Spreaker of the House: introducing The Cryptosphere on AnonUKRadio

The Cryptosphere

The Cryptosphere

I’m a bit behind on my publicity stunting for my new news site TheCryptosphere, but here’s some! I know!!! Aren’t you excited?

Last week, which is to say July 6, 2014, I appeared as a guest on Topman‘s AnonUK radio show, which (particularly since Lorax got v&) is one of the most popular Anonymous podcasts in the world. Here’s their YouTube introduction to the concept of Anonymous itself:

And here is the podcast, featuring moi, Sue Crabtree of FreeAnonsd00minator, and more:

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Calling Anons: AnonymouSky Needs Your Help!

I never do this. I never, ever do this. But I’m doing it now because AnonymouSky is both one of the most important Anons in the sense of working, getting the word out, and supporting worthwhile Ops, and because he is like this:

Unfortunately, he is also like this:

In 12 hours his GoFundMe has raised most of the $8,000 needed for life-saving brain surgery. This is legit. This is not frivolous. Sky was in a car accident which led to him getting a scan which indicated a potentially fatal growth in his brain. He’s had two rounds of chemo and the tumour has shrunk by 60%, which is an outstanding result. It is now small enough and limited enough to be operated on, which was always the goal. That’s where the money comes in.

The GoFundMe says:

Greatings fellow Anons.
One of our most dedicated and loyal Anons, who you may know AnonymouSky, Sky, Starseed or @AnonStarseed on Twitter is currently facing the physical trial of his life. Sky has been involved in more Anonymous causes than can be listed, and has been a regular and important contributor to @YourAnonCentral. Recenetly, Sky was in an automobile accident where he suffered a broken leg and a severe head injury. As a result of this accident, the hospital where he was admitted performed an MRI scan, during which they discovered a malignant tumor in his brain.
Following the scan, Sky’s family and friends pooled everything they had together in order for him to begin chemotherapy.The first round of chemotherapy that Sky went through was very positive. However, the tumor had not shrank far enough to where it would be safe to operate. However, Sky was strong enough to be able to go through another round of chemotherapy. After the last round of chemotherapy, Sky’s brain tumor has decreased in size by over 60%. This is an incredibly positive development. The tumor is now small enough that it can be removed by surgery.
This is where we are calling on Anyonymous, and anyone else who cares, to help. Sky’s samily and friends have taken the maximum amount of credit that they can to help with his surgery. All the money has been spent. Sky is scheduled for surgery in 8 days, but won’t be able to receive it if he doesn’t have the money to cover the costs. The good news is that the doctors are positive that there is over a 90% chance that this surgery will be successful and save his life.
To put this in perspective, Sky currently lives in a region where the average income is 180 – 200 Euros a month. His local support network has run dry of funds. Thus, we ask you to donate anything you can to the following addresses:

If you use bitcoin, please donate any bitcoin you can spare to 1MgVTLHVJ13UxL2x4WH9tsVr4VypvTdVsn.

Again, we cannot emphasize stronger that time is of the essence here. Sky’s surgery is scheduled in 8 days. T
Let us show that “we are legion” and “we do not forget” truly means something. Anonymous simply would not be what it is today if it wasn’t for the actions of Sky, along with the rest of you that have made this movement so unique and special. Please help us continue in that tradition by keeping one of our beloved alive. Any amount in donation helps.

Thank you,
Anonymous

Again, I know shitloads of people who have fundraisers, but AnonymouSky is in a class by himself. He is, to the extent that anyone who is part of a collective movement, important. He has done more for important Ops than virtually anyone else I know, and we should all support him. From the speed this fundraiser is growing, it looks like we agree on that.

Edited to add

For those nay-sayers who think this is a scam, go on. Keep your money. At least there is something in your life that brings you joy. Having gone through cancer treatment myself, in a country with socialized medicine, I can tell you that no, not all costs are covered; it ate up my life savings at a rate of $1300 every two weeks until everything was gone. I have known Sky for many years, have never known him to ask for money, and if I were not 100% sure this was both legit and a good cause I would not have posted this. You’ve no idea how many of my friends’ fundraisers I do not post. I get perhaps three requests a week. Nobody requested that I post this. I was just alerted to it, investigated it, and found it to be real. Sky is good people, and he needs help. Give it to him or walk away, but if you spew bile, expect it to bite you on the ass. Remember what they say about expecting us.

#OpFrackOff takes on racist cop, #OpSWN takes on energy conglomerate

Mikmaq stop sign

Frack off First Nations land!

When the RCMP confronted the First Nations fracking protesters at Elsipogtog late last week and things turned violent, Anonymous got involved almost immediately, announcing #OpFrackOff. Now they’ve gone farther, a lot farther.

When an unidentified RCMP officer shouted, “crown land belongs to the government not to fucking natives,” he probably didn’t expect Anonymous to issue a call to action inviting the public to help ID him. He probably should have.

In a pair of documents released on Pastebin today and a video, Anonymous and their allies have announced they intend to carry their investigation much further. In the newly-announced #OpSWN they intend nothing less than laying out all the corporate, political, and social connections for SWN (Southwestern Energy), the American gas company at the heart of the conflict.

“Why is Canada attacking it’s First Nations population with a self-described paramilitary force? To protect the right of a Texas oil company’s fracking ambitions?  And what do Wendy’s french fries have to do with fracking? “

They then answered that question at length and in detail, using the online mapping tool Pearltrees to lay out the links between Cavendish Farms, Wendy’s, and SWN. And the New Brunswick political establishment. And the Irving family, a local corporate and media power clan whose influence extends internationally. And then called on Anonymous and supporters to fill in missing connections as well.

The point of all of this, according to one of the investigators we spoke with via Twitter, is to enable people to protest the RCMP response at Elsipogtog by demonstrating at their local Wendy’s, instead of trucking all the way to the Texas headquarters of SWN. The goal is to show that the events taking place on unceded Mi’kmaq territory are connected in a very real dollars and cents way to consumer choices that everyone makes in their day to day lives, and to show that other choices are possible.

Since SWN and the RCMP are hitting the Mi’kmaq where they live, Anonymous has decided to hit them where they live: right in the bank account.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Operation Global Media Domination: The Anon Situation

FINALLY!

After only, I don’t know, six years? covering Anonymous, either here or at various journalism platforms, I finally get an acknowledgement from the #1 Anonymous scholar that I’m alive. On a day when I’m not sure it’s more than technically true.

Well, 600 social shares also go a long way to revivifying me. Phibes has his Vulnavia; I have retweets.

Operation Global Media Domination: The Barrett Brown Situation

Barrett Brown Busted

Barrett Brown Busted

That glum-looking fellow is Barrett Brown: author, journalist, YouTube extraordinaire (really), Anonymous member, and fameball. At that moment, he had plenty to look glum about, having been arrested on a small sampler pack of charges which quickly grew into a basket-crushing potential 110 years in prison for, essentially, shooting off his mouth on YouTube and passing along a link in an IRC. He’s been in pretrial custody with no bail for nearly a year, and he’s about to go to actual real trial as opposed to pretrial hearings, about which we’ve all heard too much lately, particularly if we’ve also been following Jeremy Hammond and Sabu, which we have. For a living.

Yeah, not exactly what the guidance counselor suggested in high school as a career choice, but oh well.

I’ve covered his case(s) several times for the Daily Dot and this blog, and today there was a hearing to decide if the actual trial would be the subject of a media blackout; in other words, Barrett is prevented from speaking to the media about any aspect of his case, or even any topic that might touch on it. Of course it went through, but of interest to certain inwardly-focused-lately bloggers the defence presented a strong rebuttal which included a list of the influential articles by and about BB.

And guess who wrote two of them?

Arrested Anonymous Activist Barrett Brown Sends Letter from Prison

Anonymous Spokesman Barrett Brown Faces New Charges

So, on the one hand it’s good to be a part of this. On the other hand, it sucks that the motion was successful and that BB now has to live in the most unnatural-to-him condition of all; the condition of not conveying information. A lot of people have wanted to silence him for a very long time.

Coincidentally (???) WikiLeaks released new SpyFiles, carrying on Brown’s Project PM work of watching the watchers. Nice timing there, Assange.

In unrelated-but-still-work news, it appears that the Syrian Electronic Army isn’t happy just going after news organizations, but is now going after individual reporters who report on them, even favorably. I got a solid tip that a journalist whom I will not name has had some trouble with relentless attempts to control his Twitter account, and of course I’ve been getting increasing numbers of phishing emails for months now, along with the occasional romantic advance from an African woman on Facebook. Today I found some spammer had managed to put yet another Event on my Gcal, which is just, let’s face it, annoying even when a) the time for the pseudo event (“lets be freinds”)  is already past b) I’m a Vancouverite and therefore my solid commitment to attend an event is zero indication of whether or not I will actually attend.

And, just to up the wordcount, I’m going to copy/paste some material that was cut from my article today. Gee, can’t think why.

Anonymous is having a Hamlet-like crisis of conscience over OpSyria, and there is a significant chance that it will end up costing actual human lives, however it’s decided in the end. We spoke to blackplans, a spokesperson for OpSyria, about what Anonymous has, what it will use, and why (for once) they are sitting on something which could very well literally destroy their enemies.

NYPA. The four most important letters in Anonymous stand for: Not Your Private Army, and they remind everyone that the so-called Internet Hate Machine is an unruly, anarchic collective that cannot be pointed like a gun at any target that takes someone’s fancy. Any Operation has to attract and retain enough committed, talented, and energetic people to accomplish its goals, which is why “totally getting back at that kid who was, like, mean to me once” is never going to become an Op.The decision-making process at Anonymous is messy, time-consuming, and self-selecting; if not enough good people show up, the Op fizzles and subsides and the people move on. It’s a natural, if messy process. But once you’ve got good people, they’ve staked out their targets, they’ve made their attacks, and you’ve got the MacGuffin (documents proving identity, control of a database, a botnet that can DDoS a website into oblivion, or as in OpSyria’s case: all of the above) there is rarely a moment of hesitation. You dump that file, you paste that dox, you fire your lazorz, and then you stick a press release on Pastebin and sit back and laugh as the victim flails helplessly.

Not this time. Here’s what is going down, and why, at OpSyria.

As we reported Tuesday, OpSyria, the anti-Assad operation which includes members of Anonymous along with some non-Anons, claims to have proof of the identities of five key players in the Syrian Electronic Army. Exposing those people, particularly if they happen to be located outside of Syria, would almost certainly mean their targeting and eventual death at the hands of anti-Assad forces, whether the rebel Free Syrian Army or a foreign government that involves itself in the Syrian civil war (as the US may do).

This isn’t hanging out with your friends in front of a Scientology center singing “Never Gonna Give You Up.” It isn’t sitting in your Mom’s basement DDoSing the Pope’s website.

Shit is very, very real.

[at this point you can go to the article to see the majority of the interview. The below and the above were not included]

Blackplans: I have been told to tell we also have evidence of collusion between personnel of the Syrian Embassy in Bucharest and a member of the SEA who resides in Romania. We have found statements by him online to this effect. “I work most of the interrogation .. figures Syrian embassy in Romania in front of you online. Call and ask.” Apologies for the poor translation, this was in response to allegations of disloyalty from another senior SEA member.

Oh, and I will just leave this here…

http://twitter.com/blackplans/statuses/374984867995717632

[presumably they don’t feel so bad about alerting Romania to the possible presence of the SEA operative(s) in their midst. I asked for more details and was told no, they couldn’t give them to me without completely doxing the person, and they didn’t want to do that. I suppose they just wanted to fire a shot across the bow of the SEA as a show of power]

————————————————————————————————————————–

There you have it: An Operation combining Anonymous and anonymous non-Anons is in possession of information that governments around the world have been pursuing for months. If they use it, those people will almost certainly die. If they don’t use it, what was the point of the Operation? To get to the point of pulling the trigger, and then to walk away instead? In a world at war, whether officially or unofficially, that is power beyond that of the state, of any Nation State. Are they ready for it? Is the world ready for it? Is this the end of the SEA as an entity, or will they double down on Assad and strike back somehow at a headless, faceless, stateless anti-organization? And what will they, or their enemies, do to those whose exposure has threatened the SEA itself, whether that information is revealed publicly or not?

It’s not too much to say that the fate of this not-officially-declared-yet cyberwar rests in the hands of Anonymous and its allies. And they do not leave fingerprints.