Hacking collective Anonymous has launch #OpBART against the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) for its cell phone shut down last Thursday.
On Sunday afternoon, it defaced myBART.org and leaked a myBART user info database.
In a press release accompanying the data leak, Anonymous accused BART police of killing innocent passengers, violating people’s right to protest, and preventing bystanders from using emergency services during the cell phone shutdown.
“BART has proved multiple times that they have no problem exploiting and abusing the people,” stated Anonymous.
It also accused myBART of storing member information poorly with “virtually no security” so that “any 8 year old with a internet connection” can steal it.
This lack of security was used by Anonymous to justify its leaking of user info, which contained thousands of user names, passwords, legal names, emails, phone numbers, and postal addresses.
“This is but the one of many actions to come,” warned Anonymous.
Anonymous is one of many, including a BART board member and the ACLU, who voiced objections to BART’s shutting down of underground cell phone services at select stations last Thursday with the intent of preventing protesters from organizing on the go using cell phones.
Critics alleged that BART violated First Amendment Rights and had no authority to preemptively shut down communication in anticipation of possible crimes.
BART, in its defense, claimed it was protecting both the protesters and passengers against the likelihood of violence erupting.
The planned protests centered on a homeless man who has fatally shot by a BART police officer on July 3. The police said the man was drunk, armed with knives, and acted belligerently towards BART officers.