The hacktivist group Lulz Security recently switched gears from general online troublemaker to at least semi-legitimate activist group, issuing a manifesto on their aims. They launched the coordinated "Operation Anti-Security" campaign to demonstrate flawed security in government Web sites by leaking confidential information. On Thursday night the first AntiSec release went live on the Pirate Bay, consisting of 446.6 megabytes of data siphoned from Arizona law enforcement sources. "We are targeting AZDPS specifically because we are against SB1070 and the racial profiling anti-immigrant police state that is Arizona," the heretofore giggling hackers wrote in the release. Now that it's been online for a while and folks have had a chance to go through it, here are some of the early highlights people have pointed to online.
One of the most interesting discoveries to our gadget-happy minds was the rundown on iPhone apps most hated by law enforcement. Anthony Greenberg summarized them at Forbes:
Cop Recorder: Developed under the OpenWatch project, the app lets users stealthily record their interactions with police or other authority figures and upload them to OpenWatch’s server, where some of the videos are anonymized and posted online with legal analysis. The latest version of the app for Android, called OpenWatch rather than Cop Recorder, allows the secret capturing of video as well as audio.
Trapster and Police Alert: Both apps aim to show users the location of speed traps. The free app Trapster crowdsources the problem, allowing users to add or confirm police locations, even tracking users’ reputations to improve the accuracy of their submissions. Police Alert, a $3.99 app for Android, seems to map out police locations without user interaction, but users warn in reviews that it rarely updates and is largely inaccurate.
Caller ID Faker: Users can spoof a call’s source through the Web or using an app for Android or for jailbroken iPhones, entering whatever ID number they choose and even altering their voice. Presumably police fear that the app, which offers what its website calls “good laughs to make it through the crazy stress of each day,” has led to an increase in prank 911 calls.
One person on Reddit claims to have found this remarkable photo of a high-caliber machine gun mounted in the back of a sport utility vehicle hidden among the cache of information. The original poster said it was a police vehicle, but that seems pretty unlikely. More likely it's a vehicle they stopped. Still, scary:
Boing Boing did a great job pulling out some noteworthy items early on, including this alarming report of two well-armed guys dressed in camo, staking out the border:
"In other incidents reported in October, U.S. Border Patrol agents encountered two subjects who claimed to be members of the Border Watch Group the Blue Lights based on the Caballo Loco Ranch. The subjects, armed with pistols and at least one M4 rifle, were dressed in full desert camouflage uniforms, similar to those of the United States military. They stated they were not members of the Minutemen, but paid contract employees who "get the job done" and "were not just volunteers". They possessed valid United States Marine Corps identification cards."
There was also this less-than-professional circular:
"BELOW ARE PICTURES TAKEN AFTER A RAID ON A DRUG DEALER'S HOUSE IN MEXICO. ARE YOU READY FOR THIS???AREN'T WE GLAD THAT WE HAVE AN OPEN BORDER POLICY BETWEEN US? JUST LOOK AT HOW WELL ITS PAYING OFF........ I THINK ALLOWING MEXICAN TRUCKERS IN THE U.S. IS A GREAT IDEA!!! JUST TAKE A LOOK AT THE MILLIONS OF REASONS WHY......... SEE HOW WELL THESE TRUCKERS ARE DOING? WHAT THE @#@%*@ ARE WE THINKING??? Notice that nearly 100% of this money is U.S. Currency!!! Do you now wonder why the cost of living has catapulted in our country??? I don't...... Some of the illegal aliens we're letting in can afford anything at any cost!!! And for the ones who cannot........ We'll give it to them anyway!!!AND WE HAVE TWO BORDER PATROL AGENTS IN PRISON FOR SHOOTING AND WOUNDING A WELL DOCUMENTED MEXICAN DRUG DEALER! WHO, BY THE WAY, WAS ARMED AND ALSO HAPPENS TO BE A CONVICTED (BY MEXICO) MURDERER . MAKES A LOT OF SENSE, DOESN'T IT??? AUTOMATICS, SILENCERS...... THEY'RE ALL HAVING A NICE LAUGH ABOUT THIS STUFF AT OUR EXPENSE!!! And we want to give ILLEGAL ALIENS amnesty and not build the border fence because of funding!?!?!? SEND THIS TO EVERYONE, INCLUDING YOUR LOCAL CONGRESS REPRESENTATIVE. Our country is bleeding from the outside in!!! Don't you think it's time we take back what WE have sacrificed for over 140 years for??? I do. Build the fence higher and deeper, tighten border control, and send EVERY illegal alien home!!!"
Blogger Nigel Parry found a PDF of a Los Angeles County Sheriff's department presentation on "Radical Islamist Tattoos." There are some very interesting photos in the 15-page document, but its premise is wrong: Tattoos are considered haram, or forbidden, in Islam.
The Web site Public Intelligence found a document all about identifying members of The Sovereign Citizens and The Militia. The whole thing is worth a read, especially if you're into learning about fringe groups, but especially intresting was this run-down on how they might act during a roadside stop:
• Have a fictitious/peculiar or NO license plates. The plates might claim to be from a non-existent entity like the Republic of Texas (any state), Washitaw Nation, Kingdom of Heaven and etc. They might include numerous variations on the themes of “sovereign citizen,” “sovereign american,” “Common Law,” “UCC1-207” (or other UCC themes; these refer to passages in the Uniform Commercial Code), “militia,” and biblical passages. The plates can range from homemade cardboard plates to stamped metal plates that look very legitimate.
• Have a fictitious or NO driver’s license and/or registration. They may claim they do not need the items on the basis that they are not driving a commercial vehicle. Many extremists claim that the laws requiring such documents apply only to vehicles used for commercial purposes and/or that driving is a right, not a privilege.
• Have peculiar bumper stickers or display strange car decorations. There are companies who market stickers to anti-government extremists and they are readily identifiable. Examples from one company based in St. Marys, Kansas, include: “And the Lord said (Luke 11:46, 52) ‘WOE to YOU LAWYERS’;” “Free the Slaves, Abolish IRS and the Federal Reserve. Other car decorations could include homemade placards, signs in windows or along tailgates and/or display “militia identification numbers”.
• Make strange statements (driver or passenger) and refuse to identify themselves. In response to a request for a license, registration, proof of insurance or other form of identification the individual might make a response with referencing the items as “contracts”. Any references to these documents as “contracts” should be a warning sign; so too should any statement to the effect that they are not required to possess them. If they self-identify themselves as “sovereign citizens,” “non-resident aliens,” “sovereigns,” “common law citizens,” “state citizens,” “freemen,” “constitutionalists,” or claim some other pseudo-legal status, they are providing police with valuable information about their nature. Any suggestion that the Constitution or the Bible gives them an absolute right to travel unregulated, or if they present the officer with a Bible as a driver’s license, can be considered a warning sign. Requests the officer to produce an arrest warrant can also be a sign.
• Hand the officer political literature or strangely threatening documents for him to read or sign. Anything that reads “Notice to Arresting Officer” or “Form CRIF 2PA95” or which purports to explain the law to the officer should be taken as a warning sign.
• Attempt to audiotape the conversation.
• Produce some sort of identification which seems to identify him or her as some sort of strange-sounding law enforcement officer, such as a “Special u.S. Marshal,” a “Constitution Ranger,” or agent with the “Civil Rights Task Force.
Scanning through the report more or less at random, we uncovered a couple of interesting nuggets as well, including a fascinating roundup of homemade or home-disguised weapons, such as a shotgun made out of a Club security device:
Surely much more information will come from this newly public cache of data, much of it of more significance than the club gun. Still, this is a very weird example of Inspector Gadget-style inventions come to life.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.