NEWS FROM THE LAB - Monday, August 15, 2011

Anonymous Ops Britain and BART Posted by Sean @ 15:02 GMT

Here's a new maxim for politicians, policy makers and public administrators: curtail, censor or otherwise limit communications technology in the real-world — expect online reprisals.

Hacker collective Anonymous released a "press release" on Saturday announcing OpBritain, a reaction to UK Prime Minister David Cameron's suggestions that social media should be restricted in a time of crisis.


And while Anonymous states that actions by rioters were "violent", they have no love for police authority, and so the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Besides promising online hacks, Anonymous has called for rebellion peaceful real-world protests on October 15th.

Meanwhile in the USA, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) authorities interrupted phone services at some BART stations on August 11th in a move to prevent protesters from disrupting travelers and creating in their words, "unsafe conditions".

Not surprisingly, or it shouldn't be, Anonymous announced OpBART, complete with its own modified Bartman logo.


And a hack of myBART.org, currently offline, followed in which names, e-mails, and passwords of myBART members where dumped to pastebin.com. OpBART also calls for a real-world peaceful protest at Civic Center station at 17:00 PST (approximately nine hours from now).

Of all places, San Francisco may well be the heartland of the Anonymous collective, so it should be interesting to see just how many people attend the gathering, and how it is reported by the USA and UK press.

If today's OpBART protest turns violent… expect the negative feedback loop to continue.

Updated to add reports from:

Elinor Mills: SF subway closes stations during Anonymous protest
Robert McMillan: Cell Phones Stay On, but Protesters Disrupt SF Subway