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The day he was arrested, Anonymous's "Sabu" helped the FBI (arstechnica.com)
56 points by iProject on May 4, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments

I read elsewhere that he is the sole guardian of the two daughters of his aunt who's in jail. They're aged 6 & 10, IIRC. The kids have no one else and they would be shipped off to state custody if he ever goes away. Under those circumstances, I understand him wanting to go home before they come back from school.

Except that he was willing to break the law in the first place, including using home computers where those girls live.

There are other explanations that would cover both his initial Anonymous activities and his rapid cooperation with the police, like enjoying the attention and power that comes with getting one over on other people.

People don't really think of the consequences until shit gets real. His reaction is totally understandable. I know a lot of us would try to be tough and claim we wouldn't cooperate with the Feds and sellout but when the FBI busts in and you're in cuffs lets see how tough we all are. I know I'd take a deal in a second.

In the same way that trolling forums posting racist, awful things is easy from behind a computer screen the same is true for "cybercrime". I once committed a pretty serious felony and it was easy to do because it wasn't a violent crime and it didn't feel like theft. It felt like a victimless crime. Crimes that seem victimless are really easy to commit. Anyone who meets me cannot believe I'm anything but an upstanding respectable citizen but I also didn't think of consequences before I did what I did. So I can understand how he could not think of his kids before he started hacking. When I got caught I took a deal too. It's something you just can't understand until you've been there.

Some crimes I would commit in a heart beat, out of principle, because laws are sometime white and it's moral obligation to disobey them.

Android aut-corrected "shite" to "white". I swear ;-)

Haha I believe you. But you would really disobey some laws on principle? Which type? I can see people smoking pot and saying its on principle. But in a lot of cases it seems more like people don't break such laws on principle but simply because they want to do something that's illegal. For example take pot smoking and pirating media. I've done both k owing they were illegal. It was easy for me to break those laws because they seemed victimless and the likelihood of getting caught and the way I perceived the seriousness of the crimes to be minimal let me ignore the potential consequences. If I were to get caught I wouldn't protest to the police and judge and try to make a stand. I'd pretty much say "fuck. I shouldn't have done that" and try to get out of trouble. Now, I'm not saying this describes you but it seems like the whole "on principle" argument is an excuse for many. Most people don't smoke weed because they want to protest the law. They just want to get baked. Most people aren't pirating media because of their stance on copyright. They just want the new Justin Beiber single. There are laws that need to be broken in protest then there are first world laws that are conflated and compared to fights for freedom but are really just petty. Again, this is not directed at you specifically but I've heard this from others for whom it would apply - an individual breaking a law in protest does not help matters. Even if there massive amounts of people doing the same thing it still makes no impact. You have to unify, organize, and get active to truly change something that's wrong in the world. Getting a bunch of people together to smoke pot or pirate the new Dark Knight film in protest is nothing more than a self-important circle jerk where everyone pats each other on the back for protesting. Getting politically active, lobbying representatives (with or without money), getting out the vote, marching in the streets, educating the people who aren't aware of the issues are all far superior to creating a Twitter hash tag or getting together in an online forum. You need to get the attention of the uninformed, the opposition, and those with the power to execute any plans for change. Otherwise it just looks like a circle jerk. I would point to the protests against SOPA, PIPA, and CISPA as examples of the right way to protest. No one was breaking any laws. They just got the word out, made their case, and lobbied like hell to get those shut down. In addition the protests weren't exclusively online. Personally, I would've liked to see more rallies and physical protests but I wasn't involved so I can't say much. On the flip side, the "right way" can be equally ineffective. I'd point to the early days of the Occupy movement. There was a point in the Occupy protests where they just looked like a bunch of disorganized hippies out protesting that life isn't fair. They had a complaint but offered no clear solutions that they could rally behind and push for. They were out there basically screaming "the economy sucks! Someone please fix it!". These days it seems they have a more concrete plan and not just a list of complaints.

Sorry to rant. This wasn't directed towards you specifically. It's just that what you said reminded me of some people I know who like to "protest" but are all talk and full of BS.

I would happily shelter an "illegal" immigrant.

Amen. Your comment is by far the most intelligent, well-considered and pragmatic thing I've heard in this discussion.

Truly, there is no honor among thieves.

This surprises me, actually: he was willing to invest a ton of time and effort in this, but rolls over at the first sign of trouble? It's not like it's surprising that he eventually got caught...

It is a funny thing about people, sometimes they believe things that aren't true. You have teens who do crazy stuff because they don't believe they will fail and die. And you have criminals who do things believing that they will never get caught. Heck you have soldiers believing they can dispassionately kill other humans and not be affected by it. And when reality intrudes on the self deception, the results are even more unpredictable.

So we can't know what Hector's state of mind was, but we know that when he was confronted with prison time and the immediate loss of freedom he responded by mitigating that with co-operation. If you compare the impact on his personal life of that choice, versus 'taking one for the team', well it seems he made the right choice for Hector.

I suspect that recruiting people who would make the right choice for 'the cause' would require a different strategy than what is currently employed by the Anonymous community.

And it's not surprising that once he was caught, the FBI could easily leverage his two daughters to terror him into cooperating?

It is surprising that as sole guardian of the girls, he would run the risk of them going into the state foster system just so he could get (illegal) lolz online. That's very irresponsible and I have no sympathy for him.

I agree, but it seems like the feds would have wanted to keep his status as a CI under wraps. I question why this is being published.

The publication weakens the whole movement. "See, they don't really care about those things they say they do...and neither should you. Look at how weak they are for cooperating with us!"

It supports law enforcement's narrative that Anonymous is a group of criminals with no honor or allegiance to one another.

It doesn't really surprise me at all. I don't imagine most members of anonymous to be hardened criminals who are ready to go to prison.

They are fond of the term "activists", and I've certainly seen e.g. Greenpeace's activists willingly risk prison.

I don't think the FBI get involved with Greenpeace activists, and Greenpeace activists probably aren't risking all that much jail time. This guy, on the other hand, was probably at-risk of many, many years in prison.

The FBI focused on Greenpeace in the aftermath of 9/11. Including adding the names of some members to the 'no-fly' list.


An incident that comes to mind immediately with Greenpeace & law enforcement is the killing of one of its activists in New Zealand by the French Secret Service in 1985 when they sank the 'Rainbow Warrior'.

Plus, he never even met his cohorts. It is much easier to turn over a name on the screen than a face.

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