Discussion in 'The Sanctum Santorum' started by Vetarnias, Feb 20, 2012.
No, it's actually totally awesome fyi.
No, that is not what she, or I, said. Goddamn it if you cannot refrain from putting words in other people's mouths then stop posting forever you fucking mouthbreather.
I thought Vetarnias quit the forum.
Then would you care explaining why "her point is that the security on the networks that Anonymous attacked is so bad that even basic techniques work against them" is not saying that those networks were begging to be attacked? That it was perhaps even a favour that Anonymous did them, lest it have been a criminal organization that hacked them first?
My question to her is quite simple: Does she approve of Anonymous' attacks? If she does not, does she disapprove of them only because the targets are easy?
I don't care about the technological aspect; I don't know those things anyway. I'm entirely concerned about the moral aspect of the thing.
No. I am not Reene but I'll use an example from outside the world of computers to see if I can't make Reene's point in a way so that you might understand it.
In this example Anonymous is a gang of anarchist burglars who broke into a Canadian government property and managed to find a bunch of documents which they carried with them from the premises which they then threatened to photocopy and wallpaper all around town. Anonymous was able to do this not because they are expert ninja cat burglars but because the government property locked the front door but left all their windows wide open. Is burglary illegal? Why yes, yes it is. But when the government can't keep their property secure from random punks the proper response is not demand martial law and register everyone who travels on a public street, it's to wonder why the hell the government didn't make sure their damn windows were locked and why they didn't invest in a proper burglar alarm.
You don't have to approve of the crime to consider the government extremely negligant. Hell, if it was your home that got burgled and you had to explain to your insurance company that you left the windows wide open you wouldn't get very far by arguing "burglary is illegal!". You still have to secure your property to the best of your ability.
Welcome to the Internet! You must be new here. Allow me to explain some of our customs and traditions.
Most germane of them is: people don't have to do what you want! They are free to offer ancillary observations, will ye or no. The extent to which you wish for them to answer only in your narrowly proscribed corridor matters precisely one fuckall.
I see your (Kalle's) point, but the danger is that in so doing, you might be investing Anonymous with a civic duty it should never be allowed to possess. It glorifies their behaviour, turns them into, I don't know, a rogue QA department for techies, meant to end up like all those tales of hackers getting legitimate jobs from the companies they broke into (or worse, from the secret service). Correct me if my impression is mistaken, but it seems I am in the minority regarding Anonymous, as I look beyond their choice of targets to measure the implications of their actions. Here, it means: "Democracy? pshaw! We know better!" (Also, we don't know if Anonymous, in this case, "broke into" anything to obtain documents. It is what Anonymous is doing with them that bothers me.)
By all means, someone ought to work on network security; but Anonymous must play no part in this. They are not just a roving band of hackers pointing out security shortcomings; they are wielding a political agenda that strikes at Greece one day, Canada the next, with no respect for dissenting opinions, the rule of law, or democracy.
You realize that makes no goddam sense in the context, right?
Just as her comment didn't make any sense in the context of this thread, because we do not have evidence that this information was obtained through hacking.
Considering she said 'entire anonymous thing', it can reasonably be assumed that she means any and all Anonymous exploits (using your definition!) that involved hacking.
This part? It is insane. The local shits who like setting derelict buildings on fire should in no way be construed as becoming, or having the duties of, a fire marshal by virtue of having burnt a barn to the ground. That is a fucking terrible argument.
The law for extortion sets standards for relevance, justification, and proportionality. The full breadth of information in question hasn't been released by anonymous yet, so it's not provably extortion.
Vet, you should read the articles arsetechnica runs about Anon after they pull a job. It really is embarrassing how easily most of their attacks are performed. Failure to update or enable simple website security features, default or absurdly obvious passwords for databases and admin accounts, lax handling of passwords in non-encrypted emails, all kinds of stuff that are not exactly going to appear in a Mission Impossible film for Anon's ability to defeat them.
Would you fault a bank (not solely, but partially) for not bothering to lock their vault and then leaving the key to the back door under a welcome mat and the code to the alarm being 1-2-3-4 and then hearing they got robbed?
Looks like the news has caught up with me. Turns out it was a Liberal staffer, who was subsequently fired.
The difference between this and Anonymous is that the Liberal staffer did not threaten Vic Toews to expose his divorce details unless he scrap the bill; what he did was petty, but not illegal, because he just went ahead and did it without asking for anything to hush it up.
I read Ars Technica on occasion, but I liked their Anonymous coverage, like that recent ill-fated campaign against the Mexican drug cartels. That's Anonymous for you: juvenile, naive, self-righteous. They think they can get away with anything, but when they run into something far more lethal than themselves, they back off. I'm not blaming them for backing off -- I'd have done the same -- but this sends the message that illegal brute force is the only deterrent effective against Anonymous. They can target anyone else, hindered as anyone else is by their compliance with the law, while still being able to pretend they are speaking truth to power, or whatever.
Yes, I would; but I want to be reassured about Reene's position, which could be read as "Anonymous is worthless because they target ramshackle credit union branches in the back country, but if they broke into Fort Knox, now that's something I could get behind". Not just bitter admiration (for example, for someone who has beaten you at your own game), but encouragement.
Then what is achieved, exactly, by cheering Anonymous on?
Relevance: Seeking the withdrawal of a bill and the resignation of a cabinet minister by threatening to divulge material from the minister's past.
Justification: That C-30 is an awful piece of legislation opposed to by 90% of the population (according to one poll) means absolutely nothing here, considering that there are constitutional safeguards and a proper judicial process in place to enforce them if the law's constitutionality is challenged. Not taking action against Anonymous would hinder the government's adoption of laws which, assuming nothing in them could be declared unconstitutional, might be unpopular with the population, or just unpopular with Anonymous itself. In effect, Anonymous may end up holding a sword of Damocles above the entire political process by threatening to go public with information about Members of Parliament and of the Senate, perhaps even of the judiciary, regardless of how Anonymous obtained that information.
Proportionality: In even the most basic case, proportionality would require that we know who is the person being accused of extortion. We don't even know who is behind Anonymous, let alone Operation White North specifically. It might be anyone from "Random Internet User" to "Former Acquaintance of Vic's with a Grudge". And, again, we are talking about the resignation of a minister and the scrapping of C-30, whereas proportionality seems to matter when dealing with threats reminding the other party to stick by a legal obligation (like debt repayment). Here, nobody is disputing the government's legal right to propose new legislation, and every excess is already dealt with by judicial review. In other words, Anonymous can't cite proportionality.
Also, that we don't know what Anonymous actually has on Toews means absolutely nothing, because the crime is in the threat, not in the material Anonymous supposedly has. It might be nothing at all, a trifle, already common knowledge, something made up, or the scandal of the century, and that still wouldn't matter. The crime has already been committed.
The answer to that one should be obvious. Again, you'll have to explain why the hell you think exposing scandal publicly implies the assumption of some sort of duty or obligation on anonymous's part.
That does not describe the relevance of the data that Anonymous has to the issue of Vic Toews' fitness to govern. That describes their justification for threatening to expose the data. The two things are different.
Okay, so you actually got this one right. Then you made it wrong. People are allowed to do things which hinder or inconvenience the operations of government.
No, it doesn't. It requires you be able to compare the magnitude of the threatened action to that which inspired the threat.
I like how you just inadvertently made that case for abolition of the press reporting on parliamentary matters.
Well, that's a solid argument if I ever saw one. It's a crime because it's a crime, ignore the part where sometimes it's not. Hey, you should apply for Vic Toews job!
(For the purpose of this discussion, I'm assuming that Anonymous obtained its information entirely through legal means, for lack of evidence to the contrary.)
Let's use the "vikileaks" effort (now closed) of that Liberal staffer (now fired) as a comparison. The first "vikileaks" post on Twitter was: "Vic wants to know about you. Let’s get to know about Vic." After which the staffer started citing excerpts from Toews' divorce proceedings, public records whose authenticity was later proved. It might be wrong, unethical, immoral, but it's not illegal. This was a public document. In addition, "vikileaks" did not first approach Toews and threaten to make public this information unless he withdrew the bill. Anonymous chose to do this, instead of just releasing that information (like in the case of those white supremacist e-mails). Again, if this information was legally obtained (unlike the aforementioned e-mails), Anonymous could have legally released it just as "vikileaks" did, and should have done so. Instead, it embarked on a course of extortion.
Then they should have exposed the data from the start, provided it was legally obtained. It would be the most damning evidence that it still wouldn't justify making the threat to release it; it would have justified releasing it. If it is sufficiently serious, it might be protected under Section 309 on libel if it turns out to be wrong, but it does not excuse the threat itself.
If Anonymous had wanted the people of Canada to judge on Toews' fitness to govern, it would have released what it has already. Instead, it chose to go with strong-arm tactics against the government.
But they are not allowed to do everything that could hinder or inconvenience the operations of government.
Just a few:
There are more, but I'll spare you more blocks of quotes.
What matters here is not the magnitude of the threatened action to that which inspired the threat (spill the beans about Vic versus what Anonymous has), but the magnitude of what is sought by making the threat versus the threatened action. What is sought is a change in legislation and the resignation of a minister of Her Majesty's Government. For that matter, even though affecting policy-making isn't exactly something of small magnitude, I find the resignation part especially odious. This decision belongs (in the absence of a legal reason that might force him to resign) to the Prime Minister (and to the voters of Provencher, but Harper could even appoint him to the Senate just to keep him in the cabinet if he lost).
I don't know how you can infer this from what I wrote, but at any rate, this is legally guaranteed:
Thanks for playing.
But since you're intent on me having to spell it out to you, there is nothing wrong or illegal in reporting the news, or in writing editorials criticizing the actions of the government. But what is wrong and illegal is if your average newspaperman, having adjusted the press card in his hatband, grabs his candlestick phone, asks the operator to talk to the minister, and tells him he has rolls of film on his desk showing the minister dictating to his secretary from between her legs, but is willing to forget the whole matter if the minister drops the bill he was planning to introduce in the House.
It wouldn't have been wrong or illegal if the newspapers had published the damn pictures from the start, regardless of the underlying motive by the reporter or the newspaper employing him (as long as what is reported is true).
Drat! You've exposed me. Now I'll have to be content with Veterans Affairs or something.
Suddenly Anonymous breaking into Stratfor doesn't sound quite so silly.
I still don't what the hell they think they're doing in that case, but boy did they ever find something, assume he wasn't just talking out of his ass.
I can't wait to hear whose dick he has in his mouth that he can get classified military intelligence that he can use for commercial means.
And hey, who doesn't wanna hit that Abbottabad booty, amirite?
So if everything is already covered by the official mechanisms of government, why the reporters?
I can't believe you're seriously bringing the laws against sedition and treason into this. It has no relevance, because even you wouldn't try to claim that Anonymous is committing treason or sedition.
I'm not entirely clear on why the fuck you're so hung up on the threat to reveal the data. The threat does not make it illegal. The threat in absence of justification or excuse makes it illegal. The law you quoted last page states this explicitly. Do you not read what you post?
You're distorting my point. "Why the reporters?" Because we live in a democracy where the voters can remove from office, by legal means, any government passing laws they don't like, even if those laws are constitutional.
It is relevant, because it is a rebuttal of your assertion that "people are allowed to do things which hinder or inconvenience the operations of government". They are allowed some things, but not all things.
So you would say that because Anonymous doesn't like a proposed law, that makes it a "reasonable justification or excuse" to threaten to release information on the minister if he doesn't withdraw the bill and resign? And implicit in Anonymous' message is the threat that they could do the same to the rest of C-30 supporters: "Anonymous has received information implicating many of you in both political and personal scandals."
If Anonymous thought the information it obtained proves that Toews is unfit to sit in the cabinet, they should have released it already (provided it was legally obtained), without making the threat; that way, had it been accurate, it would have been perfectly legal. Instead, they chose to influence policy-making by making silly threats. Besides, if all Anonymous could find was more of Toews' extramarital adventures that have no bearing on his capacity and integrity as a minister of the Crown, it will have been a waste of time.
Some news. First, Anonymous has released its stuff. I'm not going to link to it until I see some confirmation of their claims in the media, but I find it underwhelming.
In addition, I've been passing the time by reading Hansard, where the honourable members have been pondering whether Anonymous should be charged with breach of privilege.
First, we have Tom Lukiwski, Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House, on February 27:
But naturally, his being a member of the Evil Harper Government automatically invalidates his views, but what does it say when, on February 29, the Liberal Marc Garneau went even further?:
I know what you're going to say, that the Liberal guy is just propping up Anonymous as a shadowy international criminal organization just to make the whole Vikileaks debacle one of his party's staffers was involved in look innocuous in comparison. To some extent, you'd be right, considering that they were thinking of bringing a charge against him too, mostly on the ground that he was a House staffer who used House property for it; but there is no sign that anyone in the House is siding with Anonymous. Perhaps that's evidence enough?
Evidence of what, exactly?
Evidence that this is not an acceptable "thing which hinders or inconveniences the operations of government", unlike what Sheepherder was trying to pretend.
I'm really more confused by your posts than anything else. What is it you want us to agree to? I've already said the methods employed are troubling. My contentions are as follows:
- I do not want to see this used as an excuse to expand police or governmental powers. They are already quite sufficient.
- Vic Toews is a prick who uses inflammatory, irresponsible language to push a political agenda and I hope a cat pees on him. Legal or not, I have a hard time feeling sympathy for him. This is not a position on the legality, ethicality or appropriateness of anyone's actions except Vic Toews.
I do see one interesting question. You've been discussing this under the presupposition that the material was obtained legally. I have no idea why, since I don't think you believe that, but let's stay with that presupposition for a moment. Is it blackmail or extortion to threaten to publicize material that is already publicly accessible?
Okay, I guess I would be interested in another question too. I have absolutely no idea what the "operation" in question is or whether it is particularly embarrassing. Is there anything it could be that is heinous enough to justify, in your mind, extralegal actions to expose, prevent or punish that it come to fruition? What if "Operation White North" were a plan to sterilize a particular demographic, or perpetrate genocide? (I presume that it is not.) If there is any such thing, then I would suggest that you may be asking the wrong questions.
Aren't we overdue for whatever revelations they claimed to have? Anon, I am disappoint.
The videos are out. I won't link to them for now, but you can find them from the ones on the previous page; they're from the same YT account.
Or this one.
Oh, hey, there they are.
TL;DR: Vic Toews traded a judicial appointment for sexual favours.
I am still kind of disappoint. We already know Toews is scum and the Conservatives are utterly morally bankrupt, and they don't really have strong proof for this particular bit of tawdry news anyway.
That's the reason why I didn't link to them.
The McClure case seems to indicate it is.
In the videos, Anonymous talks about obtaining testimonies from people, so, based on that, I would tend to think that their information, if true, was obtained legally. It's the threat itself that is not legal.
First, I will say that Anonymous chose the possibly worst approach to this matter. My insistence on whether the information had been obtained legally was because if this had been the case, Anonymous should have released that information from the beginning, instead of going through threats, inflated rhetoric and cat-and-mouse bullshit with the authorities. If they had truly had the interests of the Canadian population at heart, they would have made this public and let the Conservatives deal with the consequences. And what's more, they could have fed that story to sympathetic outlets, because what is to prevent an anonymous organization from committing libel if you don't know who they are? In this case, they could easily have legitimized their behaviour, but they simply refused to do so.
As for your question, the problem is that there are always close calls, and definitely there are excesses in the legislation (official secrets, that's a nice one), but I remember reading somewhere that what differentiates Anonymous from Wikileaks from the press is that the press will consider all the legal, ethical and moral angles before pushing for a story. And Canadian reporters are "skittish about reporting on the private lives of politicians", so the divorce of Mr. Toews didn't get any attention until Vikileaks came along. If there is an editorial process, however, you know that the issue is being taken seriously. Wikileaks, on the other hand, was indiscriminate. Stuff needs to be exposed! Information wants to be free! Instead of the public's right to know being discussed around a table, you get an ideological bent motivating Wikileaks. Its natural conclusion -- after Assange and Manning -- was to go underground, with guys with no qualms about anything and no accountability. Drug cartels, mercenary companies, elected politicians, they're all the same to those guys.
I know that your real question is whether, if I had been living in Paris in 1940, I would have joined the resistance, collaborated with the Germans, or tried to keep out of politics until the liberation. That's always easy to answer in hindsight, isn't it? But to be honest, had I been there at the time, I couldn't say; but these were exceptional times, and there would have been so many "what ifs". Today, as long as I live in a democratic country, I don't think I could pursue anything by extralegal means. (By the way, "Operation White North" is Anonymous' operation, not the government's.)
Ah, my mistake about the name.
I'm not trying to make some grand point about Hitler or anything like that -- I'm trying to establish whether there is any action the exposure of which would justify Anonymous' actions, in your judgment. Extralegal measures are certainly extraordinary and I don't wish to make light of them. But if Anonymous found out that, e.g., a country was secretly exterminating entire ethnic groups or something like that I would be basically okay with committing crimes to expose it.
I presume this is not what's happening here -- Canada doesn't really seem the type -- but I chose an extreme example to demonstrate that, if you believe extralegal measures are justified in any one circumstance, then the question you must ask yourself in any such situation isn't "Is this illegal?" It's "Does this wrong rise to the level necessary to permit this action, ethically speaking?" If the answer is no, there is no situation that would justify behavior like this, then so be it -- but I'd like that established.
I guess that would hinge on whether there is something else that can be done about it through other, legal means. Within the legal framework of the country in question, for example. Or diplomatic means. Or the press. Beyond that, I guess it would depend on circumstances.
I'm not going to deny that sometimes it's hard to repress a certain guilty pleasure in seeing what's being dished out about some unsavoury groups. Sometimes it's even harder, such as in the case of the Wikileaks diplomatic cables, when the government tried to starve out the organization. But the problem here is that Anonymous is unaccountable. We don't know their agenda. They've made victims of people whose interests they said they were fighting for. And now they dictate to elected officials.
I know, you've pointed out that "I've already said the methods employed are troubling"; but what's worrisome is that there seems to be no shortage of people who do agree with Anonymous because they like the targets.
I'd say that's mostly the result of government accountability decaying into nothingness. The Harper government has slowly disassembled the independent bodies that are supposed to keep it honest - hell, they started openly attacking the credibility of the parliamentary budget officer, which is an office they created.
If nobody is policing Harper and his cabinet, then yes, people are going to cheer when someone - anyone - steps in to fill the void. They may not be right to, but you can understand that there's a desire for justice that will never be fulfilled if we just sit around patiently waiting for Parliament to swing into action.
YES LET US STUDIOUSLY IGNORE THE BOLDED BITS SOME MORE.
Because using your position to get sexual favours is totally legit and doesn't at all constitute an excellent reason for people to call you on your bullshit.
And yes, let us studiously ignore all I've been saying about it -- that not liking a bill being discussed in a democratically elected House of Commons, no matter how vile the bill might be, is not a "reasonable justification or excuse" for threatening to reveal information about the minister if he doesn't scrap the bill and resign.
Got any evidence or reasoning to back the notion up that this wouldn't be considered an allowable threat under the law against extortion? You know, like what a crown attorney would be forced to present in order to begin proceedings against Anonymous? Like a page ago where you went to great lengths to back up your assertion that it's also akin to laws against treason or sedition in order to knock down a straw-man argument you only imagine I made concerning the ability of the citizenry to hinder their government?
I also like how you haven't dropped the hand-wringing for the poor voters yet.
You're aware that there's not one person in this thread who likes or agrees with you, right?
I'm aware that there's not one person on this forum who likes or agrees with me.
But those people need to be opposed.
And the overwhelmingly negative reaction to both the points you raise and the way you raise them has not caused you to look inward?
What's the point of that, when you get put on ignore not because of the way you say something, but because you say it in the first place? That way, they can continue to play in their little safe echo chamber without ever having to acknowledge the fact that there are people out there who think differently.
I wonder, would the people with an Ignore twitch here bar others from voting if they could?
Despite what you might think you're not a unique snowflake, you're just a massive tool who likes to build strawmen and nail himself to a cross when people disagree with him.
That said, I would not try to bar idiots from voting. Just from procreating.
Ahhh, the sweet sound of progress.
-Margaret Sanger, 1922.
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