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Anorak | Boston cops fight “hacktivists” – with sarcasm

Boston cops fight “hacktivists” – with sarcasm

by | 14th, February 2012

HACKER activist group Anonymous has made a habit of infiltrating or taking down websites of anyone who disagrees with its open-source, whistleblowing, digital piracy outlook. But the Boston Police Department, one of the latest targets of the vengeful ‘hacktivists’ decided to retaliate – with sarcasm.

The Boston Police Department website, BPDNews.com, was down for a week after hackers replaced its home page with a video of the American rapper KRS-One’s song “Sound of Da Police”. The action, a message posted under the video informed, was part of #FuckFBIFriday, and it was carried out as “retaliation for the brutality against Occupy Boston”.

The Bostonian boys in blue responded, though not through legal action. Instead, they poked fun at the cyber warriors by creating a sarcastic video, featuring straight-faced interviews with cops who feign horror and disconcertion at the prospect of BPDNews.com vanishing.

In the two-minute video, police officers retell how they heard of the hack – one says he was in Dunkin’ Donuts when he got the news. They reveal their feelings about the website being down. “I haven’t slept a wink”, claims one officer, while another says he’s missed being able to read the site in 36 different languages. A third cop says: “My reaction was why would anybody want to destroy a perfectly good KRS-One song?”

News about the BPDNews crash was overshadowed by hacktivists’ successful takedown on the same day of the CIA website and other prominent web pages. It is doubtful that fans of the page really “struggled to make sense of a world without BPDNews.com”, as a voiceover in the video claims. But the sarcastic retaliation made for a light news splash. Their self-portrayal as tongue-in-cheek funnymen allowed the BPD to challenge Anonymous’ claims that they are a brutal arm of the state.

Whatever the BPD’s true colours, the hacktivists are probably not amused.

Image: This image taken from a video posted by Internet hackers on the Greek Justice Ministry web site on Friday, Feb. 3, 2012, shows a figure in a Guy Fawkes mask reading a statement. Greek and Cypriot hackers from the “Anonymous” group said in a statement on the hacked web site that their action was to protest Greece’s signing of the ACTA copyright treaty. They threatened with future attacks on Greek government and media sites if Greece implements the treaty.

Visit Nathalie Rothschild’s personal website here. Follow her on Twitter @n_rothschild.



Posted: 14th, February 2012 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink