#OpBART 3: SFPD Says “It Will Be Different” Anonymous Sez “Expect Us”

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr promises regarding #OpBART 3 on Monday August 29:

It will be different.

Hopefully he means “different,” as the San Francisco  police will not hit people with batons as seen in this video below. Or maybe that San Francisco police officers will not order people off the sidewalks then arrest them for being on the streets, something reported repeatedly on the #OpBART Twitter feed after the Auguest 22nd protest.

Or maybe “different” in that the SFPD will pay more attention to their arrest lists: The name of a 17-year old–date of birth 9-15-1993, arrested at the #OpBART2 protest, then booked and held in San Francisco County Jail under section 601 (missing person/runaway)–was released to the media, against SFPD media guidelines, followed by another email from the SFPD asking reporters to delete the previous list and use the updated one attached, whihc omitted the juvenile.

Oh wait, this is how San Francisco Police Chief Suhr means “different”:

I don’t want this to be construed as delivering a threat, but enough is enough. They made their point, and they are now losing in the court of public opinion. We don’t feel that we took appropriate action at the appropriate pace (on Monday). The next response will be quicker.

Anonymous responded to Chief Suhr’s words thusly:

Now you have our attention.  We do not appreciate threats nor do we take well to them, especially from a chief of police who has a very interesting background himself. May we remind you of 2003?  Allegedly conspiring to obstruct the investigation into the infamous Fajitagate affair, in which three off-duty cops allegedly beat up two men for their Mexican takeout.  Or maybe we should ask Chief Heather Fong why she had to reprimanded you in 2009.

Oh and in 2005, Chief Fong demoted Suhr to the backwater, literally–making him chief of security for SF’s water supply.

The police department replied to Anonymous, issuing a written statement:

As Chief Suhr has stated this is NOT a threat. We as a department will continue to facilitate first amendment rights to protest. Our goal is to provide a safe environment for everyone. While the demonstrators have the right to protest, we will continue to facilitate it to an extent where it does not infringe the rights of others. We as a law enforcement agency had a duty to protect the constitutional rights of all.

BART has stated that

expressive activities

are not permitted on the paid area of BART stations, meaning any area beyond the turnstiles, and expressive activity in the station requires a permit. Is standing on a platform in a tee shirt reading

I <3 Free Speech. Please Don’t Shoot Me!

a violation of BART’s rules and regulations? Is standing in the station area with duct tape over your mouth? Do these actions require a permit on BART property?

Police ienforced BART rules, making arrests of people chanting and passing out fliers on the platforms during the first two #OpBART protests; none of the arrestees were Anonymous, who confined their protests to outside the station, (though one Anon was  photographed tweeting behind a post on the BART Civic Center platform).

It’s important to remember that there are two groups which are uniting to protest BART (along with random unaffiliated citizens). No Justice No BART is demonstrating against the transportation agency’s police department and policies; BART police officers have shot two men in two years. No Justice No BART has successfully disrupted train service in the past during their demonstrations, most recently on July 11 in response to the shooting of Charles Hill, BART service was suspended when protesters climbed on trains.

Anonymous–which for the most part rallies for freedom of information and communication–was drawn into the fray when BART shut off cellphone service on BART platforms and in trains on August 11 to prevent a planned protest by No Justice No BART which BART Chief of police Rainey said was discovered on a

blog webpage.

In the past two and a half weeks, Anons have swiftly educated themselves on the background of BART and the shooting deaths of Oscar Grant and Charles Hill, much they did in 2008 when the removal of a Tom Cruise video on YouTube led to the development of  Anonymous’ Project Chanology, a year long series of real life  protests–the first time Anonymous moved off the interwebz –that embarrassed Scientology, and aided a number of high ranking members to leave what ex-members describe as an abusive cult.

During the #OpBART protests, it has been members of No Justice No BART who have been on the train platforms chanting and shouting, holding signs, while Anonymous and others have marched up top.

How will Anonymous make #OpBART3 different for the SFPD and the BART police? Civil disobedience tactics like chains, padlocks and “blackbear” lockboxes seem a bit old school for Anonymous who have shown their displeasure for BART spokesperson Linton Johnson’s high-handed tactics by scouring the internet for information about the  former anchorman and then providing a treasure trove of  photos featuring Linton Johnson frolicking topless in the Land Down Under. And wearing really stupid tee shirts. All from Linton Johnson’s publicly available blogs (since shuttered).  Anonymous also redecorated MyBART.org; and someone claiming Anonymity easily hacked into both the MyBART.org and the BART police databases, then released names and other information from both sites.

Anonymous’ effort have proven them to be a force with which to be reckoned: The international uproar over the suspension of cellphone service, made hugely public by the MyBART.org hack and the ensuing protests, has prompted an FCC investigation and forced BART to develop a policy limiting cellphone shutoffs. The majority of BART’s Board of Directors expressed emotions ranging from dismay and outrage over the suspension of cellphone service.

Anonymous has proven themselves to be rapidly mutable, highly adaptable organism with fluid intelligence and Trickster‘s sense of humor which can, to some at times, appear cruel or insensitive. At the core, Anonymous is doing it for the lulz. And like Trickster, Anonymous does not forgive, nor forget. Expect them. And expect them to do it differently, too.

Oh and the SFPD has opened its doors for new recruits. Preferably ones fluent in meme-speak and lolcats.

photo: OpBARTsf

 

“Refudiate” Refudiated!

I thought refudiate meant to barf up dinner, an act immortalized in the Romans’ vomitoria as indicative of their excesses and by Clare Booth Luce as

the cow’s diet

in The Women.

I have obviously been spending too much time on ICanHasCheezburger.  Silly me!

But now Sarah Paln, who seemed all proud about her coining the term even comparing herself to Shakespeare who did some fine wordsmithing in his day, has gone and refudiated her nifty neologism, saying it was a Twitter typo, even though she’d spoken the the word on Sean Hannity’s show.

Late Night: Senate to Drop Ban Hammer on teh Internets?

The Internets. Both of them. This meme may become a reality…

We will support a free and open Internet.

That’s what Barack Obama told the United Nations. But then why is there a bill before the Senate Judiciary Committee that would allow the Attorney General to block certain Internet domain names from ISPs?

The bill S. 3804, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) would create two blacklists of Internet sites “dedicated to infringing activity,” which is defined very broadly as any site where counterfeit goods or copyrighted material are “central to the activity of the Internet site.”

Heck, that could be eBay–I’ve seen some pretty bogus Marc Jacobs Stam bags on there, as well as faux Max Studio, BCBG  and Betsey Johnston dresses. And certainly YouTube could be considered such a site, though they do pull any video  which is flagged with a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) infringement notice. Flickr.com and other photo storage sites allow people to upload their photoshopped images, as of course does the monster shoop site ICanHazcheeseburger.com

Anyway, one of the blacklists can be added to by the courts, the second by the Attorney General.  According to Demand Progress:

Internet service providers (everyone from Comcast to PayPal to Google AdSense) would be required to block any domains on the first list. They would also receive immunity (and presumably the government’s gratitude) for blocking domains on the second list.

Copyright is a tricky thing. The Associated Press says:

Associated Press text material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use.

And that means if a tree falls in the forest and only the AP is there to cover it, does that actually mean you can’t mention the tree hitting the earth without violating the AP’s copyright, even if you blogged under Fair Use that

a mighty big piece of living lumber  was felled by unknown means, according to the AP

rather than

a tree fell in the forest

because that is “rewritten”?

So technically if you did blog about it, under COICA your site could be blacklisted by servers and basically disappear because you “violated” copyright by reporting news to which you didn’t have direct access. Unless you paid the AP. So news becomes proprietary information. And that means control of information and possibly no freedom of the press since unlimited access would be truncated.

Nowadays, copyright infringement is handled with lawyer letters, threats of lawsuits and actual court trials, where there is a burden of proof. Should this pass, the lights would go off on sites deemed violators. Demand Progress says:

This bill would bypass that whole system by forcing Internet service providers to block access to sites that are otherwise up. People in other countries could still get to them, but Internet users in the US would be blocked.

Blocked from entire domain names. Sort of like how the governments of Iran, China, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere block undesirable sites. Granted, because of copyright and licensing laws, when I was in Ireland, I couldn’t watch clips from The View on ABC.com; when in Turkey, I was unable to listen to Coast to Coast on KFI640.com, so I wonder how many blocked sites would actually still be visible. And plus there are ways around that. Demand Progress claims that

if this law passes Internet traffic will be reconfigured to route around it. Companies will move their US servers and domain names overseas, Internet users will route their traffic through other countries (just like Chinese citizens have to do now!), and software will have to be reconfigured to no longer trust answers from American servers.

Demand Progress is concerned that this bill is the start of a slippery slope  and that with a little prodding from Teh Gubbermints  all sorts of sites could end up being banned, not only news, blogs, politics, and entertainment, but  porn and gambling, which is really what fueled the series of interconnected tubes.

Ultra Rick Roll: “Epic Fail Guy” Republican Governors Association Meme

Heads ups: some links are a little salty in their language and images, amirite?

There are obviously some merry pranksters of the 4Chan /b/ level  in conservative think tanks who infiltrated and convinced the Republican Governors Association that Guy Fawkes Day would be a really cool sub rosa coda to their new campaign, now known as  “Remember November.

Basic historical facts: In 1605 British Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators stashed a bunch of gunpowder under the House of Lords and planned to blow up Parliament because the English government was Anglican and the plotters were Roman Catholic.  That would be a jihad, except the dudes were all Christian not Muslim, but you see where I’m going.

Fawkes was left guarding the boom-boom room, got caught when guards–tipped off by an anonymous letter–searched the basements. He confessed under torture and named his pals, and so was convicted of terrorism.  On execution day, he jumped off the gallows scaffolding, breaking his neck, in order to avoid the rather painful drawing and quartering that awaited him.

The failure of the Gunpowder Plot is celebrated in the UK on November 5 with bonfires. Depending on who’s lighting the fires, sometimes the Pope and other political figures, like Margaret Thatcher, are burned in effigy instead of a figure of Guy Fawkes. There’s also a little poem that’s recited:

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…

Flash forward 400 years to 2005 when the film V for Vendetta–based on the graphic novel written by Alan Moore–was scheduled for release (it was delayed until February 2006): A mysterious figure in a Guy Fawkes mask seeks to overthrow the totalitarian British government and becomes a hero, empowering the masses who all don the masks.

Along the way, on the Internets, most notably on 4 Chan.org the image sharing boards where people post anonymously and where cultural phenomenons like “rick rolling” exploded into the mainstream,  Guy Fawkes became a symbol of  utter failure, developing into a meme known as “epic fail guy,”  (EFG), a failure so grand it somehow succeeds in spite of itself and becomes “win.”

In 2008 EFG and the Guy Fawkes mask became a universal symbol for Anonymous, the global anti-Scientology protest group which coalesced on the Internet and actually succeeded in exposing much of the organization’s dirty laundry,  making them a goofy joke. Anonymous became underground heroes within the youth and online cultures. Can’t you just see the brain storming at RGA:

Whoa this whole Guy Fawkes thing has a hip new youth movement on the internets. Let’s subvert their subversion! They’ll never notice our subliminal appropriation.

Um, fail.

Fix’t by infiltrator:

/b/tards, this is full of win. And what do you want? Win! What will this give you? Delicious caek, made of win full of win>9000. All their bases are belong to us. Resistance is futile; they will be enturbulated! Doooooo eeeeet!

And the RGA fell for it.

And even more backstory: The term “anonymous” and “Anonymous” are often confused; when an “anonymous” kid hacked into Sarah Palin’s email account and posted the info on an “anonymous” site, “Anonymous” was blamed by Scientology. Um, epic fail all around.

Scientology calls the Guy Fawkes-mask wearing Anonymous “terrorists.”  This is the religion practiced by Washington insider Joe Coale who, after the hacking and Palin’s failed bid to be a heartbeat from the football, helped Palin form SarahPAC while his wife Greta Van Susteren shills for her on Fox.

And now the RGA is kinda trying to explain themselves as seen above…and failing.

Quick recap: For their campaign, the RGA uses slogan celebrating either the attempted traitorous overthrow of government on theocratic grounds, or the failure of said plot. Either way, celebrating fail. Additionally,  the RGA is co-opting a youth movement symbol which is (wrongly) associated with terrorism and harassing Sarah Palin, as well as annoying Greta Van Susteren. Epic fail.

But maybe, as explained on Encyclopaedia Dramatica, in some deeply non-dualistic universe it makes sense with so much fail surrounding them that the RGA would, in fact, adopt Epic Fail Guy as their subliminal electioneering slogan. Way to go an hero!


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