FBI looks into Anon and DDoS

Two months ago we reported on the internet group "Anon" or "Anonymous" DDoSing the websites of the RIAA and MPAA in response to actions taken by the anti-piracy companies against pirates. Later, personal views were also given of the situation and what may happen as a result of this back and forth bickering. However, something rather unexpected has come to the surface regarding these issues. The FBI has decided to launch an investigation into the online protests of Anonymous.

RIAA and MPAA were just two of the organizations attacked by Anon, with others including Hustler magazine, Gene Simmons, The British Phonographic Industry all over their anti-piracy efforts. Most recently, Anon has targeted the Copyright Office and that is when the FBI started strongly gathering information from the victims and looking into the matters more.

The goal of Anonymous is to keep all information on the internet free and available to everyone, viewing copyright as a form of censorship. Many of the targets of the DDoS attacks did not hold much more than some information about their cause or organization. The Copyright Office however "maintains records of copyright ownership, issues copyrights, and assists the U.S. Congress in developing copyright policy," CNET reports. This is also an organization that is part of the Library of Congress, therefore being under the purview of the executive branch in the US government.

RIAA has had spokesmen come out and add their parts to the issue, most of which showing shock and disappointment with how people are just allowing this happen. Jonathan Lamy of the RIAA had this to say, "The silence here is deafening. Where's the outrage? Apparently, not all First Amendment free speech rights are created equal. At best, it's convenient indifference. At worst, it's quiet cheerleading." Another spokesman mentioned how the DDoS attacks show complete disreguard for the rights of the original creators of content, but complements the rights of those who pirate the content.

Whether DDoSing is aiding Anon's cause or even making a point is moot. Some may argue that this is actually hypocritical since Anon is censoring the internet from those who censor content. Others simply don't believe this is the way that the message should be spread. Founder of Techdirt, Mike Masnick, wrote that this isn't the way for Anon's message to be spread as they don't make a point exactly with simply DDoSing servers, and makes them come off as "a bunch unruly kids."

Aiding in DDoS attacks is a punishable act that can result in prison and fines. Now that the FBI is involved, more users who DDoS should get charged in a similar way that once authority got involved in the piracy scene there were spikes in users charged with fines. Perhaps this will have Anonymous seek alternative methods of getting their message out.

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If they (the FBI) are going to investigate Anon for the DDOSing maybe they should also investigate the online practices of RIAA and MPAA and those they hire to do their online dirty work

Its just KARMA what goes around comes around

IMHO the FBI investigating the Anonymous DDoS is politics & PR. Certainly Anonymous' actions were both less disruptive & less destructive than violent demonstrations &/or riots occurring around the world, & indeed their DDoS was less costly & disruptive than many entirely peaceful protests. It is however a somewhat visible example the FBI can use to showcase their serious intent, as well as cyber-crimefighting skills at a time when the gov has been very eager to promote "cyber-security", both as a practical matter & as a means to an end as part of ideological/political goals.

The RIAA of course wants to control & steer any debate onto familiar turf, claiming [as always] that their opponents are criminals & worse who deserve maximum punishment, forestalling any discussion of whether the RIAA & supporters are right or wrong, just or unjust. In large part the RIAA etc. is getting away with some claims like Anon stifling free speech because it all happened on-line -- they wouldn't dream of [or get away with] making the same sorts of accusations had Anon staged a peaceful protest in front of any physical homes or offices, even though the results would be the same... protests with non-violent intent for every sort of cause are not only tolerated but protected by law in the US & many other countries. You could argue that Anon's DDoS was more about amusement than legitimate protest, but the same arguments could be made regarding many protests [&/or picketing a biz] in the physical world, with the twist that in some cases in the US it's been called extortion, as there were promises of picket lines unless some action(s) [perhaps donations?] were forthcoming.

Mike Masnick was quoted as saying: "... this isn't the way for Anon's message to be spread...", which begs the question, just how do you stage a peaceful demonstration, how do you picket a biz on-line? How do the anti-RIAA folks get their message out the same way as those supporting issues from abortion to illegal immigration? The author wrote: "Aiding in DDoS attacks is a punishable act that can result in prison and fines.", but enforcing laws in the US is Very much a matter of discretion &/or practicality. US Federal laws prohibiting illegal immigration & medical marijuana are both routinely ignored by the fed gov itself, while states can't prosecute people who buy anything on-line & don't send the state the sales tax due. It's chiefly a matter of political will -- IOW does the gov want to suffer the consequences of enforcement? Right now I think the answer's an easy yes as far as Anon is concerned, because Anonymous is politically weak, doesn't contribute millions to political campaigns etc., but who knows? It would sure be an interesting case to follow should the ACLU get involved. :-)

What will they really find out? The good DDoS'ers protect themselves somewhat well and leave very little (if any at all) trace of their trackings. "Anon" and "DDoS" are two things they can never stop anyway.

FBI should bring down the banhammer on those two copyright groups and the people they paid to DDoS torrent sites.

Whether DDoSing is aiding Anon's cause or even making a point is moot. Some may argue that this is actually hypocritical since Anon is censoring the internet from those who censor content. Others simply don't believe this is the way that the message should be spread. Founder of Techdirt, Mike Masnick, wrote that this isn't the way for Anon's message to be spread as they don't make a point exactly with simply DDoSing servers, and makes them come off as "a bunch unruly kids."

I just had to point this part out. Copyright is becoming a scarier thing all the time. Just look at the ACTA treaty that the government is trying to get passed. While what Anon is doing may not be the right method, exactly what is the right method at this point? While companies get away with suing their own customers, the customers speak out....and nothing happens. The governments backing of ACTA, and of the DMCA proves they care only about how much money these industries can put in their pockets.

"Anon is censoring the internet from those who censor content."

That's the point exactly. Takes two to tango. Or in call of duty terms, Need a set off a bigger fire to snuff out the flames of the other. I'm all for blocking "owners" of copyrighted material which is now in the public domain from doing anything with them. If you want to give something to consumers, they then own it and do what they wish with it. Just like a half truth no point in saying oh here buy this it's yours you can have it but actually give it back now cause I own it.

lexp said,
FBI should start investigating DDoS attacks carried out by RIAA.

Now now, where would the world be without double standards?

Morisato said,

Got some evidence/links to prove this?

Why don't you ask for evidence/links to prove Anon's attacks?

You just blindly believe what you're told by big organizations and governments.

Beaux said,
Why don't you ask for evidence/links to prove Anon's attacks?

You just blindly believe what you're told by big organizations and governments.

It's probably because Anon hasn't hidden the fact that they carried out multiple DDOS'....

Of course your trolling just keeps going and going and going.....

"Anon's message to be spread as they don't make a point exactly with simply DDoSing servers, and makes them come off as "a bunch unruly kids."

This guy really has no idea what Anon is. There are a lot of smart people within Anon, but the point is, everyone has to act like a "bunch unruly kid", because that is what Anon acts like. Anon doesn't really like srsbzns.

"Another spokesman mentioned how the DDoS attacks show complete disregard for the rights of the original creators of content"

I would have to think that organizing a concerted attack against the Internet presence of those who have the strongest faith in the current copyright laws would be the complete opposite of disregard. I don't care much for their approach, but I do have a good deal of sympathy for the cause. As long as "he who has the gold makes the rules" is in effect, though, those laws will never change except to become more restrictive.

random_n said,
As long as "he who has the gold makes the rules" is in effect, though, those laws will never change except to become more restrictive.

You mean people that PRODUCE goods want the ability to PROTECT them? I never. Get over yourselves pirates and free-informationers. People who create should get to pick how to share. If you want everyone to have something, let them. However, people with actual talent like getting paid for their efforts. So do those that enable people to be creative by financially backing them.

AgentGray said,

You mean people that PRODUCE goods want the ability to PROTECT them? I never. Get over yourselves pirates and free-informationers. People who create should get to pick how to share. If you want everyone to have something, let them. However, people with actual talent like getting paid for their efforts. So do those that enable people to be creative by financially backing them.

Indeed. It seems a lot of people feel that people shouldn't be allowed to create unless they're willing to give their creations away for free. Talk about hindering free speech. Suddenly the whole of mankind's imagination is under GPL, hah.

AgentGray said,

You mean people that PRODUCE goods want the ability to PROTECT them?

Problem is they protect them by doing things as bad as the pirates.

DRM softwares installed as hidden device drivers without warning the user before the installation should not be legal at all. It's my computer when i install a game i don't want to install hidden device drivers i can't un-install from the add/remove programs. Specially when i'm not warned before the installation.

LaP said,

Problem is they protect them by doing things as bad as the pirates.

DRM softwares installed as hidden device drivers without warning the user before the installation should not be legal at all. It's my computer when i install a game i don't want to install hidden device drivers i can't un-install from the add/remove programs. Specially when i'm not warned before the installation.

You are a broken record.

All I have to say is WHO CARES? I could CARE less, it is likely in the EULA, and consumers don't care, they just want to be able to play the games or whatever, and they can.

LaP said,

Problem is they protect them by doing things as bad as the pirates.

DRM softwares installed as hidden device drivers without warning the user before the installation should not be legal at all. It's my computer when i install a game i don't want to install hidden device drivers i can't un-install from the add/remove programs. Specially when i'm not warned before the installation.

You literally have no right to say what is and isn't good for them to do with THEIR creations other then weather you do or do not partake in them. It's that simple. Don't buy it, don't pirate it, don't consume it, and they may change their minds. Pirating it/circumventing it proves them right and proves you the moral low ground. Each copy of starcraft 2 could literally require you to have a big burly elephant stand next to you while you play it, and it should be Blizzard's right to ask that, because it's THEIR creation.

Mr aldo said,
You are a broken record.

All I have to say is WHO CARES? I could CARE less, it is likely in the EULA, and consumers don't care, they just want to be able to play the games or whatever, and they can.

Really you COULD care less? then why don't you? The saying is " COULDN'T CARE LESS" damn how hard is that to understand.

AgentGray said,

You literally have no right to say what is and isn't good for them to do with THEIR creations other then weather you do or do not partake in them. It's that simple. Don't buy it, don't pirate it, don't consume it, and they may change their minds. Pirating it/circumventing it proves them right and proves you the moral low ground. Each copy of starcraft 2 could literally require you to have a big burly elephant stand next to you while you play it, and it should be Blizzard's right to ask that, because it's THEIR creation.

Yes Blizzard can ASK that, but companies like Sony arn't ASKING they are just DOING, If SOny can install a rootkit on your PC with out asking, why cant I? I never asked your permission either. But I guess its ok as long as they have good intentions?

Epic0range said,

Really you COULD care less? then why don't you? The saying is " COULDN'T CARE LESS" damn how hard is that to understand.

It was a typo, sheesh


Epic0range said,

Yes Blizzard can ASK that, but companies like Sony arn't ASKING they are just DOING, If SOny can install a rootkit on your PC with out asking, why cant I? I never asked your permission either. But I guess its ok as long as they have good intentions?

Why can't you? There is a massive difference between DRM software and a rootkit.

AgentGray said,

You literally have no right to say what is and isn't good for them to do with THEIR creations other then weather you do or do not partake in them.

It's not THEIR creation.

It's MY computer.

Is it that hard to write on the game case that DRM software will be installed? Is it that hard to warm me before the installation of the DRM software? Is it that hard to make the DRM software show in the add/remove programs of Windows and install it in the program files folder of Windows like for Steam (or any other legal programs)?

To me when someone needs to hide something it's because he knows it's not right to do it. And that's what some DRM softwares do. They hide themselves to the user.

Mr aldo said,
You are a broken record.

All I have to say is WHO CARES? I could CARE less, it is likely in the EULA, and consumers don't care, they just want to be able to play the games or whatever, and they can.

He just needs to read above what I wrote... why his form of freedom is me being able to carry a gun and shoot his grand mother without the logical restrictions in place.

Mr aldo said,
It was a typo, sheesh
It wasn't a typo. A typo is when you think the right thing and type the wrong thing. Ignorance is when you think the wrong thing and type the wrong thing.


There is a massive difference between DRM software and a rootkit.
The people who you think are "protecting the creations" don't think so. They would love to just use rootkits all the time.

AgentGray said,

You literally have no right to say what is and isn't good for them to do with THEIR creations other then weather you do or do not partake in them. It's that simple. Don't buy it, don't pirate it, don't consume it, and they may change their minds. Pirating it/circumventing it proves them right and proves you the moral low ground. Each copy of starcraft 2 could literally require you to have a big burly elephant stand next to you while you play it, and it should be Blizzard's right to ask that, because it's THEIR creation.

All creative work is derivative. It's not THEIR creation.

Beaux said,
It wasn't a typo. A typo is when you think the right thing and type the wrong thing. Ignorance is when you think the wrong thing and type the wrong thing.
Don't put words in my mouth or try and twist what I said (or meant to say) around. It was a typo... I forgot "n't."

Either way, you obviously knew what I meant, seeing as you could correct me.

Mr aldo said,
Don't put words in my mouth or try and twist what I said (or meant to say) around. It was a typo... I forgot "n't."

Either way, you obviously knew what I meant, seeing as you could correct me.

The reason we knew what you meant is the same reason we know that it's ignorance and not a typo.

Beaux said,
The reason we knew what you meant is the same reason we know that it's ignorance and not a typo.

Seriously people, you're flaming a guy over a "Spelling Mistake"?! Jeez what a bunch of children!

Epic0range said,

Yes Blizzard can ASK that, but companies like Sony arn't ASKING they are just DOING, If SOny can install a rootkit on your PC with out asking, why cant I? I never asked your permission either. But I guess its ok as long as they have good intentions?

If you feel your privacy or your rights have been infringed upon, you can go to the courts, exactly the same as people did against Sony and you know the result ... (dramatic pause) ... they won and Sony had to compensate them financially.

Beaux said,
The reason we knew what you meant is the same reason we know that it's ignorance and not a typo.

I bet you would be the life of the party, if anyone were to ever invite you to one.

Also, considering your current mantra is that assumption equals truth, you are fat, covered in zits, and live in your parents basement.

yazb123 said,
freedom of speech pfft lol

Yes cause attacking anothers corporate or personal network because you don't agree with their beliefs should be allowed. I don't support what the RIAA MPAA does or how they act. However attacks are not "freedom of speech"

Edrick Smith said,

Yes cause attacking anothers corporate or personal network because you don't agree with their beliefs should be allowed. I don't support what the RIAA MPAA does or how they act. However attacks are not "freedom of speech"

Installing unwanted DRM softwares as hidden device drivers WIHTOUT warning the user before doing so is not really better.

I said it often i'll shed a tear for companies the day they'll respect legal users.

We might not own the entertainment we buy but we own our computer and installing DRM softwares hidden to the user without warning him first should not be tolerated at all. DRM softwares should not be hidden. Should be possible to un-install them from add/remove programs. Should be installed in Program Files folder. And the user should be warned before the installation.

Like I said I don't support what they did, hell I don't even support how our government operates. My response was to the people above screaming where's freedom of speech.

LaP said,

Installing unwanted DRM softwares as hidden device drivers WIHTOUT warning the user before doing so is not really better.

I said it often i'll shed a tear for companies the day they'll respect legal users.

We might not own the entertainment we buy but we own our computer and installing DRM softwares hidden to the user without warning him first should not be tolerated at all. DRM softwares should not be hidden. Should be possible to un-install them from add/remove programs. Should be installed in Program Files folder. And the user should be warned before the installation.

I can agree on it letting users know it will be installing DRM and those that don't like it don't have to buy the product it's as simple as that. At least it isn't attacking a user but rather trying to protect the product from a user attacking the software itself. Maybe attacking isn't the right wording for the modifications one can apply but more or less you get the idea that it isn't harming anyone's pc (the most I've ever in all my life of gaming have been harmed that is).

Morisato said,

I can agree on it letting users know it will be installing DRM and those that don't like it don't have to buy the product it's as simple as that.


And if you're the first person to buy the DRM-infected CD? Not so simple anymore.

Edrick Smith said,

Yes cause attacking anothers corporate or personal network because you don't agree with their beliefs should be allowed. I don't support what the RIAA MPAA does or how they act. However attacks are not "freedom of speech"

Most people would call insults attacks. Do you think insults shouldn't be protected by freedom of speech?

omnicoder said,

The ability to do what one wants... except with restrictions.
Wait what.

The phone networks would refer to this as "unlimited freedom"

I had a feeling they would eventually go too far and get the government involved.
"At best, it's convenient indifference. At worst, it's quiet cheerleading." - seems they have not made many friends with what they have done.