Make them bleed.

Re:Anonymous (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25425029)

You must not be familiar with the XenuTV channel on Youtube. People stage protests around Scientology facilities all the time, and because Scientolog has such deep pockets, they've paid off the local cops to not enforce laws when the Scientology thugs start fucking with the protesters.

The entire police force for the city of Clearwater is owned by the church. They've got video of Scientologists destroying video cameras, and the cops just say things like, "Your camera collided with his fist, that's not a crime."

Until we can get Scientology to be responsible, and follow the same rules as everybody else, we have to fight them from outside the system, because they've totally corrupted the inside of it.

Re:Anonymous (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | about 6 years ago | (#25424233)

I think it started on the chans, the same place idiots who hack high profile accounts post the results, go. Many of them aint too smart

Actually... (3, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | about 6 years ago | (#25424605)

Actually, I doubt that any campaign needs this kind of an asshat in the first place. It just creates the image of Scientology being the innocent victims, and their opponents being a bunch of criminals. We can do without that kind of making martyrs.

E.g., no offense, but you seem to do that generalization yourself when you paint the whole campaign as needing to try to not get caught. I'm not saying that to pick on you, but just to illustrate the kind of association that gets made. If even you, presumably a smart guy, fall for that kind of guilt by association, imagine how much easier that is for someone who understands computers and scientology even less.

Seriously, read any advocacy FAQ (e.g., start with the Linux one) and you'll see that all progress is actually made by the people who keep a professional and helpful attitude about it. Rabid zealots and asshat script kiddies are the kind you _don't_ want your movement to be associated with, because it ruins your whole credibility. That kind of "friends" are literally worse than your enemies.

And in this case it also ruins the whole moral high ground aspect. This guy infected (or help create a market for infecting) a bunch of innocent people's computers, and stuffed their internet connection to do his DDOS attack. That's actual harm done to innocents. It's an evil act. Once you show that kind of lack of morals or of respect for your fellow human, you just don't have a high ground from which to look down upon scientology.

If you will, it's a bit like reading about Mao denouncing the Soviet Union leaders. You're not inclined to rally on his side, because he's an evil fuck himself. Sometimes the enemy of my enemy is still a sociopathic prick.

Your Rights Online? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424191)

Just because you disagree with a group (as I do, in this case) does not mean that you can DDoS them. That is not your right, and the law says that you should be punished. If you want to take the moral high ground (in your opinion), prepare for the legal consequences.

Re:Your Rights Online? (0, Offtopic)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | about 6 years ago | (#25424259)

If i went into tourist information and asked for some information, they would presumable tell me what i wanted to know.

If i got 500 people to do the same thing it would not be a crime, they would probably just stop answering.

Re:Your Rights Online? (3, Interesting)

Endo13 (1000782) | about 6 years ago | (#25424371)

You can also be arrested for creating a public nuisance.

Re:Your Rights Online? (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | about 6 years ago | (#25424339)

The real irony is when that same person talks about protecting freedoms such as free-speech, which they obviously cannot be a supporter of in order to carry out a DDoS.

Re:Your Rights Online? (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | about 6 years ago | (#25424405)

Well, 'protecting' free-speech is kind of relative. If you try to shut down the person(s) trying to shut down free-speech, are you protecting it or not?

Also, a website is kind of a broad definition of 'speech'. Hence the controversy over whether or not blogs fall under the 'freedom of speech' clause.

Re:Your Rights Online? (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | about 6 years ago | (#25424515)

You either support free-speech of you don't, supporting only what you happen to agree with is not free-speech. If someone says something I don't like (and plent of people do) that is their right to say it, just as I have the right to say things they don't like.

The line is drawn when you post to a website that you do not own because the owner of that site has the right to delete your content if they wish, but is somebody dishonestly forges a DMCA notice like Scientology has been, then it becomes an attack simply because it is done dishonestly.

Re:Your Rights Online? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424911)

Why should a criminal enterprise, no less a collection of umbrella corporations designed to hide the truth and remove personal liability from leaders of said criminal enterprise, have the right to freedom of speech?

Freedom of speech is not unlimited. John Stuart Mill, perhaps the greatest proponent for unlimited freedom of speech even acknowledged: "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others". The oft used example of yelling "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater is not protected speech, because causing a stampede or doing something to incite a riot is likely to harm people.

Scientology is a fundamentally corrupt entity. It profits from harming people. Any non-polluted layman given the complete facts of the matter, will inevitably come to this conclusion. Scientology attempts to keep its image clean by suppressing information. How is it not fair that they be suppressed in return? Also, last I heard, it was still We The People, not We The Corporations. While the DDoS thing was wrong to do, it's not because it in any way limited the freedom of expression of this criminal organization posing as a religion, posing as a philosophy.

Re:Your Rights Online? (1)

theLOUDroom (556455) | about 6 years ago | (#25424987)

You either support free-speech of you don't

Well then I don't because I don't support yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theatre, not do I support shouting "Look out! He's got a gun!" in an airplane.

If speech was TRULY free you could do those things and not get punsihed. It's just speech, after all.

I think most reasonable people agree that there are ossacions where it is necessary and desirable to limit speech. (Such as not telling the germans we cracked the code during WWII, for example.) There are cases where a compelling public good outweighs the 1st amendment.

Re:Your Rights Online? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424979)

I totally agree. What else TF does that remind me of, just can't remember.

my take on anonymous vs scientology (3, Insightful)

gadabyte (1228808) | about 6 years ago | (#25424205)

a bunch of foolish kids with nothing better to do than form a mob, and be outraged at the freedom to be foolish and join another mob.

irony floats off, unnoticed.

Re:my take on anonymous vs scientology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424309)

But we arn't outraged at their freedom to join the mob, we are outraged at the actions of the other mob.

Re:my take on anonymous vs scientology (1)

gadabyte (1228808) | about 6 years ago | (#25424361)

i just think there's an awful lof of crap to be outraged at in our world, and despite the insidious nature of scientology, it's still pretty low on the list.

but that's just me.

Re:my take on anonymous vs scientology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424507)

Well, no, a cult that is known for murdering it's own members and having a policy of "anything goes" against it's detractors does get a pretty high ranking in the list of things to be outraged at.

Posting as AC for obvious reasons.

Re:my take on anonymous vs scientology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424621)

It's a dangerous cult responsible for many murders and the largest infiltration of government. They are insane, and should be stopped at all cost.

Re:my take on anonymous vs scientology (1)

Feanturi (99866) | about 6 years ago | (#25424471)

People lose their freedoms when they join the other mob you mention, please try to keep up.

Re:my take on anonymous vs scientology (2, Insightful)

Mesa MIke (1193721) | about 6 years ago | (#25424503)

Yes, but if you don't have the freedom to give up your freedom, then that's not freedom!

Re:my take on anonymous vs scientology (1)

Don_dumb (927108) | about 6 years ago | (#25424481)

The best punishment would be to order him to undergo some psychoanalysis. We should recommend some therapists, that would help.

Re:my take on anonymous vs scientology (5, Interesting)

CharliePowers (1388759) | about 6 years ago | (#25424831)

You know, the protests in the 60's were also full of "foolish kids" but they changed the world in many ways for the better. I don't see anything wrong with people banding together to fight against evil. I don't condone what this kid did but in every movement there are bad apples which are not representative of the group. Anonymous is unlike anything the world has ever seen before and they are fighting against an evil Space Opera Cult. God Speed Anonymous.

Anonymous Script Kiddies (5, Interesting)

kromozone (817261) | about 6 years ago | (#25424265)

I can't see how this guy got caught. If he was running a botnet over IRC, he should have been able to simply log in, issue commands for which target to attack, and disconnect. Or was he posting copy and paste scripts on the chans who then divulged his IP to the feds? Seems like the majority of Anonymous are idiots. Recently, we have the guy using cTunnel to access Palin's email account, when he could have easily used TOR and had essentially 0% chance of being caught, or if that's to hard, at least multiple web-based proxies. Anyway, I'm curious to know how this guy got nailed. Does anyone have any info on how they tracked him down?

Re:Anonymous Script Kiddies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424313)

Anyway, I'm curious to know how this guy got nailed. Does anyone have any info on how they tracked him down?

I think pedobear turned state's witness.

Re:Anonymous Script Kiddies (1, Funny)

meringuoid (568297) | about 6 years ago | (#25424791)

Recently, we have the guy using cTunnel to access Palin's email account, when he could have easily used TOR and had essentially 0% chance of being caught, or if that's to hard, at least multiple web-based proxies.

I never understood how he made that mistake. It's standard Anonymous procedure in such operations to be behind at least 7 proxies.

Re:Anonymous Script Kiddies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424837)

Bragging about it on the chans probably. The email dude got caught the same way, pasting screen caps in the chans. Thats where the feds got started.

Ends jusify the means? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424285)

Does this crime justifiable though? It is illegal and harmful, but do the ends justify the means in this case?

I'm not sure

"A mysterious underground group" (0, Redundant)

Esteanil (710082) | about 6 years ago | (#25424287)

According to physorg: "A teenager hacker has admitted carrying out a cyber attack that crashed Church of Scientology websites as part of a campaign by a mysterious underground group, justice officials said Friday."

The /b/tards are going to love this...

Link to creepy Tom Cruise video (1)

manekineko2 (1052430) | about 6 years ago | (#25424341)

Anyone have a link to the creepy Tom Cruise video?

Re:Link to creepy Tom Cruise video (5, Funny)

mweather (1089505) | about 6 years ago | (#25424637)

Anyone have a link to the creepy Tom Cruise video?

You're going to have to be more specific.

Easy defense.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424383)

Xenu made me do it Your Honor. I plead not guilty by reason of following commands of the Galactic Overlord. Hail Xenu!

Scientology...Bad. Pentagon...Good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424387)

Scientology is bad compared to...?

Hack a bank if you've got real balls.

Re:Scientology...Bad. Pentagon...Good? (3, Insightful)

Zibri (1063838) | about 6 years ago | (#25424513)

Scientology is bad compared to...?

Sanity.

Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424435)

Since it seems that no one takes them seriously, its important to note that this is a publicity thing. Maybe if people would listen to their warnings about this large cult, stuff like this wouldnt have to happen

business practices (5, Funny)

paniq (833972) | about 6 years ago | (#25424495)

scientology is not a religion, it's a business. if you want to drive them out of business, compete with them. make up a story that is even crazier to woo film stars and rake in the big rewards.

Join the just founded Roflology. we believe that God, who actually DID create the earth, was in turn created by a being named GLaDOS, an artificial intelligence from the future which traveled back in time, to the moment before time was about to be created. since then, many men are being born with a device attached to the inside of their noses called the Super-Human-Inhibition-Transponder, which, as the name suggests, inhibits superhuman abilities that men actually possess, like reading minds, seeing into the future and doing the dishes. This device powers itself from the resonant properties of metal threads in paper sheets, which come disguised as dollar or euro bills.

Roflology promises to help you regain your superhuman abilities. The first step is to store your money in a safe place, where it can't hurt you. The second step is a 120 years training process, which helps you to achieve immortality. Once you can no longer die, there follows another 50 years of training (piece of cake for an immortal), until superhuman qualities emerge. As a finale, you will receive a certificate and a little present.

Do one of our tests today to find out whether you are full of S.H.I.T.!

Re:business practices (3, Informative)

LKM (227954) | about 6 years ago | (#25424525)

Scientology isn't a business, it's a scam. They sell things which don't work, brainwash the people to whom they sell their things, and harass people whom they can't sell their things to.

Re:business practices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424585)

I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:business practices (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | about 6 years ago | (#25424703)

> scientology is not a religion, it's a business. if you want to drive them out of
> business, compete with them. make up a story that is even crazier...

How about one that involves priests who can magically transform cookies into human flesh which the followers then eat? Think that would fly?

Re:business practices (1, Interesting)

johndmartiniii (1213700) | about 6 years ago | (#25424839)

Mod parent funny or insightful.

One neato thing about looking at religious systems from a social science perspective is that before long you realize how much bullshit they share.

i looked at their (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424547)

hacker HQ site. (Link is available from E.Dramatica.) The material is at the beginner level. For example, their idea of DDoS is to have a central server that co-ordinates the drones with a SQL table and Python on the clients. However, their Firefox addon recommendations are very good.

Alternate Methods (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424567)

To the best of my knowledge, the DDOS attacks stopped in January. The people who are currently protesting are not using those methods.

You can check out what they are up to at
http://forums.scientology-exposed.com/ [scientology-exposed.com]
http://forums.whyweprotest.net/ [whyweprotest.net]

To find out why people are still protesting start reading the stories here
http://www.forum.exscn.net/forumdisplay.php?f=2 [exscn.net]
http://www.exscientologykids.com/voicesinunison.html [exscientologykids.com]

Former scientologists are finally starting to have the courage to speak out and need to be supported.

In my home town alone, a former scientologist's apartment has been broken into & had file boxes stolen (left the TV, DVDs & laptop), slashed her car tires, cut the wires in her car (including the brake lights), ran her off the road, stalked her at the neighborhood swimming pool & tried to intimidate her there with her kids, have been trying to mentally fuck with her by turning off her circuit breakers for her apartment, have had vans & PIs staking out her home & following her.

These are not nice people. They need to be exposed.

cruel and unusual? (4, Insightful)

wakingrufus (904726) | about 6 years ago | (#25424589)

fair enough that this guy is being convicted, but is a prison sentence really fair for a DDoS attack?

Re:cruel and unusual? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424699)

It depends on weather or not the people being DDoS'd are rich.

If we can (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 6 years ago | (#25424593)

charge somebody with inciting violence, why we charge Scientology with with inciting this guy to commit this horrendous "crime"?

Re:If we can (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 6 years ago | (#25424603)

Um, why can't we...?

Well I'm not going to leave you alone. (1)

ze_nexus (1123017) | about 6 years ago | (#25424633)

I want you to get mad! I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!

He faces a likely sentence? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 years ago | (#25424661)

He should get a medal instead.

Far more dangerous than Scientology (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424709)

Now here is a cult I am much more scared of.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYEnDepMKwE [youtube.com]

OK does he accept donations ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | about 6 years ago | (#25424725)

anyone can link to his website ? does it have a paypal button ?

Clarification (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424743)

I think a brief timeline is in order for the purpose of clarifying exactly this guy's relationship to "Anonymous."

Prank calls and DDoS attacks "for teh lulz" > realization that Scientology is indeed creepy enough to legitimately oppose > legal protests

So the DDoS itself was probably not a part of the "Anonymous" coalition. It did, however, play a part in galvanizing the movement and generating media attention. But it was only after such events (shortly after) that the people watching who would become part of "Anonymous" started doing their research and getting interested. This guy may have had good intentions, but nothing can excuse such lawbreaking. After all, lawbreaking is the domain of the Church of Scientology, and we wouldn't want to step on their toes.

Only thing he did wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424815)

Only thing he should be charged with is not taking down more Scientology sites, and keeping them DDoS'd for longer.

Felony is Overkill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424877)

This should be a civil suit, not a criminal one.

I'm confused. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25424917)

Did he simply run a DoS script (like stacheldracht or wget) on his own computer, or did he use a botnet?
In the first case, he shouldn't be liable. Imagine if a thousand people threw a can on the ground. They've put a whole ton of cans on the ground, to be sure; but you can't pick out one of them and blame him for throwing a thousand cans on the ground. In the first case, he's throwing one can and alone, he wouldn't have done any damage.
In the second case, he shouldn't be prosecuted for DDoS, he should be prosecuted for taking control of howevermany computers he used for the DDoS. Right?

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