Well, after 50 days of causing amok on the web, the guys and/or girls behind LulzSec have called it quits last night. After hacking into the systems of various Arizona law enforcement agencies and releasing countless internal documents, they published a statement on Pastebin yesterday, dumping yet another boatload of data on The Pirate Bay, and announcing their disbanding.
The hack of the Arizona law enforcement is a pretty big one, since the documents the hacking group leaked are incredibly detailed and contain all sorts of interesting stuff. For instance, Arizona law enforcement agencies are terrified of iPhones (and smartphones in general), because it allows people to easily record and share whatever the police might be doing or saying – and it allows people to remotely track and wipe their iPhones.
An internal memo details the worries Arizona law enforcement has about iPhones. “The ease of restoring the iPhone to it’s last backup condition may encourage users who’s phones have been temporarily seized by law enforcement to wipe all data to prevent law enforcement from gaining access to it,” the memo reads. The horrid spelling isn’t my doing – it’s really in there. The memo instructs law enforcement officers to shield confiscated iPhones from wireless signals.
Several applications also worry the Arizona police, such as Cop Recorder, which allows iPhones to record whatever is being said, and can be activated while still in someone’s pocket. I would consider the ability to record how an officer of the law treats you as your right as a citizen (in case they go too far), and that any worries about such an application can be negated by not abusing your authority as a cop – but then again, I’ve never been in trouble with the law, and I’m sure the police sometimes needs to walk on the edge in order to get things done – and random people recording everything you do could easily lead to a skewed image.
LulzSec hacked the Arizona law enforcement because of Arizona’s strict illegal immigration policies, which have already ruffled some major feather all across the United States – and beyond.
“We are targeting AZDPS specifically because we are against SB1070 and the racial profiling anti-immigrant police state that is Arizona,” LulzSec stated, “Every week we plan on releasing more classified documents and embarassing personal details of military and law enforcement in an effort not just to reveal their racist and corrupt nature but to purposefully sabotage their efforts to terrorize communities fighting an unjust ‘war on drugs’.”
Well, this plan to release more information every week may have been cut short, since yesterday late last night, the group announced they were calling it quits after 50 days. It is not entirely unwarranted to assume that law enforcement may be closing in on them, and that as such, they simply have to disappear for a while.
“We hope, wish, even beg, that the movement manifests itself into a revolution that can continue on without us. The support we’ve gathered for it in such a short space of time is truly overwhelming, and not to mention humbling,” the statement reads, “Please don’t stop. Together, united, we can stomp down our common oppressors and imbue ourselves with the power and freedom we deserve.”
“So with those last thoughts, it’s time to say bon voyage. Our planned 50 day cruise has expired, and we must now sail into the distance, leaving behind – we hope – inspiration, fear, denial, happiness, approval, disapproval, mockery, embarrassment, thoughtfulness, jealousy, hate, even love,” they end their statement, “If anything, we hope we had a microscopic impact on someone, somewhere. Anywhere.”
It sure has been an interesting ride – and, despite my reservations about their actions, surely a fun one. Despite their actions and tactics being quite questionable, there’s no denying that they have had their impact – for instance, an Australian ISP has announced not to participate in the voluntary net censorship Down Under out of fear of LulzSec. Call it what you want, but I call that a major win.
In any case, I hardly doubt this is the last we’ll hear from these folks. It’s clear LulzSec and Anonymous have struck cords all around the world, and I’m sure either others will take it from here, or the same guys will emerge in some other corner of the web under a different name.