Posted on | November 17, 2012 | 67 Comments
Just got off the phone with a reporter who was wondering why this blog was named in the second paragraph of a press release from Anonymous about their support for the terrorist group Hamas:
It has come to our attention that conservative and pro-Israeli groups throughout the blogosphere have taken advantage of Operation Israel, attempting to solidify public opinion against Anonymous.
TheOtherMcCain.com posted an editorial this morning which stated the following: “If you ever doubted that Anonymous was a terrorist organization, they have now removed all reason for doubt.”
The post mentioned: “Thugs of a Feather: #Anonymous Supports Hamas Terrorists Against Israel.” Several news sites as well as bloggers have called attention to the pro-Hama declarations made by various accounts claiming to speak on behalf of Anonymous. So why, among all the sites reporting and commenting on this phenomenon, am I singled out in this press release that goes yammering on about the “oppression imposed by the Israeli government,” etc.?
The answer in two words: Neal Rauhauser, who has spent the past 24 hours figuratively high-fiving himself on his Blog Nobody Should Link, celebrating the fact that our site was targeted for an online attack yesterday that blocked or slowed traffic. This was not a DDOS attack, which requires the use of multiple accounts, but rather another method that can be done from a single computer.
In other words, it would appear, Rauhauser personally attempted to shut down our site, then tried to pretend that it was a collective attack by Anonymous, and has since carried on at his blog in an effort to convince others to join in on the attack. It’s a dishonest scam.
As for the press release from Anonymous, if Neal did not write it himself, it is almost certain that the person who did write it named my site so prominently at the prompting of Rauhauser, who has often boasted of his connections to Anonymous.
As anyone who has studied Rauhauser’s harassment methods knows, he has a childish love of the “you can’t catch me” game: He engages in surreptitious attacks on the targets of his cyberstalking and, if they publicly accuse him of it, Rauhauser then denies his involvement and mocks his target as being “paranoid” for suspecting him. Rauhauser did this in the 2010 “TwitterGate” scandal; after Neal’s involvement was exposed, he did the “you can’t catch me” trick, and succeeded in convincing some people that the orchestrated online harassment of Tea Party activists was just a “prank” that got out of hand.
Now, some people have suggested that I should just ignore Neal Rauhauser, as if ignoring him would cause him to stop his obsessive cyberstalking. It won’t, and this is not about me. When I ignore Rauhauser, his other targets — he has a long list of people with whom he is fanatically obsessed — continue to suffer harm and, in fact, even greater harm occasionally befalls those who assist Rauhauser in his harassment.
Former Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown was arrested by the FBI after he got involved in one of Rauhauser’s operations. In recent weeks, Rauhauser has tried to gin up another one of his crazy conspiracy theories to explain Brown’s meltdown, but those of us who watched it happen know the part Neal played in that sad episode.
Neal Rauhauser is a dangerous person, perhaps more dangerous to his “friends” than to his enemies, and his latest apparent stunt — inciting Anonymous supporters against me — is a classic example. Anyone who permits themselves to be baited into criminal activity will be subject to the same kind of prosecution that sent the “LulzSec” hackers to prison. And look what Anonymous is doing now:
Are these people insane? The United States government considers Hamas a terrorist organization. Not only is any U.S. resident participating in these criminal intrusions individually liable for those federal crimes, but Anonymous as an organization now must be considered a national security threat, giving aid to terrorists against a U.S. ally.
Indeed, what Anonymous calls the #OpIsrael project may be the work of foreign agents who have infiltrated the Anonymous collective. In an online space where people are intensively secretive about their identities, no one can be sure of another person’s actual motives. Therefore, in regard to #OpIsrael, the question is, “Cui bono?”
Who benefits from the online attacks on Israeli sites? Hamas. And who supports Hamas? Iran. The possibility that #OpIsrael is, in fact, a project of Iranian intelligence operatives cannot be dismissed. Any teenage techie who thinks it’s just a lot of lulz to get involved in this stunt — or any misguided idealist who thinks that hacking Israeli computers is a way to prevent “oppression” — is apt to learn a hard lesson.
It’s all just fun and games until someone ends up in federal prison. And if you don’t believe me, ask Barrett Brown.
UPDATE: A reader in the comments recommends Parmy Olson’s book, We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency.
UPDATE II: Welcome, Instapundit readers!
UPDATE III: Geopolitics and ‘Amateur Assclowns’