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Andrew Auernheimer Case Uncomfortably Similar To Aaron Swartz Case

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the struggling-to-find-a-reasonable-punishment dept.

The Courts 400

TrueSatan writes "Andrew Auernheimer doesn't appear suicidal, no thanks to U.S. prosecutors, yet he has been under attack for his act of altering an API URL that revealed a set of user data and posting details of same. 'In June of 2010 there was an AT&T webserver on the open Internet. There was an API on this server, a URL with a number at the end. If you incremented this number, you saw the next iPad 3G user email address. I thought it was egregiously negligent for AT&T to be publishing a complete target list of iPad 3G owners, and I took a sample of the API output to a journalist at Gawker.' Auernheimer has been under investigation from that point onward, with restrictions on his freedom and ability to earn a living that are grossly disproportionate to any perceived crime. This is just as much a case of legislative overreach and the unfettered power of prosecutors as was Swartz's case."

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Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667367)

The United States, collectively, has lost its fucking mind.

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667467)

That seems to summarize the root of the problem quite well. Individually, I believe most Americans are quite sane and normal people. But as a whole, the USA has gone insane. It's caught in its own stupid system.

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667471)

Define sane.

Posted a/c out of agreement with the GP post.

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (5, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | about a year ago | (#42667583)

Insane is when you post this as AC, because you live in the Land of the Free.

Where I live, Freedom is a reality, not just a marketing slogan.

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667701)

Insane is when you post this as AC, because you live in the Land of the Free.

Where I live, Freedom is a reality, not just a marketing slogan.

In a land where the river runs free
In a land through the green country
In a land to a shining sea
And you and me are free to post as AC.

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667709)

Where I live, Freedom is a reality

And on which planet do you live?

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#42668055)

Insane is when you post this as AC, because you live in the Land of the Free.

That's insane, alright, but it's not the country with the delusional paranoia. The US is fucking insane, but if there was a rankled bureaucrat that somehow took offense to "define sane", had sufficient power and time to find your post on Slashdot, could then decode your Slashdot identity, and finally track you down to persecute you... don't you think he'd be able to get your IP address?

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667527)

Individually, I believe most Americans are quite sane and normal people.

Normal people are highly unintelligent, so it's not a good thing that they're "normal." Sane? No one sane would accept the TSA, the Patriot Act, free speech zones, or hell, basically warrantless anything. They're both unintelligent and insane.

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (4, Insightful)

qbast (1265706) | about a year ago | (#42667727)

"The system" has been built bit by bit by those "sane and normal" American. You live in republic not dictatorship, remember? You can either have that warm feeling of superiority over you "land of free" OR you can pretend that "the system" is something you have no responsibility for. So next time you read about teen hounded to death by "the system", remember: it is also YOUR fault.

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (3, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | about a year ago | (#42667797)

Agree in part, but as long as 80% of the voters watch Fox News and attack ads and do what the rest of the 80% of America tells them to do we're going to end up with more of the same.

Very few people enter into reasoned debate and bother to understand issues before voting on them. If everybody they associate is talking about death panels, then there must be death panels.

The result is that the only way to get elected is to spend enormous amounts of money on advertising and influencing public opinion. The only way to get that kind of money is to be in bed with special interests. The go-easy-on-the-little-guy group doesn't have much money to give.

Unless we can somehow end bribery there really isn't any way to fix these issues. And corporate interests are just part of the problem - the US takes positions that impose on personal liberty in countless social issues that probably don't have corporate interests behind them. In the US everybody loves to tell everybody else what they can do...

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667899)

>Agree in part, but as long as 80% of the voters watch Fox News

Uhm, it's the Obama administration, silly.

The sad truth that NO ONE wants to hear or face:

In general, the slashdot crowd voted for this. Obama sold the VP to the copyright industry for two terms before his first election: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10024163-38.html

This issue has always been avoided by the slashdot crowd, and downvoted when Obama needed to be elected.

Biden, however, before Obama's first election, has made very clear that he wants hard prison time for copyright violators. This is his job, he was hired for it by the industry. You know, hard prison time for REAL persons. His sponsors are also public and well known.

So most of you voted for this. And are hypocrites now. Because you choose to ignore it, to get your man elected. Granted, the other man was worse, but had other sponsors. The hard prison time for REAL persons was ignored. So, Swartz' death is the collateral damage of your own actions and vote, and to make it worse, many are totally ignoring this while pointing fingers at "the government" and "the prosecutor", who are just implementing the administration's policy, which you voted for. Or even blame Fox.

How convenient for you.

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about a year ago | (#42668179)

Please explain what Swartz's death has to do with copyright infringement.

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (1)

l3v1 (787564) | about a year ago | (#42668031)

"Very few people enter into reasoned debate and bother to understand issues before voting on them."

My experience - which is failry limited, mind you, and also anecdotal, since of course I can't prove it, so take it as it is, an opinion - is that older generation [i.e. they and some or many of their ancestry is born american] americans seem to be more accepting than debate-oriented, vs. younger- or first-gen. americans, especially who are from mid-western european countries. The latter seem more willing to debate on general-overall political and social issues in a broader context, also seem more willing to voice their opinion in online outlets. And I think of this as something positive, hoping they'll retain their critical nature and agility as they become older :)

Fox news has less than 2 million viewers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42668127)

Except Fox News has less than a quarter the viewers of mainstream news, and it's most popular show has fewer viewers than the Daily Show on comedy central.


I think people fear Fox more than the falling viewer figures would require. Look at their attempt to buy the next president of the United States:


They tried to recruit General Patreaus to run for President, promising him Fox news as his secret mouthpiece if he ran on a Republican platform. But they failed. They have dreams of being influential, but the biggest trick is fooling advertisers to pay for adverts on their channel.

So I don't think we can blame it on Fox, and just because the FBI has opened an investigation, doesn't mean that *Andrew* is the one who will end up prosecuted for this. After all ATnT did basically publish everyones private details on a public website! Not even attempting to secure it in any way. If that isn't criminal negligence then what is?

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42668181)

Ok, let's see, I do not watch fox news, I actually don't watch American TV except for a few shows (what was it, Better off Ted, Dexter, Game of Thrones, used to watch Simpsons, Family Guy, Seinfeld, Frasier, Married with Children, Home Improvement, saddened that they didn't continue with the Firefly series).

I liked these American shows, but news? News are just propaganda, regardless of what side they take, in fact the problem is that they only see 2 sides, there is nothing else that they understand. I sometimes watch Jon Stewart and he is funny, but he is completely wrong on economics, just like the rest of the 'liberal' media. But who wants to watch American 'news'?

But you are saying that 80% of American voters watch Fox News, then tell me, why was Obama re-elected? Fox News is a propaganda machine, same as MSNBC and the rest of the 'left news'.

But here is the truth about American elections: USA elections are decided by IDIOTS.

I will tell you why that is so, because most people who consider themselves to be 'left' and most people who consider themselves to be 'right' will not switch their votes regardless of what the 'news' tells them to do. They know they will vote either Republican or Democrat and that's all, nothing else matters.

So those are people with strong opinions or preconceived notions, this doesn't matter, what matters is that it is not those people, who decide the elections.

In America the elections are decided by a small group of people whose opinions are swayed by the advertising that is aimed at them. Those are people without convictions, those are people without knowledge, those are people without idea on what the hell is going on.

American elections are decided by a small number of people who have no clue, no opinion of their own, who can be swayed whichever way that convinces them the best with the most advertising.

In America today, with the self-destructive idiotic notion that democracy is good (it's not, it's a terrible disaster, many dictators were elected quite democratically, politicians are elected democratically who actually promise to steal more freedoms and sell them to the highest bidder, but as long as the voters think they'll get something for free from that deal, they end up voting that way).

Democracy is a disaster, democracy is a completely wrong way to go, suffrage has to be limited, and it especially has to be limited away from people who actually decide on the outcomes of American elections, the idiots who don't hold any of their own opinions, who act only to the advertising that is directed at them.

You are saying this:

Very few people enter into reasoned debate and bother to understand issues before voting on them. If everybody they associate is talking about death panels, then there must be death panels. - so do you agree with me that democracy is a terrible idea or not?

After all, you are actually implicitly talking limiting suffrage, even if it only means limiting it to people who can actually demonstrate that in fact they are familiar with issues and that they have their own opinions on the matter?

Here is what I think about Fiscal Cliff and Debt Ceiling and generally US economy [slashdot.org], do you think that a person who has no idea about such things, who gets all of his info from advertising should be allowed to vote?

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42668199)

Libreal retard.

While I am no fan of Fox News, I gave up browsing news.google.com and started reading more Fox News. The reason... gun control. None of the other networks reported on anything reasonably in favor of the 2nd amendment. Every article they reported about gun control they immediately tied to the recent Newtown tragedy. There was such a libreal anti-gun and anti-2nd amendment bias that it just sickened me.

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42668257)

Are you joking? Being born into a nation of 300 million makes you obligated somehow to their governance?

I hope you don't actually believe this.

I saw a few posts down someone ranting about Fox News, maybe you are just children.

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (1, Offtopic)

havana9 (101033) | about a year ago | (#42667575)

Read the title in Dalek voice. The World Economic Foum i sel in Davos in 1971. The Dalek's creator is Davos? Coincidence? We think not.

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667767)

Davros, actually

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667675)

That, and, save a few likely-to-be martyred brave souls, it's collective courage.

So many of us are quick to bitch and moan from a safe distance, and so few are willing to put their comfy lifestyles and candy asses on the line to do something about it.

Start with the realization that the system is irrevocably and irreparably broken. You can't vote your way out of a corporatist oligarchy.

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (1)

couchslug (175151) | about a year ago | (#42667765)

The idea that things have gotten worse implies some magical time when they were different.

Absolutely wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667845)

Is "magic" the only way things can change???

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667839)

The United States, collectively, has lost its fucking mind.

More precisely, the US has collectively been asleep for the last 35 or so years and has morphed into a corporatocracy [wikipedia.org], in which case the Justice Department is behaving as expected and protecting the interests of AT&T.

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (1)

Zemran (3101) | about a year ago | (#42667965)

Wrong, it should 'selectively prosecute those who threaten profit, lets not worry about all those crazies with sub machine guns'

Re:Prosecute, Prosecute, Prosecute (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about a year ago | (#42668013)

Weev tried to sell this to gawker. The difference between the Swartz case and weev's case is that weev really fucked up. The fact that he's kind of a looney isn't helping his case much.

So, no it hasn't lost it's mind.

Persecute the whistleblower (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667385)

Simply put the guy in court, thus correcting the security hole once and for all.

Appears to be the American way of dealing with security breaches.

Re:Persecute the whistleblower (5, Insightful)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about a year ago | (#42667441)

I think their aim is to put the guy in Jail, not court. Its worth repeating: this and Swartz's case are just a symptom of the two tiered justice system [salon.com] at work. Persecution ingrained at the Institutional level, it is not not just a few overzealous prosecutors as some apologists try claim.

two-tiered justice system — the way in which political and financial elites now enjoy virtually full-scale legal immunity for even the most egregious lawbreaking, while ordinary Americans, especially the poor and racial and ethnic minorities, are subjected to exactly the opposite treatment: the world’s largest prison state and most merciless justice system.

Re:Persecute the whistleblower (5, Interesting)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#42667803)

I'm just an observer (not an attorney or prosecutor), but I suggest the hypothesis that the two-tiered system is attributable to prosecutors being lazy and cowardly. The rich and powerful can take full advantage of legal tactics to draw out a trial and delay an inevitable verdict, even when they're guilty as hell. Thus, it is much costlier and more uncertain to prosecute a banker than a hacker. Prosecutors advance their careers and reputations by getting a lot of convictions. Their incentive is to go after the easy prey.

So, the way to fix this mess is to change the incentives for prosecutors so they are motivated to pursue the most harmful crimes, not the ones that are easiest to convict. Easier said than done.

Re:Persecute the whistleblower (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#42668011)

It's more than going after the most harmful crimes, and requires perhaps a bit of a redefinition of the prosecutor's role. A defense lawyer's role is to get his client off the hook by any (legal) means available. The prosecutor's role should not be the opposite of this, getting a conviction by any means. It should be to have justice prevaiL. That doesn't mean asking for a lighter sentence if there are some irregularities in the investigation, let the defense and the judge worry about that. It does mean understanding what crime has been committed (or having yourself informed if you don't), and then asking for an appropriate punishment.

The idea that people will lose respect for the legal system when sentences no longer fit the crimes is an ago-old wisdom. I think we're seeing that idea in action more and more often.

Re:Persecute the whistleblower (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667819)

its a shame he decided to be the good guy. Anon needs more people like this

Re:Persecute the whistleblower (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667863)

Interestingly, Auernheimer disagrees with this interpretation.

From TFA: (the techcrunch statement)
"Ivy league educated and wealthy, Aaron dealt with his indictment so badly because he thought he was part of a special class of people that this didn’t happen to. I am from a rundown shack in Arkansas. I spent many years thinking people from families like his [Swartz] got better treatment than me. Now I realize the truth: The beast is so monstrous it will devour us all. None will be spared."

And people wonder why hackers often... (4, Interesting)

eksith (2776419) | about a year ago | (#42667387)

Dump and humiliate instead of disclose "responsibly". That word applies to both parties; when a vulnerability is revealed "responsibly", and the end result is for the powers that be to act irresponsibly with no regard to measured response, what's the incentive to do good?

Delicacy is over. Expect nukes.

I'm just gonna grab the popcorn and enjoy how the restless kids will respond to the power high prosecutors expect to get massaged.

Re:And people wonder why hackers often... (4, Insightful)

Dr. Evil (3501) | about a year ago | (#42667537)

It looks like he was already nuking.

" I took a sample of the API output to a journalist at Gawker."

"I did this because I despised people I think are unjustly wealthy and wanted to embarass them."

"...We were able to establish the authenticity of Goatse Security's data through two people who were listed among the 114,000 names. "

I share his dislike for the telcos... but "Oh look, a leak", then "I'm pulling all the records and sending it to the media" is not responsible disclosure.

" it might be possible to spoof a device on the network or even intercept traffic using the ICC ID."

He was wrong, but despite thinking the breach were more serious than a privacy issue, he still published the information, then speculated on nefarious uses to reporters.

That said, it does not warrant the prosecution... his actions were only unethical.

Re:And people wonder why hackers often... (0)

i (8254) | about a year ago | (#42667867)

You are wrong. And it seems that you are a friend of security through obscurity. And prioritize economical interests of companies before security interests of the society.

The law of unintended consequences (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667689)

If it's too easily possible to get in trouble to an excessive degree for finding security flaws at various companies and institutions, may as well go the black hat route and profit to make that risk worthwhile. Telling people they should fix their shit without anything in return but a smackdown looks pretty stupid at this point.

Just like what happens in regards to other non-violent "crimes" when heavily persecuted. It doesn't go away, it goes underground and may be used to support organizations which actually are criminal. Like with the prohibition and war on (some) drugs, I guess the prosecutors are going to enjoy reaping that which they have sewn.

Enjoy the fallout guys!

Re:And people wonder why hackers often... (3, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#42667851)

"Responsibly" like the report of a Java vulnerability in August, that exploded in everyone's face after Oracle sit on that report for months?

The problem is not the people that find and report the problem in a way or another (and advising the users too, just because there are too many cases like Oracle). Is the ones that find and exploit it silently.

Law is (in some cases, literally) killing the messenger, if you find something that could be exploited, better don't tell anyone because even reporting it to the company could get you in trouble too. Eventually someone in the dark side will exploit it (if is not doing that already) but is not your problem, maybe is even designed that way to always get fresh 0-day exploits for the new generation of Stuxnet (lawyers are involved, you can't attribute that to stupidity)

Re:And people wonder why hackers often... (2)

Lehk228 (705449) | about a year ago | (#42667957)

There is no more responsible disclosure.

not if you want to stay out of prison anyways

if you find an exploit, maka a metasploit plugin and publish anonymously via TOR

US Attorneys (5, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about a year ago | (#42667399)

Yes, US Attorneys are the most powerful, and least controlled, people in our government. Even the president has more checks and balances on his power than what these guys get away with.

A US Attorney is trying to seize the assets of a friend of mine, who is guilty of doing nothing but leasing land to some farmers, that grew pot on it without his knowledge. He's running into debt fighting the case, but the US Attorney is going full bore anyway, since it doesn't cost *him* anything to try to make an example out of someone.

I think we should institute loser-pays in all lawsuits involving US Attorneys. (Unless we have this already? I don't know.) There's a reason why 90%+ of all cases with them are plea bargained out - the US Attorneys have effectively unlimited resources, and can drain you dry fighting them.

Re:US Attorneys (5, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#42667433)

try to make an example out of someone.

This is where the problem starts. Nobody deserves or has earned to be treated differently in a legal system.

Re:US Attorneys (4, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about a year ago | (#42667455)

Regardless, US Attorney Wagner seems to think that seizing the assets of non-drug-related landowners will be sufficient to scare them all into doing the police work for him.

Re:US Attorneys (1)

advocate_one (662832) | about a year ago | (#42667901)

it has a chilling effect... it's already been used elsewhere to get medical marijuana stores closed down as the landlords evict the tenants rather than have the authorities fall down on them...

Re:US Attorneys (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about a year ago | (#42668201)

I disagree with the premise they're making an example out of him, or anyone.

I just don't think they're that organized. I think they're grandstanding, plain and simple. Trying to look impressive and like they're doing something.

The problem with the state isn't this grand notion of state supremacy, well it is in some cases, but overall, it's the electoral system. The one where you can make your boss look bad if you're found to be "wasting tax payer money" by doing nothing or not screwing people to the wall hard enough.

Re:US Attorneys (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667625)

There's a reason why 90%+ of all cases with them are plea bargained out - the US Attorneys have effectively unlimited resources, and can drain you dry fighting them.

That's not true. Large corporations kick their asses every day due to the budgetary restrictions on the Justice Department. Large Banks and Investment Firms, Big Pharmaceuticals, etc. can out maneuver and spend the government. They can, and do, drag a case on for years and turn it into a war of attrition. And because everyone in the US loves a winner and abhors a loser, US Attorneys look for easy victories, as picking on David is easier to do than fight Goliath.

As for the the large amount of plea bargains, that relates to all accused persons--not just the innocent ones. The fact of the matter is, the vast majority of folks being prosecuted are guilty of the crime they are accused of. So, if you are guilty, taking a deal for a lighter sentence in return for not costing the government huge sums of money to prosecute your case only makes sense...

Re:US Attorneys (1)

TuringTest (533084) | about a year ago | (#42667853)

If it applies to innocents as well as the guilty, taking a deal is completely irrelevant and unrelated to actual guiltiness. Thus, you can't use the number of deals as measure to estimate that a majority is guilty.

Re:US Attorneys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667711)

Oh, it -is- loser pays.

Loser is the individual who gets targeted by the United States Department of Extortion.

Re:US Attorneys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42668043)

I think we should institute loser-pays in all lawsuits involving US Attorneys. (Unless we have this already? I don't know.)

"loser pays all" just means that the guy with the deeper pockets will spend even more to ensure he doesn't lose. And the little guy remains the one who stands to lose everything.

A better solution would be a system whereby both sides are guaranteed to get legal representation of equal value. The legal costs for both sides should be paid into a central fund and distributed equally between the parties.

That way, if one side has deeper pockets and wants to spend more on getting the best legal help money can buy, then the he ends up subsidising other guy to also get better lawyers.

Yes, there are flaws in this concept as well, and it would need to be worked out in more detail, but if the idea is to protect the little guy from harrassment, then it's definitely a better idea than "loser pays all".

Re:US Attorneys (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42668183)

There was a nice incident a few years ago where a New York state attorney persecuted landlords of people convicted of drug offences, seizing their property.

Then it happened to her. Now that's justice.

a case of legislative overreach and the unfettered (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667405)

a case of a bunch of clueless pricks in the legal system extending jurisdiction to a field they have no knowledge of but feel they need to be responsible for. The fact that the people involved are not so embarrassed that they automatically resign when these acts come to light but instead defend their position also speaks volumes.

It's as if Jen from the 'it crowd' got a law degree.

Re:a case of legislative overreach and the unfette (3, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | about a year ago | (#42667671)

They aren't clueless. They act as malicious enemies of the people.

Re:a case of legislative overreach and the unfette (0)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | about a year ago | (#42667881)

Take any parasite - is it an enemy to its host? Or even simpler - do you feel any strong emotions towards all the animals who were killed to become the contents of your sandwich? They aren't clueless, but "enemy" is too strong a word for them - they consider common people only as food for their ambitions, as some common resource to fuel their careers. Only equals can be enemies, and they do not feel equal to "the people" in any way. We'll have to come up with some other term.

Re:a case of legislative overreach and the unfette (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about a year ago | (#42667807)

No, this is the system. We have, as a matter of law, declared that "it goes down like the big corporation thought it would go down." So, no proof of mortgage, merely a letter of intent to convey? Foreclose the fuckers, its close enough. No witness to transaction? Robosign. The law is not overly broad by accident, it is overly broad by design.


Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667429)

Don't try !!

To Mess With !!


He Will !!

Put you down !!

Like the dog you are !!

And all will !!


Who's user agent is it anyway? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year ago | (#42667457)

kim.com has his megakey system which works as an ad blocker but replaces existing advertisments on web pages with ads served by mega. There has already been some rumbling from advertisers and web page publishers that changing a web page in this way violates their copyright. So is it always going to be legal for me to view source on a web page and view it in my preferred way?

Likewise, I can put any address I like into the URL bar but these guys are being prosecuted for doing that. Isn't it their web browser?

Re:Who's user agent is it anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667599)

I can type random bank accounts and passwords into my browser, isn't it their web browser?

Re:Who's user agent is it anyway? (2, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | about a year ago | (#42667763)

He embarrassed a large corporation. That makes powerful people upset. He must be punished.

Re:Who's user agent is it anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667769)

there was a case here with an ad blocker that replaced the ads and donated the proceeds to charity, that was quickly shut down for copyright reasons
but then again since they were giving away the money they didn't have much to put a fight with

I miss typed a URL once.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667459)

and saw something I wasn't expecting to see. I should have told my sorry story to a journalist at The Onion!
"Area man, who miss typed a URL and saw something he didn't expect to see, is now under expensive investigation"
In a comment, average taxpayer stated "This is definitely the right way to spend tax dollars and why I am proud to be a taxpayer."

He's insane. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667483)

The reason he's not suicidial is probably because he's a morbid prankster and not an idealist. He's had a podcast where he's dressed up as jesus and ranting. He made that speech at defcon about assassination markets while alledgedly high on drugs. He's resilient.

Captcha: mischief

Re:He's insane. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667751)

yup, saw his tweaked out hack-the-world rant at torcon years back and the weev does not have much of my sympathy.

All a show and the DA is the ring master. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667535)

The problem is that the law makes it a crime for 'unauthorized' access, but allows the 'victim' to detrtmin whatwas 'unauthorized' *after* the fact and for a public offering that is automated.

It is as if someone puts a stack of newspapers on a sidewalk with a sign that says 'free' and then asking the DA to prosecute for 'theft' anyone they don't like that took them upon their offer and took more then one. I.e.they decide afterwards that one is The 'limit' and the sign just says 'free'.

Oh and these sleazy DAs count each URL issued as a separate count of the 'crime' with a penalty of 5 years and $300,000 possible on each count of 'unauthorized access'.

It is all to appear 'tough on crime' for their next election. And, yes, they have all the resources of their office to put on your case against you.

Fair? No. Disproportionate penalty for the 'crime'? Certainly. It is really a contract dispute - a civil matter, not criminal.
The law is just wrong. Make your vote count on these issues and hold your legislators and judiciary oversight officials accountable in the voting booth.

Re:All a show and the DA is the ring master. (1)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | about a year ago | (#42667779)

Yes, people should use their voting power to stop this insanity. Only catch here is that most of the people are coming to vote after watching some TV news/shows with the same prosecutor, and not after reading Slashdot. These same people then are found sitting in the jury box, listening to the same prosecutor, who then colorfully portrays the defendant as a master criminal, evil genius hacker on the level of Bond's villains. And the wheel continues to roll.

It is sad for me to say, but I think that it'll take more than one dead "computer guy" to really change this system. Insanity has to be seen and felt on the national level, with major news channels and talk shows picking up the story. Chances of that happening? Almost none.

Re:All a show and the DA is the ring master. (1, Insightful)

swalve (1980968) | about a year ago | (#42668019)

Easiness of access doesn't mean that access is allowed. It's not a zero sum game. If I leave my house unlocked and it gets ransacked, I'm an idiot and deserve blame for the trouble. But the person doing the ransacking doesn't lose any of the blame for his own part.

Stephen Heymann (3, Insightful)

andydread (758754) | about a year ago | (#42667565)

Stephen Heymann is to "computer crime" prosecutorial zealotry like China is to Expionage hacking.
Stephen Heymann is the poster child for this kind of overreach when it comes to prosecuting so called "computer crimes"
He has written papers and lobbied for more harsher penalities and easier access to data without a warrant to prosecute "computer criminals"

Fucking let Aaron rest in peace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667585)

Everyone is going to be the next Aaron Swartz... This jackass is no Aaron Swart

now do this with pron websites (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667617)


Act anonymously next time. (1)

couchslug (175151) | about a year ago | (#42667667)

Attaching your name to things is vanity.

Next time you find something amusing, dump it on /b/, post it as fiction, and enjoy the show.

AT&T nary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667773)

Its time to prosecute some AT&T execs for gross, criminal negligence in exposing customer data. Period. You know what they say: Ignorantia juris non excusat! And, ignorance of how a URL works is no excuse either. You wanna make money playing around with technology? Pay the price.

Word of advice to the whistle blowers: beware!

Re:AT&T nary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667865)

never going to happen annon. They are covered in butter head to toe and will slip through what ever noose you put over their head just like the bank and wall street people. The system is broke and broken. The rule of law is a farce that is sold to the highest bidder. The tyranny in this country is enough to make all the founding fathers sick to their stomach, and wish to god they had been excuted by the british. The only thing i can hold up to this modern country and say we don't have is true slavery and genocide. This place makes me sick.

How we deal with this in The Netherlands (4, Informative)

tsa (15680) | about a year ago | (#42667805)

Here in the Netherlands we had a similar thing just before Christmas. Someone had altered a URL on the website of our monarchy and in this way found the Queen's Christmas speech that was to be broadcasted on Christmas Day (logically). He made that public and there was some consternation about whether or not this was a punishable act, but mainly about how our government fails in securing their internet activities tima and time again. The person who had found the speech was not prosecuted and the speech was broadcasted as planned.

Just deserts (4, Interesting)

symes (835608) | about a year ago | (#42667823)

As far as I know - this guy highlighted a security flaw that exposed private data to the world. This meant he knew that that data was private and should not be maliciously exploited. He then wrote an application that accessed that data maliciously. The first bit is laudable. The second bit is as stupid as it gets given that he'd just told the company this sensitive data was exposed.

Re:Just deserts (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#42667903)

In what way was his access malicious? The word means "with harmful intent" - intent, mind you, not effect, although I don't believe any actual harm has been demonstrated either.

Re:Just deserts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42668153)

He maliciously intended to cause severe embarrassment, with a consequent loss of business and extensive "clean-up" costs. He also succeeded in doing so. I don't think it would be hard to prove either malice or damage.

Was AT&T prosecuted? (3, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about a year ago | (#42667825)

Under EU law at least AT&T would be in trouble for violating privacy laws, they didn't protect private customer data and that is a violation.

So what was the reason this guy who went to a reporter (not just published the list or sold it) prosecuted? And why is there no link of said reporter defending his source?

This case could not have happened in say my own country. There have been cases were it was TRIED but the judges slapped it down hard. So... what part is missing from the story (we are reading just one side of it) or is the US really that different? I can't imagine the US has no privacy laws at all that AT&T would not have violated by making data so easely available. Can't someone bring a case against AT&T? Making this guy evidence in a far great case, possibly worth some outrageous sum in a settlement and worthy as a bargaining chip to get this case dropped?

What is missing from this story? Because on its own it seems to make no sense. Why should AT&T risk bad publicity when a simple "don't do that again" would have buried the story years ago.

Oh my... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667855)

"In June of 2010 there was an AT&T webserver on the open Internet. There was an API on this server, a URL with a number at the end."
If I leave my house door unlocked and you enter my house and steal some of my stuff, is still considered burglary, despite me not having locked the door?
Oh yes, of course it is - and rightly so!

"I did this because I despised people I think are unjustly wealthy and wanted to embarass them."
So, Mr. Auernheimer, you have been a stupid prick and now get what stupid pricks deserve. Get over it and learn something out of it, so that there is at least a small chance that you are at least a little bit useful to society once you get out of jail.

Re:Oh my... (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#42668069)

In that scenario there are two crimes, breaking and entering (the act of access) and theft (the act of depriving a person of his/her property). Unfortunately for your analogy he neither accessed a private residence or deprived a person of anything. Its closest real-world analogy would be peeking at your neighbour's unsealed mail in their unlocked mail box on the street, and then putting it back. You know where your mailbox is, you can guess where the other mailboxes are quite easily, and there is no barrier to opening and looking at the contents.

Slashdot tries to profit From Aaron Schwartz! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42667877)

Film t 11!

About the only thing in common with these cases is that the defendant's names started with the letter A. Schwartz was clearly stealing, he was caught stealing, he tried to hide his stealing, and he caused actual damage to JSTOR services by overwhelming servers and to MIT staff and students by overwhelming the connection, then costing them the JSTOR services. He was due some prosecution, preferably jail time, for the extent of his ongoing abuse.

This is a hacker who published a vulnerability, but didn't use it to steal, didn't keep stealing, and who helped close the dangerous hole by publishing it. This actually *is* a case of judicial overreach. Schwartz got a lot more mercy than he deserved from the court system: this man is being harassed inappropriately.

Re:Slashdot tries to profit From Aaron Schwartz! (1)

kenh (9056) | about a year ago | (#42667945)

He published a how-to on downloading customer info from AT&T, rather than alert AT&T to the vulnerability.

Re:Slashdot tries to profit From Aaron Schwartz! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42668065)

Its like deciding who you want to be prosecuted by.

This has been going on for a long time (5, Informative)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about a year ago | (#42667893)

Federal Prosecutor Oritz said Aaron's suicide won't change how she handles cases:
http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/01/ortiz_says_suicide_will_not_change_handling_cases [bostonherald.com]

And Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Heymann 'drove another hacker Jonathan James to suicide in 2008 after he named him in a cyber crime case':
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2262831/Revealed-Aaron-Swartz-prosecutor-drove-hacker-suicide-2008-named-cyber-crime-case.html [dailymail.co.uk]

Here are some other grubby cases Oritz has been involved in: http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/01/17/carmen-ortizs-sordid-rap-sheet/ [whowhatwhy.com]

Ortiz’s husband attacked the Swartz family on Twitter: "Truly incredible that in their own son's obit they blame others for his death and make no mention of the 6-month offer ... 6 months is not 35 years or lifetime" What an asshole.
http://www.boston.com/business/innovation/blogs/inside-the-hive/2013/01/15/attorney-carmen-ortiz-husband-attacks-swartz-family-twitter/vzxbY5lrrG7BvGjQGnNDtJ/blog.html [boston.com]
http://twitchy.com/2013/01/15/husband-of-mass-attorney-general-deletes-twitter-account-after-defending-prosecution-of-aaron-swartz/ [twitchy.com]

There are "We the people" petitions to remove both Orirz and Heryman, but don't hold your breath. She is an Obama appointee and Heymann's father is a Clinton staffer. How about Someone in the press corps ask Obama what he thinks of his appointees killing off bright young kids?
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/remove-united-states-district-attorney-carmen-ortiz-office-overreach-case-aaron-swartz/RQNrG1Ck [whitehouse.gov]
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/fire-assistant-us-attorney-steve-heymann/RJKSY2nb?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl [whitehouse.gov]

Civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate said of Aaron: "He was being made into a highly visible lesson, He was enhancing the careers of a group of career prosecutors and a very ambitious — politically-ambitious — U.S. attorney who loves to have her name in lights.” http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57564212-38/prosecutor-in-aaron-swartz-hacking-case-comes-under-fire/ [cnet.com]

The problem is Federal Prosecutors pick a career-building target and then shop for a crime. Big Criminals are too much work, but small fry like Aaron don't have the resources to fight back so all they have to do is bully them into taking a plea bargain and then bask in the glory. It's been going on for a long time and many people have been swallowed up, but the media usually never reports it:
http://books.google.com/books?id=Tu5RB6YHf10C&pg=PP1&lpg=PP1&ots=51Ya4U8XFt&dq=lynch+in+the+name+of+justice [google.com] (Go to page 43 of this Google Books preview).
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/eo20120803gw.html [japantimes.co.jp]
http://www.amazon.com/Arrest-Proof-Yourself-Ex-Cop-Reveals-Arrested/dp/1556526377 [amazon.com] (Google Books Preview)

Re:This has been going on for a long time (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year ago | (#42667933)

You know what they say. Kill one nerd and you're a monster. Kill a hundred and you're ready to be the Attorney General.

This is nothing like Swartz case. (5, Insightful)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year ago | (#42667911)

This guy is nothing but an attention whoring internet troll. He did what he did for nothing more than to try to publicly shame AT&T in the most irresponsible way possible, and generally goes out of his way to cause trouble all over the internet. He had no sense of care for the data he was putting under the public spotlight instead of sensibly disclosing the vulnerability to AT&T. For him to suggest he did because of AT&T's "egregiously negligence" yet chose himself to make the most egregiously negligent response is hypocritical to say the least.

I have no sympathy for this Weev guy. Do not liken his situation to Aaron Swartz. That would be doing a massive disservice to his memory. Tools like this should get what is coming to them.

Re:This is nothing like Swartz case. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42668047)

I agree. It would have made sense to let AT&T know about it when he found it, Why not do that first?

Because he's a jerk.

Re:This is nothing like Swartz case. (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#42668085)

Given that the issue is not the act but the punishment, I'm curious. Where would you draw the line at "what is coming to" him? What would be unfair?

So Completely Different From the Swartz Case! (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#42668113)

Yeah and, if what I read on wired [wired.com] is true, this guy should probably get the book thrown at him:

Spitler: I just harvested 197 email addresses of iPad 3G subscribers there should be many more weev: did you see my new project?

Auernheimer: no

Spitler: I’m stepping through iPad SIM ICCIDs to harvest email addresses if you use someones ICCID on the ipad service site it gives you their address

Auernheimer: loooool thats hilarious HILARIOUS oh man now this is big media news is it scriptable? arent there SIM that spoof iccid?

Spitler: I wrote a script to generate valid iccids and it loads the site and pulls an email

Auernheimer: this could be like, a future massive phishing operation serious like this is valuable data we have a list a potential complete list of AT&T iphone subscriber emails

Spitler: I hit fucking oil

Auernheimer: loooool nice

Spitler: If I can get a couple thousand out of this set where can we drop this for max lols?

Auernheimer: dunno i would collect as much data as possible the minute its dropped, itll be fixed BUT valleywag i have all the gawker media people on my facecrook friends after goin to a gawker party

At one point the two discussed the legal risks of what they were allegedly doing:

Spitler: sry dunno how legal this is or if they could sue for damages

Auernheimer: absolutely may be legal risk yeah, mostly civil you absolutely could get sued to fuck

At the same time, others on the IRC chat allegedly discussed the possibility of shorting AT&T’s stock.

Pynchon: hey, just an idea delay this outing for a couple days tommorrow short some at&t stock then out them on tuesday then fill your short and profit

Rucas: LOL

Auernheimer: well i will say this it would be against the law for ME to short the att stock but if you want to do it go nuts

Spitler: I dont have any money to invest in ATT

Auernheimer: if you short ATT dont let me know about it


In the wake of news stories about the breach, they allegedly discussed their failure to report the vulnerability to a “full disclosure” mailing list, as well as the opportunity to push their Goetse Security business as a result of the breach:

Nstyr: you should’ve uploaded the list to full disclosure maybe you still can

Auernheimer: no no that is potentially criminal at this point we won

Nstyr: ah

Auernheimer: we dropepd the stock price

Auernheimer: lets not like do anything else we fucking win and i get to like spin us as a legitimate security organization

Sound like some classy fellows there. It's a shame for Swartz that he's being lumped in with this guy. At some point, I hope Slashdot pulls its collective head out of its own ass and realizes that these aren't black and white issues and stops comparing them to things that were like the Civil Rights Movement. Auernheimer: "this could be like, a future massive phishing operation serious like this is valuable data we have a list a potential complete list of AT&T iphone subscriber emails" ... yeah, no criminal intent there.

Re:This is nothing like Swartz case. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42668243)

agreed -
This guy appears to be more than a little paranoid.

To quote "I did this because I despised people I think are unjustly wealthy and wanted to embarass them. I thought this is the United States of America where we have the right to do basic arithmetic and query public webservers."

To quote "The FBI has been after me since I was 15."

He seems to be a little more than an attention mongering troll.

Of course, the issue is, does this mean he should avoid proscutution becuase he is mentally unsound? I do not think so, I want him prosecuted for being a jerk. I am far from convinced that he is being over-prosecuted like Aaron Schwatz. Come on, instead of just demonstrating the security hole, he choose to publish 140,000 addresses. This is like pointing out a non-working sprinkler system by setting a building on fire.

In other words... (0)

kenh (9056) | about a year ago | (#42667925)

He discovered a security weakness, went to 'the press' to publicize the failure of the company's security for customer information, and he is now being prosecuted for publicizing how to get customer information from someone else's servers?

Wow, that's shocking. Why didn't AT&T offer him a lifetime job with the company?

Oh yeah, because he choose to embarass the company and explain just how to get their customer information. He never tried to alert AT&T to the flaw, he wanted to be famous for finding it. Bad choice, especially when the law is on the side of the corporation, not the hacker that decides to publish a how-to guide to downloading customer info from AT&T servers...

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