PBS hacked in retribution for Frontline Wikileaks episode

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159 Responses to “PBS hacked in retribution for Frontline Wikileaks episode”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Considering a guy gets to spend life in prison for informing taxpayers of how their dollars are being spent in sloppy murder operations, I could care less about PBS in the case. And you mention free speech? What about Manning? I might understand if the citizenry were crying “please do not give us the information”. But the fact is that people want to know what is going on, and exercising freedom of speech will get you much worse than hacked; if not hack apart at the bay club. Piss off, borgs.

  2. desiredusername says:

    Can I just state for the future web-culture archivists (mapreduce?) that there is a lot of interesting political discourse in this comment thread?

  3. desiredusername says:

    Ug..I do hate seeing Goldman Sacks advertising on Frontline…so inappropriately coincidental to my attempt to defend them..

    Right all I can say I have never seen better journalism than them before. That’s just it. They are what I consider the best journalists that I know of. period. Whatever influence that corporate sponsorship has (after govt sponsorship is a political hot topic) on all of media..this is still the best. As bad is it may degrade under our new economics, it is a jewel of jourmalism.

  4. rebus says:

    PBS supporters: Do you not get that PBS has been taken down from the inside long ago? So much of what they produce now is pure establishment propaganda wearing a thin mantle of past progressiveness.

    They are mainstream media folks. That so many of us still consider PBS progressive shows how conservative things have become.

    For me the public broadcasting system lost all credibility when NPR ended a decent report on the Afghan hash industry with the lie that hashish is a component in opium production. That was over 15 years ago.

    If the internet is the new commons, then lulz hacking is the new free speech.

    • Mister44 says:

      re: “For me the public broadcasting system lost all credibility when NPR ended a decent report on the Afghan hash industry with the lie that hashish is a component in opium production. ”

      Ever consider it being just an error? Journalist get technical details wrong all the time. For example, this is the chart they use when talking about firearms: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_L52qeI-j4jM/Sr0k4ki3_iI/AAAAAAAAA0o/7oNaOb3eMyU/s400/journalists-guide-to-guns-1.jpg

      @lolipop re:”every clip of Julian Assange just made him look down right creepy.”

      Well – he is kinda creepy.

      I personally find PBS/NPR too liberal in many cases, but hey I’m used to that. I do not catch Frontline that often (I really should) – but when I do I find it some of the best journalist on TV.

      This hacking is nothing more than petty censorship and propaganda. I don’t see a noble cause being exalted, or an evil entity being taken down (like the Westborro Church). Wah – you don’t agree with a news report. Go make your own ‘Loose Change’ if you want to ‘fight the power’.

    • dizizcamron says:

      its amazing how many people think they have some special ability to “see thru the bullshit.” if PBS, or whatever other mainstream news outlet you choose, is really part of some vast propaganda/government-thought-control-of-the-people conspiracy, then where do you guys get your news? by reading stuff on the internet that could be written by anyone? if all of us dumb assholes are been duped by major news outlets, what makes you think you aren’t being duped by your special elite news outlet? if this is all just some 1984-esq system of control what give you hope that you’ve in any way escaped the same thought control? if thats how the world really is, then the average person really has no way to know truth from fiction on any scale beyond standing there and seeing it with your eye balls. everything else you watch, read, and here could be a fabrication. you might as well just give up.

      in the more likely event that the world isn’t run by a vast conspiracy, then this is nothing more than different people having different points of view based on the information they have and the way they individually interpret the world. Frontline gave their opinion, and Lulzwhatever decided that their own point of view is so much better and righter, that Frontline should be punished for even saying theirs. thats just being a bully. and it is unquestionably an effort to sensor people who think differently than them.

      i also agree that these acts are inherently cowardly. if lulzsec had a spine its members would put names and faces with their actions. part of why civil disobedience has power is because actual people stand up and say “i’m not afraid of you hurting me. this is what i believe.” the message of these hacking attacks is more like “i’m right and your wrong and your lame and uncool so i’m going to kick over your sand castle and yoooouuu caaaann caatttch meeeee :P”

      • Anonymous says:

        “if lulzsec had a spine its members would put names and faces with their actions.”

        Because the Government has never used extraordinary measures against people.
        Or do you think the “Patriot Act” really just all about terrorists?
        I mean if they were really dicks they would stick a tracking device on your car because someone you know said something “questionable” on a blog… oh and when you find it stuck to your car and post about it online they get more cranky.
        Its not like they would use rendition on people who disagree with them… er wait… nevermind.
        Its not like they would force a victim of sexual assault, who knew nothing, into a military priso… er wait…. nevermind…

        To everyone saying how this is cowardice to sit far away and press a button, ummm have you seen the Predator control center? Its in a desert… in the US… they press a button and people cease to exist half a world away. And the people who pressed the button go home and have dinner.

        Other than 1 cranky Anon, can anyone confirm if they did actually leak viewers passwords or was it just staff passwords?

        And while others talk about CBS for cancelling a show, I guess you all missed what they did to Fox before this. They are moving back to Sony, I guess people can feel better if they express their anger there, rather than making a very public statement that does something important… it gets people talking. While the image of Manning being kept in “questionable” conditions (read torture) is not being conveyed in the media much any more, I think anyone who fails to mention that in the coverage of what LulzSec did might find a boat turning towards them.

  5. Anonymous says:

    These people (and most people) don’t understand the concept of free speech at all.

    Regardless of how biased any media outlet it that does not warrant any sort of intimidating action. The pro-wikileakers think they are categorically correct in their opinions. This is a falsehood. Neither side is correct. This is a moral and societal issue.

    PBS is no more biased than the pro-wikileakers. The difference is so far none of them have shown the cognitive ability to do anything about it. For this reason they will never, ever win.

    The sad thing is that their attempts to gain support always backfire. A world where news isn’t properly reported is of course scary. But you can choose to tune out. PBS isn’t forcing you to change to their opinion.

    A much more frightening world to live in is one where we censor ourselves out of fear of retaliation for anything we say or do. This is the kind of world being created by so called hacktivists. They don’t understand that it isn’t the cause that is wrong. It is their methods.

    They somehow miss the depressingly obvious irony and hypocrisy in their actions.

    Especially how their actions hurt the general populace more than the government ever could.

    Look at Sony for an example. If the Sony hack was in response to Sony’s actions with hots and how they treated their customers their is zero logic to be found. Sony dicked over a small amount of customers so in return you dick over the majority of customers?

    You don’t build support by bullying and ruining things for the general population. You build fear and anger towards every part of your stance.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Sony dicked over a small amount of customers so in return you dick over the majority of customers?”

      But if you examine just below the surface, you find that Sony had dicked over their customers even more.

      - Their failure to have updated servers.
      - Their failure to be remotely PCI compliant.
      - Their failure accept they were compromised.
      - Their failure to tell the truth, as the story evolved they admitted the depth of the hack in stages, always downplaying how bad it might have been.
      - Their failure to accept that their network was a target for anyone other than Anonymous.
      - Their “finding” a text file called Anonymous.txt with the words “We are Legion” paraded around as “proof”.
      - Their measured response of lying about how much data was taken, delaying consumer response to protect themselves properly.
      - Their failure to accept any fault in the matter, shifting the blame to Anonymous, then hinting maybe Anonymous didn’t do it but they provided cover.

      Sony continues to play the woe is us card, we were hacked by very skilled hackers. The Sony network is now being ripped apart by “scriptkiddies” pressing a button and getting the keys to the kingdom, pressing Go! is not the mark of an elite hacker. Their security practices are nearly nonexistent. This let them save a couple of bucks, and leaves the consumer to clean up the mess. If we had actual laws that applied to these corporate entities that made the consumers whole and punished them for being so lax, do you think paying someone to upgrade the Sony kernel from 2008 to 2010 would have looked as costly?

      People are blindly willing to accept things are safe, and that corporations will protect us at their expense. We assume putting a Music CD in our computer will not install a rootkit, and if it does they will be reprimanded. We assume the corporation will have to make us whole, but that might mean they donate less to the lawmakers. We assume that with as vigorous as they are in defending their licenses they wouldn’t steal GPL code… but they did.

      If the people who were calling for every member of Anonymous to be taken out and shot because the network was down was just as angry at Sony for the complete lack of responsibility that made it possible, something might have to happen. But instead they accept the Sony line of we could not have stopped them, they are elite hackers. The continued hacks might be a two-fold purpose
      1 – it is very hard for Sony to claim they care when their network security folds like tissue paper in the rain and plain-text information is readily available.
      2 – the coverage of “yet another Sony hack” begins to get them thinking maybe this was not a perfect storm, but that Sony is inept. That consumers need to be educated and need to be active in protecting themselves and not assume the corporations care about protecting you.

      @damiro – I love irony and missed I was creating my own this way.
      I think part of the problem is in how society needs everything coming at them to fast. I do not believe this “Hacktivism” reaches the levels of a dictator putting down dissidents, as some would like to compare it to, in the end this was them getting hit with a water balloon. They need to go change their shirt and pants, but no real damage.

      Oh for the love of god…
      http://blogs.forbes.com/parmyolson/2011/05/30/thousands-like-fake-tupac-story-posted-by-hackers/
      Forbes is reporting this nugget in their coverage of the TuPac story being liked…
      “cyber vigilantes also breached the servers of weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin this weekend.”

      Ummm cyber vigilantes might deface a website and expose some crappy security methods.
      Hacking RSA, creating duplicate auth devices, and going into Lockheed Martin… not so much.
      They might use the same tools, but they are not the same.

      And Forbes is helping Sony out by reporting the PSN hack only exposed 100,000 peoples details.
      http://blogs.forbes.com/parmyolson/2011/05/31/interview-with-pbs-hackers-we-did-it-for-lulz-and-justice/

      I am at a loss for how defacing a website with freaking NYAN CAT, is an intimidating action. ZOMG I CAN’T LEAVE THE HOUSE A POPTART WITH A CATHEAD WILL ATTACK ME!!!!!!! No bombs, no burning crosses, no nooses, no bricks thru windows.

      Virtual egg on the face that causes discussion about an issue beyond just smiling and nodding and accepting what your told as perfectly reported…. Priceless…

      “You don’t build support by bullying and ruining things for the general population. You build fear and anger towards every part of your stance.”
      And yet we reelected the bastards that passed the laws to let guys, hired from pizza box top ads, cop a feel so we can get on a plane. They say give up more to be safe from terrorism, and so many willingly accept it. They say Democrats want DEATH PANELS for Grandma, and people lap it up as fact. Its working for the Government why not for LulzSec?

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t understand the concept of free speech? Do we even have free speech any more? I thought I gave up my first amendment rights, along with fourth amendment rights, and any others that have been deemed “inoperative” so the government can wage war with impunity on any peasant they wish across the globe?

      We already live in a world where we censor ourselves out of fear of retaliation, wake up. It’s time to fight back. Our system is broken already, and it wasn’t “lulzsec” that did it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Please understand my fellow consumers: Millions of people are putting their faith into corporations that have shown contempt for our privacy and our liberty. This is unacceptable and must be met with WRATH until we are able to have a civil discussion with a smaller giant. Should Sony decide that it is in their interests to release a substantial donation to the opensource framework for future gaming development, I’m sure lulz and the like would reconsider their position. Until then.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Where was your outrage when your country decided to operate under secret law? Where was your outrage when the President sanctioned the assassination of dozens of American citizens? Where was your outrage when the DoJ rebranded Water Torture as Waterboarding? Where was your outrage when your government setup rendition agreements with foreign countries and then flew people there for torture without the benefit of a trial? Where was your outrage when the US Supreme Court declined to take the case of 5 people that were renditioned and tortured? Where is your outrage about the roving wiretaps, the random police checkpoints, the warrantless use of GPS tracking devices, and other erosions of your freedoms?

    Stop acting like sheeple and try doing something positive with your life. Don’t run around yammering about the folks that took risks and tried to do SOMETHING about this stuff. Protests don’t work and writing to your congressman is a waste of your time so come up with a realistic way of fixing some of this stuff and then act on it. THEN you have a right to talk about somebody elses effort to change this stuff. Until then, you’re just another arm chair commander that’s passively watching their rights slip away and the national security state gets bigger.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Maybe, just for a couple seconds, everyone that’s crapping on Frontline should wonder if they just reported the facts that they had? Manning *was* a very troubled individual at the time of this incident, Julian Assange *is* a bit of self-centered dickhead, and the release of the *State Dept* docs might have been the catalyst for the Arab Spring. I agree with the one guy above who points out that Frontline didn’t use the term “alleged” in describing his actions, but everything else about the episode was fairly straight-forward and consistent with both the mainstream and independent reporting on this subject.

    If they had spun it the way that Wikileaks supporters want to believe it should be spun, that somehow would make it *good* journalism?

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is ridiculous. There are more effective ways to protest, without using a full on hacker takeover and censorship.

    But I guess this is all you can expect from a Lulz factory.

  10. Anonymous says:

    It’s war. Sources that pretend accountability (it’s always about the financing) will get harassed. Get used to it.

    PBS is like a prostitute that gets paid by someone else to pretend to be your girlfriend. Likewise tv news, papers etc..

  11. Anonymous says:

    “So, being unhappy with a single Frontline episode justifies an attack on all PBS? Even those unaffiliated with the program?”

    -In the same respect, the Department of Justice is perfectly fine with inproperly jailing citizens on trumped up charges in the name of ‘the greater good’. What’s a Sony hack in comparison to these greater issues? A little perspective is in order..

  12. Spinkter says:

    Jeeze, not one comment about how PBS should have, you know, kept its infrastructure secure by fixing vulnerabilities in their public-facing servers that have been known for quite a while (weeks).

    If you leave your doors unlocked and your windows open, then it’s no longer “breaking and entering” when a thief walks into your house; it’s just stupidity.

    • jacques45 says:

      Yes, it’s not “breaking and entering” if the door is unlocked, it’s criminal trespass or burglary with unlawful entry. And failure to patch in a span of weeks isn’t exactly leaving the doors open.

      You can split hairs all day long, but as soon as those asshole kids posted passwords and emails, they lost any semblance of higher moral ground.

    • jowlsey says:

      >If you leave your doors unlocked and your windows open, then it’s no longer “breaking and entering” when a thief walks into your house

      Sorry for going on a tangent, but I’m nearly certain that you’re mistaken there…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burglary

    • Anonymous says:

      I do not understand what the problem was, they were using the same security best practices list that Sony uses….. oh… yeah…
      nevermind…

    • Anonymous says:

      This doesn’t mean, however, that “breaking and entering” is either ethical or justified. Someone else’s bad behavior doesn’t absolve anyone of their own bad behavior. Nor does awareness of another’s weakness rationalize bullying them. These are just excuses used by the smugly self-righteous to appoint themselves, their viewpoints, and their actions as arising from a position of self-appointed authority.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is a stupid argument.

      “Parents are responsible for caring for their children. But parents leave their own throats woefully unprotected. Therefore, if i slash said throats and leave their children orphaned it’s their own fault for ignoring due diligence.”

      Negligence doesn’t afford crime a free pass.

      • Spinkter says:

        “Negligence doesn’t afford crime a free pass”

        Negligence ENABLES crime, which is tantamount to giving “crime a free pass”. Sony and PBS have learned this lesson the hard way.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Negligence doesn’t afford crime a free pass.”

        Yup. Most crimes are crimes of opportunity. This does not in any way mitigate the fact that they are still crimes.

  13. GregH says:

    Man, this kind of level-headed and appropriate response to seeing something you disagree with will really help change some minds and get people on the right side of the internet censorship/net neutrality debates… Good work fellas.

  14. RyanH says:

    Protest has always been about denial of service in order to gain media attention. Forty years ago perhaps a sit-in with a hundred people would get some attention. Locking yourself to the gates might get a camera crew wanting to know why you were doing it.

    Now? A sit-in would be lucky to get a five second mention on the local news. And 4.5 of those would be complaining about the inconvenience.

    Denial of service has evolved

    Anyone who says this is not valid activism or protest is really saying they wish the protest was happening in some way that didn’t personally inconvenience them. Anyone who says that only old ways of protesting count is really asking for protests to happen in ways they can ignore.

    That said, this hack is also kind of a dick move. But then, so is most protest to at least some extent.

  15. jere7my says:

    Well done! I have been won over, and am now sympathetic to their cause.

  16. lolipop says:

    I was sympathetic to the cause from the get go. The Frontline episode had no discussion of the deplorable confinement Bradley Manning is experiencing and every clip of Julian Assange just made him look down right creepy.

    • Anonymous says:

      “every clip of Julian Assange just made him look down right creepy. ”

      it must’ve taken some crazy l33t photoshop skilz to pull that off!

  17. Punchcard says:

    I’ve found a useful trick in determining if something is a responsible action in a politically charged environment. Imagine your your most diametrically opposed political rival doing the exact same thing to you. It is amazing how may conservatives state that they are totally fine with things like wiretapping activist groups until you suggest “imagine this power in the hands of Hillary Clinton…” and watch their eyes widen.

    So, those of you who think this is how grown-ups should behave when the disagree with the coverage of a story, I hope you would be fine if some Freep-fueled group came along and trashed Boing-Boing because they felt likewise.

    • CLP says:

      So, those of you who think this is how grown-ups should behave when the disagree with the coverage of a story, I hope you would be fine if some Freep-fueled group came along and trashed Boing-Boing because they felt likewise.

      I agree completely.

      It’s never been easier for average people to get their messages out. A much better way to express displeasure about Frontline’s reporting is to start a blog. Anyone with the technical expertise to hack PBS’s web site can certainly figure out how to get some web hosting and set up a WordPress installation. Hacking PBS’s web site demonstrates a lack of imagination–and a lack of appreciation of the grave danger in legitimizing these kinds of actions.

  18. Anonymous says:

    With so much crap going on in the world that needs dealing with, this is just a waste of time.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think this is a perfect time for hacktivists (I use it loosely). I’m excited again. I saw stuff in ASCII again. Just the other day I was so bored with the sameoldsame I went seeking Zone-H and their hacked sites archive. Gone. Next trek was to Attrition. I howled when I saw for the first time in years, the name Cult of the Dead Cow and L0ph Industries and I spent many happy hours digging into the early net.

      I exit, singing “Happy Days Are Here Again”, thankful for LulzSac and Anonymous. I wonder if Elvis was with Tupac.

    • Anonymous says:

      “With so much crap going on in the world that needs dealing with…”

      Indeed. The deliberately biased reportage, engineered to further sideline a call for government openness and accountability, is just the sort of crap that needs to be dealt with.

  19. mozTom says:

    Who is surprised that a documentary funded by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation or whatever is gonna be pro-america?

    Actually… they seem to be anti-PATRIOT ACT, so maybe? http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/are-we-safer/

  20. emmdeeaych says:

    Yeah, that documentary was actually a docu-drama, and was singularly not up to PBS’ normal standards. I can lulz at this.

  21. wierdbeard says:

    Wow. Frontline is some of the best journalism on television, or anywhere for that matter. Its one of the few programs that has demonstrated again and again that it holds very few allegiances, and only aims to fully understand the issues it covers and further the dialogue. Way to further the cause, gentleman. Attack PBS, one of the only bastions of non partisan hackery left. Kudos, really. Your SURE to gain WIDE support this way.

    • emmdeeaych says:

      I’m singling that episode out for specific criticism. In the episode they were staging facebook chats that might have happened with ones that did. It turned me off, and yes, tarnished their rep a bit imho.

      And fyi, the hackery involved with Assange and Wikileaks is already non-partsan. Red and Blue alike want to keep those secrets controlled.

    • mediahacker says:

      Maybe I’m too young to have built up some idea of FRONTLINE’s longstanding reputation, but I can tell you last year they aired an absolutely terrible, highly sensational documentary about violence in post-quake Haiti. So, no, they’re not everything they’re cracked up to be.

    • Anonymous says:

      Um, no. Anyone who works in public broadcasting knows that the people who hold the purse strings have been gunning to kill it for its supposedly “liberal” bias for quite some time now, and anything that is produced within its structure definitely self-censors to appease the money men. Do some research before babbling the typical boomer They Produce Quality Journalism party line.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Remember kids: The internet is all about freedom of speech. Unless our Lulz warriors don’t like what you’re saying.

    Cognitive dissonance.

  23. cleek says:

    “…and every clip of Julian Assange just made him look down right creepy.”

    that must have taken some mad photoshop skillz!

  24. Anonymous says:

    @Anon #149

    You are insanely presumptuous to assume that people can’t be outraged by both the actions of hacktivists and the actions of the government.

    But the idea that hacking PBS and posting stupid old ass meme pics is a fix is laughable.

    You calling anyone a sheep is just as laugable. Lulsec and the hacktivists are just as sheepish as anyone else. You do realize there is a group called Anon that LITERALLY considers itself a collective. That is way more fucking sheep. At least with people taking political action they don’t have to stand for every single thing their party does if they don’t agree with it.

    You don’t need to do anything to ‘have the right’ to talk about something or have an opinion. I am pretty fucking sure nobody that is pro-wikileaks was effected by the leaks but it doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to their opinion. And that is the difference. People thinking differently than you is not a reason to attack them.

    And even though you probably know shit all of the effectiveness of protest and letter writing you are still allowed to have your historically inaccurate opinion.

    At the end of the day this just comes down to common courtesy and rationality. This isn’t a rational response. This is the effect of internet anonymity. At least other people admit to just doing it to be assholes, I actually find that more acceptable. But don’t act like you are doing it for the world when you are just being a douche. This hacktivist bullshit does more harm to the average joe than the government does.

    If these are the actions of what is supposedly the conscientious hackers then what the fuck is gonna happen when people with action malicious intent start to run around in large groups? We are going to get to a point where these sort of attacks happen constantly. And security can only get one so far, they are always one step behind the attackers.

  25. GrrrlRomeo says:

    They hacked PBS, which on the whole is rather diverse and independent, because they didn’t agree with one episode of one program? Way too much collateral damage. Wikileaks isn’t the only thing that matters in the world.

  26. caseym54 says:

    New motto: “Information wants to be free, except for mine.”

  27. Anonymous says:

    Glad that somebody is finally taking on such shameless propaganda, PBS deserved it. In this age of lawlessness running amok in American halls of power I hope to see this kind of thing grow.

  28. EH says:

    Frontline committed sins of omission. It simply wasn’t very good journalism, and identifiable bias is what you get the less even-handed you are.

    P.S. Anon: maybe you should rethink that “using the same password everywhere” strategy. Heck, why even give PBS a password in the first place? What do you get for it?

  29. MarkM says:

    Love how everyone’s bending over backwards to defend cowardly vigilantism. And it wouldnt matter who they were hacking, with the exception of the Axis Powers during WW2. If you want to protest, break the law, and do civil disobedience thats one thing; you’re actually risking your freedom for a cause. Here, these guys just attack people, companies, institutions, sometimes seemingly on a whim, at no risk to themselves, dispensing “justice” as they see fit. They’re, generally, disgusting. I guess everyone here needs to get their own computers hacked and rendered worthless for them to consider that, “Yeah, dude, that’s not cool.”

    Don’t agree with [insert Anonymous' hive-mind generated viewpoint]?
    Get hacked.
    It’s the law.

    • Anonymous says:

      from post #12 “If you want to protest, break the law, and do civil disobedience thats one thing”

      How is temporarily hacking a website anything different than civil disobedience? Sorry, but this is the equivalent of staging a sit-in, to not allow people to get into the store… while putting up a few fake advertisements. Civil Disobedience in the traditional sense is actually far more damaging physically, materially, and usually for the public image for a company than temporarily hacking a website.

      Quite honestly, why SHOULD somebody risk their freedom for a cause, when they can fight longer and in a more organised fashion by doing it anonymously? Would you have condemned the people of India in a struggle against the British Empire if they had used internet hacking tactics as one of their methods for removing the British Empire? Would you have condemned them if they merely did it to make life for the British Empire harder? I don’t think you would have. I think you just have a hard-on for the state, and believe ourselves to be in a system that can fix itself… I believe that you believe we have reached the end of history, the time from which point all things will function the same, and all things can be fixed by using the system itself.

    • princeminski says:

      Well, I swallowed hard and turned to the Comments to see if everybody was going to be in lockstep mode in favor of any hacking ever and particularly hacking in “retaliation” against less than worshipful regard of Wikileaks and poor widdle Bradley. It certainly started off that way, but sanity began creeping in fairly early in the comments. Hats off, MarkM and numerous others. If PBS is going to be the enemy, what in God’s name is Fox News? I heard plenty of that “if you’re not 108% my way you’re as bad as Bank of America” back in the Sixties. It was crap then and it is crap now. Comic books are fun, but let’s not turn every aggressive nuisance into “V for Vendetta.”

    • wrybread says:

      If you want to protest, break the law, and do civil disobedience thats one thing; you’re actually risking your freedom for a cause. Here, these guys just attack people, companies, institutions, sometimes seemingly on a whim, at no risk to themselves

      You call this no risk to themselves? The FBI will be knocking at someone’s door in 3..2..1.. And how is this motivated by a mere “whim” and not “a cause”? They’ve made it very clear that they’re protesting the unfair bashing of wikileaks.

      Whether you agree with their cause or their methods is another matter. But calling them “cowardly” simply because you personally don’t like them makes you sound like George Bush.

      • Anonymous says:

        See, the issue’s simple. F.B.I. uses a system of IP implanting. When you visit a website, your IP is logged on it. If you know the time of a visitor, and some other data, you can get an IP from the server, uses the ISP to get the users information.
        The fix?
        Use an IP blocker (common knowledge).
        The Lulz Boat shall continue to sail steady and true to correct what they consider are injustices.

      • pauldavis says:

        he called them cowardly because they almost certainly believe that they will not face any consequences for their actions and because they are not willing to stand up and identify themselves as being opposed to anything.

        that doesn’t mean that their position is wrong, but it does mean that they are cowards, particularly compared to many protestors in various campaigns in the past.

        case in point: the freedom riders so fantastically portrayed in the PBS-aired documentary in the middle of the month. compared to the freedom riders, the lulzsec group are a bunch of weenies when it comes to putting actually standing up for their convictions.

        • travtastic says:

          because they are not willing to stand up and identify themselves as being opposed to anything

          I got the idea from this that maybe they believed in Wikileaks and Manning.

          And really, do we actually have to compare this to the Freedom Riders? If I do a bunch of biking today, I don’t expect to hear snarky comments about how I’m no Lance Armstrong. Come on. You can disagree with something without being ridiculous about it.

          • pauldavis says:

            I got the idea from this that maybe they believed in Wikileaks and Manning.

            And really, do we actually have to compare this to the Freedom Riders? If I do a bunch of biking today, I don’t expect to hear snarky comments about how I’m no Lance Armstrong. Come on. You can disagree with something without being ridiculous about it.

            I never made the claim that they didn’t believe in anything. I said that they didn’t want to stand up and be counted as believing in something.

            As for the comparison with the freedom riders… well, it was something of a spur of the moment comparison driven mostly by having seen the documentary on PBS last month. But it does count for something, because its not as if the freedom riders got their napkins taken away as punishment – they were beaten, attacked and locked up in one of the worst prisons in mississippi. Its not that lulzsec “are no freedom riders”, its that the freedom riders are examples of the sort of basic standards for what it means to stand up for something in a way that actually risks something – i.e. not being a coward.

            Re: the cycling/lance comparison: If you went down to your local spin class and claimed you had been out on an epic 180km mountain pass spanning ride, I think I’d feel fine noting that you’re no lance armstrong. If you put the work into a decent ride, sweated a bit, wondered if you could actually get over the next hill, then you’re as justified in calling yourself as cyclist as lance is. lulzsec went to the spinning class and claimed they went out for the epic ride. i rest my case.

          • zoink says:

            You can disagree with something without being ridiculous about it.

            Wait, I’m confused. Which party was being ridiculous in its reaction? The freedom riders putting their lives on the line to stop institutionalized segregation and disenfranchisement, or LulzSec taking down PBS’ website and publishing its sensitive info because they didn’t think an episode of Frontline was fair?

          • travtastic says:

            Neither? What?

          • zoink says:

            Sorry, I misparsed the “You” in your comment as a generic “you” referring to the actors in this drama rather than as a specific “you” referring to pauldavis.

  30. querent says:

    Vandalism

    vs

    a supposedly progressive media outlet deliberately choosing not to talk about the military abusing and psychologically torturing an alleged whistleblower.

    One of these gets me more upset than the other.

    • Cowicide says:

      Hmmm…. Priorities, priorities…

    • pauldavis says:

      a supposedly progressive media

      eh? Frontline is a documentary show on PBS. who said anything about it being “supposedly progressive” ? why would you think this?

      clearly, you’re upset. but it seems to me that you’re upset mostly because your concept of what Frontline “is” has been challenged by the way they covered this issue. or are you actually claiming that the position that Frontline took with their coverage is completely untenable and that in essence they lied by omission?

      • querent says:

        “who said anything about it being “supposedly progressive” ?”

        A point. Replace “supposedly progressive” with “supposedly objective” or “supposedly capable of deviation from the government’s spin” and the statement stands. Thanks.

        I’m claiming PBS lied by omission, and that they did so deliberately. There’s no way that they could not be aware of the international outcry over Manning’s treatment, but they chose not to cover that aspect of the story at all (and assumed his guilt throughout).

        This is what upsets me; it is not the case the my perception of Frontline has changed. Thanks for the request for clarification.

        • Goblin says:

          Well too bad for you and the other sympathizers this issue is no longer about the simple veracity of a program’s reporting.

          Acts of digital vandalism certainly don’t win the cause any territory on the moral high ground.

          • Cowicide says:

            Well too bad for you and the other sympathizers this issue is no longer about the simple veracity of a program’s reporting.

            Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

            This issue is no longer about corporatist bullshatters bullshitting the bullshitees. Speak of it no more!

            The King has spoken!

  31. Zadaz says:

    Man, nothing like a giant dick move make a medium-sized dick move look pretty acceptable.

    The acceptable response to having a poor meal is not to break into the restaurant and shit all over everything. It just makes you look psychotic and makes everyone feel sorry for the restaurant.

  32. Anonymous says:

    PBS is not acting as Pravda, its actions are much less serious. At the same time, the hackers here are not acting as book-burners, their actions are much less serious. It amazes me how many people are judging this by rejecting one hyperbole and accepting the other.

  33. Counterglow says:

    This whole situation really has me shaking my head. First of all, Frontline really seemed to slip on this story. Second, the attack is ‘way over the line in view of the generally high standards of both Frontline and PBS.

  34. Anonymous says:

    PBS serves the state, as do many (most?) of the commenters here.

    The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens. Others, as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders, serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God. A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men, serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.

    Thoreau was something of a poseur, but he did see more clearly than most. The great crime of the 21st century is acting in accordance with your beliefs – nothing is more dangerous to the existing power structures than people who will take independent action. There’s no head on that snake to chop off!

  35. Matt Cornell says:

    I don’t support the hack, but I would love to see a critical discussion of the problems with PBS’ and now the Guardian’s treatments of Manning and Wikileaks. I wonder if that will ever happen, or if the spectacle of lulz will grab all the attention, at BB and elsewhere.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      RTFpost, Matt, the link is right up top. Been on that since the night it debuted.

      http://boingboing.net/2011/05/24/frontline-on-wikilea.html

      • Matt Cornell says:

        Thanks Xeni, I read this post when it went up. The recap seemed a little tepid to me, only quoting Greg Mitchell’s “yawner” assessment at any length. To me, there were many problems with the coverage, and I suppose rather than cursing BB’s rather muted response (or for that matter, Glenn Greenwald’s inexplicable silence), I should finally write a damn blog post about it, because it really bugged me. But, in the meantime, here are some key issues.

        1) They focused almost exclusively on “personalizing” Manning’s motives, with special emphasis on his homosexuality. They never mentioned any philosophical, political or altruistic motives, though these are plainly articulated in the alleged Lamo chats.

        Frontline’s narrative was that Manning, isolated by the military, and muzzled by DADT, lashed out in anger and confusion– one form of deviance (gayness) inevitably leading to another (leaking.)

        Had he only been accepted by the military, he never would have been forced to seek revenge through leaking. Pity the tragic homo Manning, who was “taken advantage of” by the predatory Assange and the Boston hackers.

        It’s a great way to package this story for American liberals, who probably don’t mind having gays in the military, but get nervous when whistleblowers start embarrassing a Democratic President.

        2) Adrian Lamo as expert. Not one hard question for him, despite numerous problems with his credibility.

        3) No discussion of the actual content of the leaks. Though lip service was paid generally to the importance of whistleblowing by some of those interviewed, not a single revelation (other than Collateral Murder) was even mentioned. 20,000 censored Iraq casualties? Clinton spying scandal? Nothing. Vague references to Tunisian corruption do not count.

        4) No real discussion of Manning’s treatment at Quantico (esp forced nudity). No discussion of criticism by Amnesty International and the UN. PJ Crowley is interviewed, but the circumstances of his firing are not mentioned. Major omissions.

        5) PBS posted Manning’s personal Facebook wall to their website, while refusing to disclose how they acquired it. This was a little creepy. Would they treat a powerful person in a similar way? And really, what is the actual news value of this?

        6) Most important, the doc treats Manning as if he were already guilty. They never use the word “alleged.” Not even once. Since this documentary coincided with the Grand Jury proceedings against Manning and Wikileaks, one can’t help but feel that Frontline is making the government’s case for them in this documentary. The only political risk Obama might be taking in the crackdown on whistleblowers is to alienate his liberal base. Along comes PBS (and its liberal demographic) with the kinder, gentler case for sending Assange and Manning to prison for life. Funny how that works.

        During the Pentagon Papers, Kissinger wanted Nixon to leak stories claiming that Ellsberg killed Vietnamese peasants and was fond of fucking his wife in front of the kids. Could Ellsberg have survived a smear campaign in a 2011 media environment?

        • coaxial says:

          6) Most important, the doc treats Manning as if he were already guilty. They never use the word “alleged.” Not even once.

          True, but what’s the practical effect? If Manning’s lawyer was claiming that he wasn’t the leak, then there would be an effect, but I have yet to hear a single supporter of Manning or Wikileaks claim that he wasn’t the source of the leaks. If you can point me to such a statement by someone associated with the Wikileaks scandal, then I’ll yield the point. The defense I have heard was essentially a greater good defense, but even that accepts the claim that Manning leaked the classified information.

        • querent says:

          Hear hear.

          This is awesome. It’s not censorship; PBS said what it wanted to say and will be back online to say more. This is a response, and a culturally appropriate one, to the serious omissions and biases in a very important story.

          Ok, releasing the viewer’s passwords takes this out of the realm of the “political” and into the realm of the “outlaw,” but I can still dig it. (And not using the same password for more than 1 site is internets 101.)

          The Wikileaks/Assange/Manning story has VERY SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN JOURNALISM. This should be clear. Any serious media organization should be dealing very carefully with the story, and with the dangerous precedents being set.

          You’d thing that the American military torturing an alleged whistleblower would be significant enough to merit mention. One must wonder.

          • coaxial says:

            The Wikileaks/Assange/Manning story has VERY SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN JOURNALISM. This should be clear. Any serious media organization should be dealing very carefully with the story, and with the dangerous precedents being set.

            “Should be dealing very carefully with the story?” Well that sounds like a veiled threat. Seriously, what’s the diff between this and throwing a brick through a window? If you don’t like what’s being said, refute it. The counter to speech you don’t like is more speech, not threats, not violence, not vandalism. The mentality that everyone better only say what we like is the same mentality that motivates those that kill journalists. It’s completely illegitimate thug behavior. Those that perpetrated this attack aren’t heros. They’re not free speech crusaders. They’re actions betray the fact that they do not actually care about free speech at all. Lulzsec and others like them deserve to be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. They’re criminals plain and simple.

            While I may be sympathetic to Wikileaks, I all too often find myself despising its self-proclaimed supporters.

          • querent says:

            “Well that sounds like a veiled threat.”

            Not at all meant as a threat. To clarify and expand upon a single aspect of what I meant there:

            Any media organization that purports to tell the story of Wikileaks/Manning and assumes Manning’s guilt and omits, quite conspicuously, any mention of the inhumane treatment of the alleged whistleblower, does a great injustice to the future of journalism in this country (the US).

            I mean they should be dealing with this story carefully, not because I’m gonna get em if they don’t, but because it has such serious ramifications for the press as a whole. Without whistleblowers, we lose A LOT of info that we, the public, need. See “The Pentagon Papers” for reference.

            The difference between this and throwing a brick? When you throw a brick, it might hit someone. This is non-violent. I’d liken it more to tagging, as I did.

        • jphilby says:

          @#25: My reaction completely. I got 20 minutes into the piece and got tired of smelling rat. Sorry to say I’ve got the feeling Frontline has been badly compromised on this one. The insistent drumbeat on Manning – “He’s gay gay gay gay gay gay gay” – smells of the lowest-crawling cold-war yellow journalism.

        • mn_camera says:

          Count me as someone who welcomes Glenn Greenwald’s “inexplicable” silence.

          I look forward to Greenwald having innumerable unexpressed thoughts, hopefully sooner rather than later.

          If he’s such an advocate for civil liberties, there are plenty of people in need of the same who are poor, uneducated, and disenfranchised. Greenwald’s problem there is that they won’t generate headlines featuring his name, that’s all.

          • Matt Cornell says:

            You really got Glenn Greenwald pegged. He’s a total self-promoting careerist, obsessed with “generating headlines featuring his name.” Why doesn’t he do serious journalism? Like Judith Miller or Tom Friedman? Or, uh, Frontline?

            In all seriousness, if you’d like me to cite the many cases in which Greenwald has written on behalf of the “poor” and “disenfranchised,” I’d be happy to send you some links. Personally, I’d start with his writings on the criminal justice system and the drug war, then work my way through his columns on the impact of US foreign policy and its effects on civilians in the Middle East. That’d be a good start.

        • rebdav says:

          It is good to see the rare voice that understands that the world is not a simple battle of educated liberals vs fundamentalist conservatives but rather the already well financed plutocracy harvesting even greater riches from the ruled white and blue collar masses and throwing up the false lib/con smokescreen to confuse nearly all of the proles.

    • GrrrlRomeo says:

      Frontline is produced by one PBS station, WGBH out of Boston. It’s not “PBS’s treatment.” PBS isn’t organized like ABC or CNN.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Frontline is produced by one PBS station, WGBH out of Boston. It’s not “PBS’s treatment.” PBS isn’t organized like ABC or CNN.

        True, but WGBH produces more than 2/3 of PBS’s national primetime programming. It’s the mother of public television.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WGBH-TV

        • Anonymous says:

          The obvious BS ‘hacktivism’ hardly means things like this: http://www.tvbarn.com/archive/mailing-list-scandal-may-affect-local-public-broadcasters/ don’t mean people shouldn’t keep a critical eye on the state of ‘public’ media in the US.

          Dig a little deeper and watch the credits more closely before you take the published information about who produces what at face value. Look at the adverts, policies and the way funding sources are sometimes less than obvious before you assume the US enjoys truly independent public media.

          • Anonymous says:

            Re: Anon #30

            “Look at the adverts, policies and the way funding sources are sometimes less than obvious before you assume the US enjoys truly independent public media.”

            There is no such thing as “independent public media” if, by “public media”, you mean media that is subsidized by tax dollars. Tax dollar subsidized media will always be pro-government and will, ultimately, be a servant of the political class. Tax dollars undermine objectivity every bit as much as monies from foundations or private corporations.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Directly attacking a media outlet and doing the equivalent of smashing their printing presses because you disagree with a story they put out isn’t something anyone should be defending ever.

    This isn’t a morally grey issue or something where you can go ‘But they said…’ or ‘The mainstream media…’ or ‘But Hacktivisim….’

    This is a fundamental attack on the basis of a free society and everyone who supports it should be ashamed of themselves. You can’t bitch about Superinjuctions or libel reform in one breath and advocate this. You can’t advocate Wikileaks release of information and still advocate this. If you’re feeling anything other than disgust, you should go away and let the gorwnups talk.

    Also, Julian Assange is really creepy.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Directly attacking a media outlet and doing the equivalent of smashing their printing presses because you disagree with a story they put out isn’t something anyone should be defending ever. ”

      Really? smashing their printing presses….
      accessing some webcode destroyed every camera and editing suite they have access to?
      Putting out a story that Tupac is still alive, was them breaking fingers of everyone who writes scripts?

      They were slightly inconvenienced and made to look foolish, not threatened with bodily harm or had their offices burned to the ground. There were no threats of – report on this again and we come back.

      Did they make the video and story disappear?
      Did they make it be unseen?

      Did they accomplish what they set out to do? They have people debating their tactics as well as the coverage that lead to it. The coverage was “lacking” to put it kindly, and to be not kind it was meant to get people to accept the story that Manning and Assange are out to destroy us so we need to get them first.

      To compare a website defacing to destroying physical things and threatening people into silence… really?

  37. sumi says:

    It’s only a television program, FFS. As is, maybe this episode was not up to standards, but there are far worse things happening in the world that need attention. What a waste of time/effort.

  38. quicksand says:

    so much for free speech, guys.
    “We’re going to TAKE YOU DOWN for saying stuff we don’t like, coz u criticized a group that promotes free speech.”

    Irony overload alert! Irony overload alert! Irony overload alert! Irony overload alert!

  39. d913 says:

    I watched the Frontline special at PBS’s website this evening with no problems. I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to watch an hour-long thing at my computer if it weren’t for all the news about the PBS website hack.

    The effect seems to me much more like free advertising for PBS than any real protest or retribution. Nice job, hackers!

    LOL HI I EAT CHILDRENS and the accompanying picture are top-notch work, though.

  40. Anonymous says:

    So, being unhappy with a single Frontline episode justifies an attack on all PBS? Even those unaffiliated with the program?

    Yeah… that’s good for freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and open discussion…

    • Anonymous says:

      “So, being unhappy with a single Frontline episode justifies an attack on all PBS? Even those unaffiliated with the program?”

      Yes it does.

      “Yeah… that’s good for freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and open discussion…”

      What? Those are things the government provides you, not LulzSec. Besides, we don’t have freedom of speech, the press, or (especially) open discussion so those points are all moot. Neither do we have the right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizure, warrants without probable cause (if warrants at all), nor due process, unusual punishment, fair trial, etc. Read the PATRIOT act.

  41. Goblin says:

    Religious fervor has only two possible outcomes: self-righteousness or despair.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Free speech…what good is it with no action…Walk your Talk people, the ones that want to control back it up with war, so why can’t the rest of us have an opinion and also action it against the warmongers. EVIL PREVAILS WHEN GOOD MEN DO NOTHING. IT IS TIME TO RIGHT ALL WRONGS.

  43. Anonymous says:

    When news-gathering organizations stop covering WikiLeaks because they can’t afford the security upgrades to safeguard their servers from dissatisfied viewers, we’ll know the voices of online freedom have finally prevailed. Is that really the scenario to aspire to?

    • Anonymous says:

      Stating the truth is no longer enough. Stating the truth and backing it up with appropriate security measures is now an absolute requirement.

  44. goldmineguttd says:

    Now if only they’d take down NPR for its uncritical coverage of the ROSWELL WAS GENETICALLY MODIFIED CHILDREN FLYING A SPACESHIP FROM RUSSIA story.

    But srsly, way too broad a brush. I’m all for anonymous using it’s clout to bring stuff to the public’s attention, but come on, PBS??!??!?!

  45. Goblin says:

    Religious fervor has only two possible outcomes: self-righteousness or despair.

  46. Anonymous says:

    ohai LulzSec *wave wave wave*

    I see you peeking, hope you find the discussion worthwhile.

    I’d like follow you on Twitter and stuff, but they sell out details to people with britsh accents way to fast…. well that and you stole playing cards… I mean really….

  47. desiredusername says:

    Is this attack proof that Assange did not say to David Leigh of the Guardian regarding informants to the US, “These people were collaborators, informants. They deserve to die.” after all? Does the fact that Clinton ordered spying, or Bradley was in solitary without a conviction, prove that Assange did not rape those women?

    Is that how evidence works? That there is only one evil and one good institution or side? Because if you get on the side of the good guys you can do as you like, right?

    Or is this just like what the regime in Iran does, use the post-colonial history of foreign control of the Middle East as a way to currently control dissidents. Right? You can only be the criticizer or be worth criticism, not both right? Is that not the newest game in town?

    That episode of Frontline was pretty disappointing, as was the attack on Frontline. Frontline has typically been very good, though. Not sure how the LULzBoat, compares on that “typically very good” comparison, though.

    Watch the recent Kill/Capture and then tell me Frontline is becoming a mouthpiece, of government, corporations etc.

  48. Anonymous says:

    If WGBH via PBS wishes to take sides in the war vs 99.9% of the global population, I think this is the very smallest and friendliest kind of rebuke conceivable.

    It’s only a refreshing pause, though: the vast majority of “informed” people have already been quickly and eagerly conditioned to consider the idea of revealing wrongdoing *criminal* if done by The People.

    Cheers and thanks to the rebels; power to you. I’m sorry there are so few worthwhile, responsible, moral human beings left to save. Your efforts deserve a better beneficiary – I’m so sorry.

    I do hope it’s relatively clear that plutarchs are attacking the concept of whistle-blowing to *someone*.

    PBS will continue to shed pride like a mangy dog as it dies – not because of any particular issue, but simply because youtube and boingboing have more ZAZZ.

  49. jtegnell says:

    Wait… Tupac is still alive?!

    Isn’t that the real story here?

  50. Anonymous says:

    FYI, for some of you i have noticed that there is some confusion. Lulzsec is not the group anonymous. get that straight real quick. for all of you that are saying that lulzsec is full of cowards, i’m glad you are at least talking about this whole thing. lulzsec did their job. for once they are making you think about an issue that actually can effect your life. this is the point of these operations. to get the public thinking. because tell me, if this information wasnt out there, would you really be thinking about it? or would you just listened to what you were told? and assume everything is going right.

    oh and btw, yeah if boing boing got hacked tomorrow because they posted up a one sided story putting someone’s reputation through the gutter, hell yeah i would morally support it. but boing boing doesnt do this.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Hackers are turning me – someone who loathes G.W. Bush and everything he stands for – into a supporter of the kind of surveillance that will lead to the arrest and prosecution of these wingnuts. Good work!

  52. quicksand says:

    “I think this is the very smallest and friendliest kind of rebuke conceivable.”

    Well no, a polite email of complaint is the “smallest and friendliest kind of rebuke concievable.”

    This is censorship.

    • Cowicide says:

      This is censorship.

      Agreed. PBS only told the censored story of Wikileaks.

      A half-truth is a half-lie.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s all fine to have your opinion on the matter, but it doesn’t give you (or more accurately I presume, someone like you) the right to hack into someone’s website any more than it gives you the right to break into someone’s house who’s said something you don’t like.

        In the old days this is part of what we used to call pluralism, tolerance, and freedom of speech. Look it up if you aren’t familiar with any of these concepts, which, while imperfect, were a whole lot better than any alternative anyone else ever came up with.

        • Cowicide says:

          That’s all fine to have your opinion on the matter

          Thanks!

          but it doesn’t give you (or more accurately I presume, someone like you) the right to hack into someone’s website any more than it gives you the right to break into someone’s house who’s said something you don’t like.

          You should read what I said again. I merely pointed out that PBS is guilty of censorship.

          I don’t necessarily condone what the hacktivists did, but I do appreciated that more people are now aware of the butcher-job PBS did on Wikileaks. I’m glad the hacktivists were able to penetrate the Filter Bubble and bring this information past the corporatist censors and to the public.

          I’m also glad you can still go ahead and watch the hack-job censored bullshit on PBS despite this vicious, evil attack on them and that PBS somehow survived and can continue to show their corporatist bullshit and continue to bullshit the populace despite those dastardly hackers bent on censorship and nothing more.

          ^_^

    • Anonymous says:

      Censorship implies they a) took down the site or b) defaced the story itself.

      I think the point is that PBS took it upon themselves to self-censor their own story to support the government’s narrative and LulzSec wanted to demonstrate that a pack of bored hackers can put out just as equally useful and ultimately misleading or fake news.

  53. bardfinn says:

    Question: Did they fuck with Sesame Street?
    Answer: No.
    Result: They get to keep lulzing.

    Do not fuck with the S’Street. You will never see the Snuffleupagus coming.

  54. Modusoperandi says:

    So what’s next for them, breaking into the Children’s Television Workshop after being disappointing by an episode of Sesame Street?

    • Anonymous says:

      when they do it, there will be a good reason.
      Like caving into the fear that seeing Katy Perry will turn their children into raving sex addicts because they saw some of her breast.
      It does not matter you can see more on any given soap opera or street corner, but we must censor Sesame Street… and they did.

  55. Modusoperandi says:

    bardfinn, great minds think alike. Also, ours.

  56. elk says:

    This is just a selfish, self-righteous, indiscriminate bludgeoning with no nuanced (much less, lasting) take away message.

    Too f-ing bad for everyone else using the site, and perhaps another blight on PBS to justify even less financial support.

    Hacker isn’t AT ALL an appropriate or accurate word for nerd thugs and tech vandals. These goons are far too naive to realize they’re own massive irony as free speech hypocrites.

  57. elk says:

    WTF Boing? Hackers improve things, attackers destroy things. You should be the first to distinguish btwn the two.

  58. Anonymous says:

    More interesting is the lack of rolling backwards on the twitter of LulzSec.
    They seem to have been causing “problems” for many different entities.
    I think the telling one was that someone in power at Fox uses seattle(or something like that, I blame the ADD) as a global password for EVERYTHING.
    They are working on something involving the FBI, and 3100 ATM’s (in the UK I think… again I blame the ADD).

    PBS has been corrupted, the fear of funding cuts and other hassles has them cowering against the pressure.
    If you doubt this there was a PBS special program about global piracy etcetcetc.
    National Geographic Special, Illicit: The Dark Trade
    Hosted by Peter Coyote and funded by the US Chamber of Commerce.
    It made the argument that every time someone buys a knock off purse on the street you open the door for a terrorist to get into the country. While they did cover some valid points, bad people making fake drugs from road line paint, they also tried to paint the picture of billions in losses when someone hears a song they did not purchase.
    And this was presented on PBS, and unless you paid attention to who paid for it you were meant to not question it.

  59. damiro says:

    Why could they have not produced a report of their own, detailing all the problems with the Frontline piece, then hack in and insert that? That would be real irony: using the media outlet you disagree with to spread your own version of the facts. Why the malicious password disclosures of (perhaps naive and not politically radical-enough) PBS viewers? Instead of an actual attempt to remedy the unbalanced (in their view) reporting of the story, they broke the windows, threw in a Molotov cocktail, then jumped up and down while twatting “We did this ’cause ! So therefore we are right and you should listen to us!”

    • elk says:

      That layer of laziness you describe is part of why it’s so self-righteous and chicken shit IMO. Few things worse than chicken shits who think they’re clever.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Whether or not they agree with Frontline’s coverage, that is no justification to punish Frontline VIEWERS by publishing our passwords. Some people use the same password on multiple sites, so they just punished a bunch of innocent bystanders with their little tirade. Not cool or funny.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Some people use the same password on multiple sites, so they just punished a bunch of innocent bystanders with their little tirade.”

      Seriously?!?!

      With all of the recent hacking activity, your main take away has been – “I think using the same password everywhere is the best practice I can have.”

      I can overlook slanted yellow journalism
      I can over look a “news” team looking past the difficult questions of torture against someone not convicted of a crime
      I can overlook my Government chipping away at my rights and my right to be informed
      I can overlook my Government doing the same things they publicly denounce in other countries
      I can overlook being forced to work harder and longer so someone rich enough doesn’t have to give up 1% of their million+ income.
      Just don’t make it so I have to use different passwords everywhere, this… this is what is important.

      *stares blankly and blinks while brain reboots*

      You were never on teh interwebs before AOL made it possible were you?

      Their goal was not to have your Facebook hacked and have stupid things posted in your name to appear on LameBook, but by using a singular password you made it possible. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but some of that is your own fault.

      President Skroob: Did it work? Where’s the king?
      Dark Helmet: It worked, sir. We have the combination.
      President Skroob: Great. Now we can take every last breath of fresh air from Planet Druidia. What’s the combination?
      Colonel Sandurz: 1-2-3-4-5
      President Skroob: 1-2-3-4-5?
      Colonel Sandurz: Yes!
      President Skroob: That’s amazing. I’ve got the same combination on my luggage.
      Dark Helmet, Colonel Sandurz: [looks at each other]

      It is quite possible they wanted to make a statement about one of the last “news” outlets seen as uncorrupted, selling the party line and making the waters dirty because Julian Assanage has got to be guilty of something we can make stick.
      He is guilty of making our lawmakers look like fools, and this is different than any other day because he has proof they can’t slap a secret label on and hide in a drawer from the public.

      Manning doing what he did was boiled down to – Cause he’s gay…
      I guess the people who are calling for his blood have never had a crisis of conscience, probably because the lack one in the first place. It is nice that among all of the other problems I get to face in life because of small minded bigots, now I can be seen as untrustworthy because of who I sleep with rather than my actions. The lengths some will goto to prop up DADT.

  61. bardfinn says:

    All joking (and reprasenting tha S’Street) aside, this “hack” is, in fact, one hundred and fifty thousand dollars’ worth of jelly beans cascading down onto the expresstrip. You give me a choice between Everett C. Marm and the Ticktockman – I’ll don motley every time.

    Don’t be slaves of [a metaphor for the military-industrial complex], it’s a helluva way to die. Down with the Ticktockman!

  62. Anonymous says:

    Let me understand this.

    You stand for freedom of speech and are against censor ship.

    In a subtle slight way someone disagrees with you.

    So you take insane action on them until they change their opinion to yours.

    This makes sense?

  63. Anonymous says:

    It’s a bit scary that this hacker group attacked PBS because it did not like a news story re. Wikileaks. Such attacks on free speech are an attempt to force others to toe their line and report only what they want. It’s nothing but blatant censorship of views they want silenced. Censorship of the press is especially chilling.

    Unless PBS actually requests the FBI to conduct an investigation, which most victims of hacking attacks do not do, then such attacks go unpunished: so yes, it would be considered a cowardly attack. They believe they can hack, deface, disrupt and censor others with impunity.

    It sounds like the actions of a bunch of elementary kids. Don’t like something? Bully it and silence it. Engage in real, thoughtful debate? No. Punch first, ask silence questions later.

  64. Neon Tooth says:

    Talk about not choosing your battles.

    This installment did indeed appear to be a little slanted against Assange et al.

    That said:

    Frontline is otherwise 100% dead on when it comes to all its other programs. They attacked one of the few if only hard hitting investigative shows that’s been uncompromising when tackling issues of Wall St. fraud, credit card fraud, war issues, insurance, the economy and so on. This is one of the few resources that is actually on the citizen’s side, and one that regularly exposes and brings transparency to some of the biggest problems facing this country.

  65. Anonymous says:

    “Why the malicious password disclosures of (perhaps naive and not politically radical-enough) PBS viewers?”

    I have heard this repeated… and I see nothing in the story here or from other sources about viewer details being released. Can someone please confirm once and for all if this is true or just another red herring.

    • damiro says:

      Anon, you may be right, and I am guilty of mindlessly repeating an unverified statement that I just read. However, I think that to expose the passwords of PBS employees is still kind of a shitty thing to do. I am a proud supporter of PBS and NPR, with all their flaws, just as I love this country, with all of its flaws. They do a lot of good work, and at the very least they expose their listeners to a wider range of opinions, and international news, than you generally get from fast-food joints like CNN, FOX, ABC, etc. This is going to cost them time and money. To go back to the oft-used burglary analogy, LulzSec unlocked the door and left it open for whatever malicious idiots that happen to walk by. It’s childish. Reasoned argument will sway more minds in the long run than electronic histrionics, IMHO.

      • Anonymous says:

        While it will cost them time to recover from that, doesn’t it say something about our society when they need to go to such extremes to actually get noticed by the media?

        If they had just defaced a webpage, it would have gotten under 5 seconds on the news… if it was mentioned at all.

        Because heaven forbid we don’t spend more time wondering if Sarah Palin is or isn’t going to run, and will the book by the former staffer help or hurt her.

        In the mile a minute media flow, many things that are important are glossed over. Hell the local media in my market barely mentioned the Sony outage, except to repeat the claim it was Anonymous behind it.

        Sadly this is how you get attention now, we play the games saying the other side is this that or the other. We push the envelope of agenda vs truth… Death Panels… Abortion Murderers… Kenyan….. “Traditional Marriage”…. Obamacare…. these all serve an agenda. It would be nice to ignore the agenda, and focus on the real issues facing us.

        While I do see your point, I hope that you can see mine. And I think that is the most telling thing about this, is you can have a rational discussion while having opposing viewpoints on the matter. This is not an either or moment, this is causing a discussion covering the span of “Hacktivism”, Apparent Media Self Censoring, Torture, Ideals, Betrayal, Security, and a wide range of topics. Sadly rational discussions are an endangered thing in our society, so many people just identify as this or that or the other. All of their decisions are fed to them by the media outlet of choice, and they never stop to contemplate beyond the “party” platform.

        It worries me sometimes how many good ideas might be unnoticed –
        Well this Senator is very concerned about turning ICE into a division of Disney, but I can’t support him because he is with them… the evil ones that think Abortion is wrong! We look no further to find out while he personally believes abortion is wrong, he does not believe it should be legislated. We grow to concerned over easy hot button issues. I guess it is easier to believe that all Republicans are AntiChoice and ProBusiness, rather than look at the statements and records of how he votes.

        • damiro says:

          While I do see your point, I hope that you can see mine. And I think that is the most telling thing about this, is you can have a rational discussion while having opposing viewpoints on the matter. This is not an either or moment, this is causing a discussion covering the span of “Hacktivism”, Apparent Media Self Censoring, Torture, Ideals, Betrayal, Security, and a wide range of topics. Sadly rational discussions are an endangered thing in our society, so many people just identify as this or that or the other. All of their decisions are fed to them by the media outlet of choice, and they never stop to contemplate beyond the “party” platform.

          Thank you, Anonymous (heh heh…oh the irony…) This is what is missing in our much-sought after but never fully realized “national debates” that I keep hearing politicians pay lip service to. I do see your point, and I thank the many commenters here who have given me much to research in the next few days, and weeks, and months, etc.
          I still think Lolz pulled a dirty stunt, but I’m pretty sure that some good is coming of it. In my case, a broadening of my perspective and knowledge base about some very complex issues. I just worry whenever I sense an “end-justifies-the-means” attitude. So I’m of two minds on the matter, which I think is a pretty good place to start.
          I am certainly guilty of knee-jerking at times. I think we all need to face truth of our own biases and try to overcome them with, say, a little rational dialogue.

  66. Anonymous says:

    That poor kid. What a weight to carry.

  67. Anonymous says:

    There ought to be a law!!! maybe the ones who want lots of laws and government control of the net. are creating false flag events to get the public to say THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW!!!! in any case if it the government or them the result will be the same.

  68. Anonymous says:

    first off, this wasn’t a pointless attack. it was in response to how frontline painted the picture of bradley manning. which was as some abusive terrorist.

    bradley manning did the world a service by releasing documents the united states government deemed “classified” of which many were covering civilian deaths. videos like apache attack on rueters reporters Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh, and oh 2 children under the age of 10.

    believe what the state run media tells you. or do some reading from UNBIASED sources.

    there are so many things i love about america, but so many disgusting things lurking just under our rug.

    i feel the same way about religon and church, i love god and religon, but i hate the bureaucracy and hierarchical system in place that protects pedophiles, and promotes a pass into heaven for the right price.

    i love america, but i hate the bureaucracy and hierarchical system in place to keep us in fear. fear being the wool pulled over our eyes to distract us from the fact that they make money from war.

    “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex”

    • damiro says:

      believe what the state run media tells you. or do some reading from UNBIASED sources.

      In general I agree that people should balance their information intake. But remember this basic truth of the universe: NO source is unbiased. NOT ONE. To believe otherwise is to fall into the very trap you are warning us to avoid.

    • damiro says:

      believe what the state run media tells you. or do some reading from UNBIASED sources.

      In general I agree that people should balance their information intake. But remember this basic truth of the universe: NO source is unbiased. NOT ONE. To believe otherwise is to fall into the very trap you are warning us to avoid.

  69. Anonymous says:

    Yet another example that these folks (the wikileaks supporters) are not pro-free speech unless it is THEIR freedom to speak. Anyone else, especially if what you say is at odds with them or puts them in a negative light, will be targeted and shut-up.

    Thanks guys for showing your true colors. Now we know exactly what you’re about.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Yet another example that these folks (the wikileaks supporters) are not pro-free speech unless it is THEIR freedom to speak.”

      I’m sorry, they refused to listen to me for a very long time.

      Now more than ever they are starting to listen.

      Sony screws its customer base but not even having remotely enough security, and the powers that be sit by.

      Manning sits in jail walking the thin line of is it torture or not, for blowing the whistle about the hypocrisy we all suspected but were unable to prove.

      Our Government is spending much time and resources trying to demonize the man who had the platform to show us how the sausage is made. To expose the sheer audacity of those in charge, and the lengths they will go to to hide the truth.

      They are so terrified of the internet, they have decided that we have cyberwars… and if you screw with us in cyberspace WE WILL BOMB YOU.

      They whittle away our basic human rights, and they assume if they send us to the “designated demonstration” location where no one sees us, we do not matter.

      They protect the corporations at the expense of the people.

      Someone said they should stop turning everything into V for Vendetta, I think we only need once lesson to apply in the real world…
      [b]People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.[/b]
      Look around you as the vast numbers of dissatisfied people, one might think that our representational government is doing a shitty job. You can’t please all of the people all the time, but other than themselves and their corporate sponsors who the fuck are they pleasing?

      My only regret in all of this, is that they did not walk out of the Frontline server with emails showing what was cut and how it was spun so they could avoid “issues” with the powers that be. To have a report that is so unbalanced and ignores/omits the very real torture of someone simply charged with a crime is outrageous. No one died because of what was leaked, despite the claims that people would be killed and Manning and Assanage would both have blood on their hands.

      Given how much money and time they are spending pursuing this farce, one wonders how many more pieces of body armor or reenforced vehicles we could have sent to protect the people who are dying so we can be “free” from the outside terrorists. The price of freedom used to be vigilance, now its getting your 6 yr old felt up by the TSA because a detector went off.

      But its all ok, Manning did it because hes gay… and them gays are unbalanced when they can’t wear pink camo as outlawed by DADT. Or maybe when faced with the real truth of the situation he did something tangible to wake us the fuck up to how morally bankrupt as a nation we are.

  70. Pope Ratzo says:

    PBS has been increasingly becoming another outlet for the corporatist message, Frontline’s past success notwithstanding.

    I’m not really outraged by this.

  71. Anonymous says:

    I can’t wait for CBS to get hacked (“by a group not affiliated with Anonymous”) when they cancel CSI: Miami next year. Because of the lulz, ya know.

    This cult of personality thing is getting old. It sucks that Manning is in jail being kept in conditions closer to a Turkish prison than what anyone should face in the US while Lamo is free to be an asshole and Assange is a creep, but this sort of lame prank doesn’t exactly bring people to a sympathetic viewpoint. Is PBS going to cover this from a more unbiased viewpoint next time, or are they not going to cover it at all to avoid hurting the feelings of these petulant cowardly children, letting the situation creep further into the shadows of obscurity?

    And yes, this is cowardly. Clicking a button from miles away isn’t exactly being dragged away by the cops for a sit-in or even a protest in the Jefferson Memorial (just ask Bill Maher). It’s clicking a button from a script-kiddie program they downloaded. It’s more cowardly than the parents television jerks who bombard politicians with click-based form letters when someone slips and swears on TV — at least they sign their names. It’s digital graffiti, and it’s getting as old as the assholes who tag their names on public property to ruin it for the rest of us.

  72. Anonymous says:

    So…Wikileaks is going brownshirt.

    Not surprising. Actually, Assange seems like he would be a fascist leader…

    …if he could get his followers to leave their parent’s basements.

  73. Toff says:

    Hacking public broadcasting is not cool.

    What are those hackers, Republicans?

  74. Anonymous says:

    I dunno, something about this rubs me the wrong way. I think it boils down to the thought that this is a battle of free speech and should be fought with those weapons. If you disagree with the message of the episode, write a letter to them, to newspapers, your congressman or publish on a blog. In 1985 if I disagreed with an editorial in The New York Times a sane reaction would not have been to break in and foul up their printing presses and I see this as a similar action.

    Now, financial institutions barring (legal) donations to Wikileaks and legal defense of those involved, well I say that is a much more fitting target of internet ire. Let words fight words and actions fight actions.

  75. Anonymous says:

    People used to reference ‘Nazis’ to effectively end a discussion. Is invoking ‘Freedom Riders’ the new ‘Nazis’?

  76. Blue says:

    It’s OK, groups like Lulzsec (and those who share similar views) don’t have to do things like this because they have a voice in mainstream media, just like PBS, in which to share their points of view.

    [this space left blank intentionally for purposes of reflection]

  77. technogeek says:

    It seems ironic, and somewhat sad, to me that Wikileaks and its supporters should be objecting to information about Wikileaks being … uhm … leaked.

    Makes them look like poseurs.

    I mean, more so.

    • travtastic says:

      There should really be a button next to the comment box: it’ll automatically insert a boilerplate comment along the lines of “Leakers mad about leaks?!?! roflroflrofl!”.

  78. Anonymous says:

    “that doesn’t mean that their position is wrong, but it does mean that they are cowards, particularly compared to many protestors in various campaigns in the past.”

    Fair enough assessment. I myself am a cowardly loser, as I have been trained to be by the public school system. A cowardly loser that can hack as many computer systems as I care to, and possessing a wide variety of managerial, janitorial, and electromechanical engineering skills from working minimum wage jobs in factories all my life, but a cowardly loser still.

  79. querent says:

    Again, this is NOT CENSORSHIP. No one involved thought PBS would be permanently silenced, or that the documentary would be wiped from people’s minds.

    Frontline failed to deal fairly with an issue near to the hearts of many grey-hat hacker types and this offended group responded, voicing their displeasure in their own culturally idiomatic way.

    Their culturally appropriate response is a form of vandalism, and is illegal. That’s why it’s done anonymously. To call them cowards is silly; if someone spray-paints “LIAR” on a state-run media building in a totalitarian regime and runs before the cops show up, they’re not cowards. They’re pretty fucking brave, I’d say.

    • Punchcard says:

      I disagree with you. You will now be subject to my culturally appropriate response. By the way, it is illegal. I don’t know what your problem is. It is appropriate in my culture.

      • querent says:

        Did I miss your (illegal) response? I’m curious as to what I can infer of your culture from it. I’m hoping it’s creative and humorous.

    • coaxial says:

      Their culturally appropriate response is a form of vandalism, and is illegal. That’s why it’s done anonymously. To call them cowards is silly; if someone spray-paints “LIAR” on a state-run media building in a totalitarian regime and runs before the cops show up, they’re not cowards. They’re pretty fucking brave, I’d say.

      And if this was a state media outfit in a totalitarian regime, where only the state has access to the press, then you’d have a point, but none of these conditions exist.

      You’re right, this isn’t censorship. It’s intimidation.

      • querent says:

        “And if this was a state media outfit in a totalitarian regime, where only the state has access to the press, then you’d have a point, but none of these conditions exist.”

        All of these conditions are on a continuum, and we are at neither extreme of that continuum. This was meant as an analogy, not an isomorphism. I still have a point. :)

        • coaxial says:

          All of these conditions are on a continuum, and we are at neither extreme of that continuum. This was meant as an analogy, not an isomorphism. I still have a point. :)

          You always had a point; but having a point, doesn’t automatically make it appropriate or valid.

  80. Anonymous says:

    “Free society” huh? Wow, I didn’t know that torturing whistleblowers and locking them up forever was a sign of a free society. Just like doing a hatchet job on crusading journalists is also a sign of what a free society we live in.

    Screw Frontline and their State propaganda. The USA is at war with freedom. The kids are alright!

  81. jere7my says:

    I love watching Assangelists make the logical contortions needed to turn PBS into “the man”.

  82. S2 says:

    With apologies to JM:

    “His state is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
    And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
    They also serve who only sit in mom’s basement and pentest.”

  83. Anonymous says:

    Are you folks meaning to post this again and again and again on FB? ‘cuz you are. Just thought you should know.

  84. Anonymous says:

    Banksy taught us 1 mans vandalism is another mans political speech is another mans art object.

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