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Anonymous Journalist Barrett Brown Reboots Column From Prison

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Readers may remember the story of Barrett Brown, the man who faced 45 years in prison for sharing a link to documents stolen by hackers and made available to him and Project PM. According to Brown himself, Project PM is:

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Barrett Brown

[…] an informal association that would do two things: (1) disseminate information about the intelligence contracting industry and what is now being increasingly termed the “cyber-industrial complex,” including specific firms/outfits known to be involved in one or more of certain activities we oppose, and (2) provide whatever support possible to other parties that wish to pursue these issues.

Also read: Free Speech Can Cost Prison Time: The Barrett Brown Story

In January, Brown reached a plea agreement with the government and was given a sentence of 63 months, much of which he’d already served leading up to that point. He has consistently riled prison officials, finding himself in the “special housing unit” more than once. He has written previously from prison with a fair amount of disruption from authorities. His first column was called “The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Prison” and it appears The Intercept is sticking with that for the new column.

In his first installment, Brown describes the struggles of navigating the prison bureaucracy and other insights that most people will never have to experience first-hand. He says:

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I’d spent the 18 months prior to my arrest overseeing a crowd-sourced investigation into that aforementioned “cyber-industrial complex,” a subject which, although important, I also happen to find personally distasteful; the research end involved going through tens of thousands of emails stolen by Anonymous from the toy-fascist government desk-spies and jumped-up quasi-literate corporate technicians to whom the American “citizenry” have accidentally granted jus primae noctis over several Constitutional amendments. I hate all this computer shit and was actually a little relieved when the FBI finally took me down, thereby sparing me from the obligation to read another million words of e-Morlock jibber-jabber about Romas/COIN and Odyssey and persona management and whatever else the public is just going to end up ignoring until it’s too late anyway.

The column will apparently be published as regularly as possible in the Intercept. The choice of venue is interesting because it was Brown and his friends who uncovered (through hacking – though not on the part of Brown himself) documents in which the government had sought to harass muckraking journalists like Glenn Greenwald, who is an editor there. Readers may be aware that Greenwald was the first to bring the revelations of Edward Snowden to light along with filmmaker Laura Poitras, who also edits the publication.

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Activism

Anonymous Inspired Comic ‘Hacktivist’ is Being Adapted for TV

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Hacktivist, a graphic novel inspired by global hacking activist collective Anonymous and created by actress Alyssa Milano will be adapted for the small screen at a time when another Anonymous-inspired TV show Mr.Robot, is garnering rave reviews.

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Alyssa Milano

Alyssa Milano

Alyssa Milano, an actress who has appeared in feature films and network TV shows is known for taking definitive stances politically, will see her 2014 graphic novel ‘Hacktivist’ adapted as a television series.

According to Deadline, The CW network will be developing an adaptation of the graphic novel Hacktivist, created by Alyssa Milano. The concept for the cyber-thriller graphic novel was pitched by Milano to comic publisher Boom! Studios, only coming after Marvel and DC in controlling the largest library of comic book IPs.

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hacktivist

Hacktivist features two lead characters who run a successful social media company. The fictional characters are also hackers by night, inspired by popular hacktivist group Anonymous. Also, the protagonist in the comic was modeled after Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, while the fictional company based on the real-life social media giant.

Speaking to the Daily Dot in an earlier interview, Milano revealed how the idea came about.

I became obsessed with the role of the media, and how it was being used as a tool for protest.

At the same time, Anonymous was using hacking skills to empower people. And I thought, ‘What if Anonymous wasn’t a group but one person?’ And that spiraled into, ‘What if Anonymous was one guy? What characteristics would he have?’ He’d have to be socially aware, a coder, have access, be compassionate.”

Hacking activists in various parts of the world tend to unify under the banner of ‘Anonymous’, a faceless, leaderless, decentralized group of anyone and everyone who takes up its name.

Some of Anonymous’ most prominent movements occurred on November 5, 2013. Millions of demonstrators in over 400 cities around the world jointly participated in the Million Mask March on the day that that remembered the Guy Fawkes Night. The Guy Fawkes mask is commonly seen as the symbol of Anonymous, with members of the group readily distinguishable in public by wearing the masks.

Anonymous has undeniably made its mark in the mainstream consciousness. Wildly popular and critically-acclaimed TV shows like Mr. Robot see its fundamental premise in hacker activism and the new TV adaption of ‘Hacktivist’ – directly influenced by Anonymous – will only further perpetuate the loosely-associated international hacktivist network.

 Images from Amazon, Flickr and Shutterstock.

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Activism

Anonymous Hacker Protesting Prosecution Begins Second Week of Hunger Strike

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In 2014, Anonymous hacker Martin Gottesfeld was allegedly involved in the hacking of Boston Children’s Hospital following the suspected mistreatment of one of its patients. Now, the alleged hacker has begun his second week of a hunger strike in prison to protest the assumed prosecution of the late Internet activist Aaron Swartz and the controversial child-custody case involving Justina Pelletier, reports Newsweek.

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Two and a half years ago, the hacker collective Anonymous released a video calling for attacks against the hospital. It was alleged that 15-year-old Justina Pelletier was being held against her will by the State of Massachusetts where she was ‘tortured physically and mentally.’

In a letter, Gottesfeld wrote that what happened to Justina Pelletier goes far beyond a medical or custody dispute, and beyond child abuse.

He wrote:

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Tragically, tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of children have suffered horrific abuse at fraudulent places who have no legitimate right to call themselves ‘residential treatment programs.’

Two Demands Need to be Met

In order for his hunger strike to come to an end, Gottesfeld is asking for two demands to be met.

He wants the U.S. presidential candidates to make a promise ensuring that children are no longer mistreated, tortured, abused or killed, and he wants to end the style of prosecution that U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, Carmen Ortiz waged against Aaron Swartz, Reddit co-founder. Swartz is reported to have committed suicide after he was accused of alleged computer crimes.

Speaking to Newsweek, Dana Gottesfeld, wife of Martin Gottesfeld said that he believes his conditions will be met.

She added:

If the candidates make the pledge but don’t make good on it, he plans to strike again.

He faces up to five years in prison and a $380,000 fine.

For now, it remains to be seen if the presidential candidates will consider his demands. Given Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s previous thoughts on what he thinks should be done to Edward Snowden if he became president, you have to wonder what kind of reception Martin Gottesfeld will receive from him.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Anonymous India: Mobile Network Reliance Jio is Sharing Call Data with Advertisers

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The hacking group Anonymous is accusing the telecom network, Reliance Jio, of sharing its call data with advertisers in the U.S. and Singapore.

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In a recent blog post, Anonymous India exposes how Reliance Jio has been sharing customers’ call data with foreign companies. Anonymous India also provide steps to see how Reliance Jio are sharing the data.

It said:

A year ago we had posted about how Reliance Jio was sharing user location data with China. One year on and nothing has changed.

In the blog post, Anonymous India claims that data from Reliance Jio’s My Jio and Jio Dialer apps are being sent to an advertiser called Mad.Me. It further adds that Reliance Jio is utilizing a third-party software development kit and is failing to verify what data is being sent and collected through it.

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Reliance Jio Accused a Second Time

This, however, isn’t the first time that Anonymous India has accused Reliance Jio.

Last year the hacker activist group highlighted in another blog post that Reliance Jio had security flaws in its RJio chat app.

According to the 2015 post, data was being sent to a Chinese IP without encrypting it beforehand. This meant that while data was being leaked to the Chinese, anyone who wanted to could easily look into a conversation and know what was being shared or discussed, making it vulnerable to hackers.

Anonymous Never Forgets

When it comes to bringing the wrongs of others to light, the hacker activist group, Anonymous, are not afraid of standing up to the challenge.

At the beginning of the year, Anonymous targeted Thai police after protesting the conviction of two Burmese men who faced a death sentence in connection to two murdered British backpackers.

In May, Hacked reported that Anonymous had played a significant role in the target of financial institutions such as Greece’s central bank, which was targeted in a DDoS attack. According to the report, Anonymous consider central banks around the world as a ‘global banking cartel.’

In a bid to target those that it believes should be targeted, bringing greater awareness to the public, it seems that the hacktivist collective Anonymous won’t be stopping anytime soon.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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