Board Members, More Hackers Protest BART Cell Cutoff

 
on August 18 2011 10:52 AM

BART has been under fire from a number of directions since its decision to cut off cell phone service to stymie a planned protest -- most recently from BART's own board members and yet another breach of a BART web site.

The result was a flawless commute, but now we're defending that decision, said.BART spokesperson Linton Johnson during a press conference on Tuesday. Johnson found himself in the position of defending BART's decision in general, and also to address criticisms coming from BART's own Board of Directors.

Board member Lynette Sweet pointed out that policymakers such as she would bear the consequences, despite not being consulted beforehand.

We're the ones that are going to be held accountable for these decisions, Sweet said. Had that been done, I think there would have been enough input from the board to realize that this might not be the way to go...what we ended up doing is giving these same people another reason to come back and protest us.

This is a staff matter, Johnson disagreed.

Meanwhile, another group of hackers breached the web site of the BART Police Officers Association (BARTpoa.com, still offline as of this writing) and posted online the contents of a database including names and passwords, as well as home and email addresses. Anonymous seemed as unaware of the hackers' identities as anyone.

No one claimed responsibility for the hack. Some random joe joined a channel and released the data to the press. tweeted Anonymous. The leak today of BART officer data could be the work sanctioned by those who truly support anonymous, or agent provocateurs. Stay skeptical.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundations), and the CDT (Center for Democracy and Technology) have all compared last Thursday's service termination to similar acts committed by dictators suppressing the Arab Spring uprisings earlier in the year.

International 'hacktivist' collective Anonymous weighed on Sunday by releasing personal information from the MyBART web site, and have come under fire themselves for including telephone numbers and even addresses of BART customers along with the data of employees.

Anonymous was also at least partially responsible for a second protest on Monday -- perhaps the first-ever physical protest led by the hacker group. This time, cell service was maintained but four stations were closed after some of the protesters (some of whom claimed to have no association with or influence from Anonymous) tried to keep a train's doors from closing.

 

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