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Anonymous Cancels Drug-Ring Attack 397

Posted by Soulskill
from the easier-said-than-done dept.
snydeq writes "Anonymous supporters have backed off threats to expose Zeta drug gang collaborators, an operation launched in early October as a retaliation for an alleged kidnapping of an Anonymous follower by the Mexico-based drug gang. Members of Anonymous had posted a video claiming the group could identify journalists, police officers, and taxi drivers who collaborate with the Zeta crime syndicate. Zeta has not shied away from targeting its online critics. In September the crime group hung two people from an overpass warning bloggers and 'online snitches' to beware. The decapitated body of another social-media reporter was found later with a similar warning. Worried about the impact on both misidentified people and Anonymous followers, other supporters of the Anonymous movement worked to dismantle the operation over the weekend. In effect, the group canceled the attack, according to online news site Milenio."
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Anonymous Cancels Drug-Ring Attack

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  • Tough guys (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SharkLaser (2495316) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @03:52PM (#37911372) Journal
    Not so tough now, are you Anonymous?

    Their "we can do anything, beware us!!" pissing contest quickly turned around when they realized shit just got real.
    • Re:Tough guys (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GameboyRMH (1153867) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [hmryobemag]> on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @03:55PM (#37911394) Journal

      Their "we can do anything, beware us!!" pissing contest quickly turned around when they realized shit just got real.

      ...when they stopped messing with the FBI and defense contractors and moved up to Mexican drug cartels.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by v1 (525388)

        when they stopped messing with the FBI and defense contractors and moved up to Mexican drug cartels.

        And here I thought those two would be about on even ground in terms of power, ruthlessness, and lawlessness. But clearly the Zetas have the FBI beat on overall intimidation. Guess that's the difference between getting dumped in prison vs hung from an overpass?

        • Re:Tough guys (Score:5, Insightful)

          by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @04:27PM (#37911810) Journal

          The FBI will not come to one's house; rape and kill one's wife, girlfriend, mother, daughters, and/or sisters while making one watch; and then torture one to death, cut off one's head and leave it in one's lap for the police.
           
          Comparing the FBI to the drug cartels is a text book example of one' foolish hyperbole undermining one's argument.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I believe Jose Padeilla would see things differently.

            And although not directly the FBI, I am sure there are many other the US has disappeared to black sites, Abu Ghraib and Bagram who would support the claims that there isn't a whole lot of difference between tactics of the cartels and the US government.

            • by gknoy (899301)

              While many might feel Jose got the short end of a stick, I don't think that it's at all accurate to imply that his family faced troubles like the OP mentioned. He might have been sent to Gitmo (since released, and actually got a trial -- that's good!), but his family wasn't raped or murdered or disfigured. That's a level of scary where the drug cartels are (from what I've read) far worse than the FBI/CIA are.

              The FBI and CIA at least purport to behave in a manner consistent with the law. In the cases where

        • by Kjella (173770)

          I think it's more that the FBI has to make criminal charges, the drug cartels indiscriminately kill everyone involved. That makes it a lot more dangerous to give leads for a hacker to hack. The actual hackers get punished pretty good by the FBI too.

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        Hummm I guess they don't have the guts to face real evil. Maybe they will go back to attacking kids that put up websites about using bad words again.

      • Note that taking on the FBI or defense contractors does not entail a risk to your life. In the worst case, you are arrested, stand trial, and have potentially many opportunities to regain your freedom or to become a fugitive. The Zetas are not going to take you to prison, they are going to kill you and put your corpse on display -- and if they are feeling extra vengeful, they might torture you before you die.
        • by BigFire (13822)

          Depend on the amount of time they feel like, torture is only the start of the problem. They might feel extra motivated and go after anonymous' family member just to be on the extra vengeful side.

      • Once again xkcd has a comment.

        From Verse 849:

        http://xkcd.com/849/ [xkcd.com]

      • by EdIII (1114411)

        I wonder why nobody else is considering the alternate explanation here?

        It's possible that the Mexican drug cartels backed down or paid Anonymous off handsomely. Which is more pragmatic in the short run? Antagonize a bunch of people that do have information that can hurt you and your revenue.... or just pay them off and use them?

        The Mexican drug cartels strike me as very very ruthless, and yet pragmatic in some cases. A more ordered evil than one might think. These are the same people that are probably g

    • I don't think machismo is going to solve anything under these circumstances. Are you sure you intended to make such a brazen and childish comment without posting anonymously? :)
    • Re:Tough guys (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CheshireDragon (1183095) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @03:56PM (#37911406) Homepage
      Or they didn't even have the information and it was just empty threats.
    • organizations like drug cartels are practically sociopath organizations. it is very tough for even major governments to handle them.

      the fact that anonymous is actually taken by the drug cartels as a serious threat that requires this much action basically tells that anonymous is on the same league with them in regard to impact now.

      and someone will leak the data eventually.
      • by jcoleman (139158)
        mod parent up
    • by Requiem18th (742389) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @05:38PM (#37912880)

      Anonymous: We are going to release information about corrupt politicians and officers and reveal sensitive data about your bank accounts and properties.
      Slashdot: NO! DON'T DO THAT! THERE WILL BE BLOODSHED! YOU ARE NOT WORST THAN TERRORISTS!
      Anonymous: Sigh, fine, we won't.
      Slashdot: HUR HUR not so tough now, are you?

  • Bullies. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MarkvW (1037596) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @03:58PM (#37911434)

    They pick on the vulnerable for lulz. That's about it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I've been happy to hear lately about anonymous's campaign against child pornography distribution. I was even more happy to hear that they were taking action against Zeta. But this withdrawl makes me question the mettle of the group. Any time you fight against organized crime, there will always be fallout. But the only way these groups have been pushed further underground or quashed is by taking action, and typically through infiltration and exposing the key players. If they have it in their ability to expos

    • by BitZtream (692029) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @04:20PM (#37911716)

      Right, because you'd do it if you could.

      I mean, clearly you're risking your life fighting Mexican drug cartels right here ... as you call them cowards ... in the safety of your own home ... while you post on slashdot.

      I think Anonymous is a bunch of idiots, but you're fucking retarded for calling them cowards.

      Take your computer courage and STFU, you're EXACTLY like them. Big talk behind a computer, and I'm certain you'll shut up and cower in the face of actual danger.

    • Comparison (Score:5, Insightful)

      by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @04:36PM (#37911922)
      • Defense contractors -- if you are caught, you spend time in prison, and the far right calls you a traitor.
      • FBI/DEA/other cops -- if you are caught, you spend time in prison, and the far right accuses you of putting cops at risk.
      • Child pornography -- if you are caught, you might go to prison but probably not, and the far right lauds you as a hero fighting for the children.
      • Zetas -- if you are caught, they torture and kill you, torture and kill your family, and put your corpses on display.
    • I don't think Anon is short on balls, I think they probably didn't have as many damaging names as they implied, better to turn tail and collect more names rather than shoot off a pop-cap and get a bunch of people killed in return. I mean, if they had real damaging info that could threaten Zeta's future ability to operate, they could out it without taking credit.

    • by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @08:54PM (#37914896)
      I think that more likely the cartels called anonymous' bluff and they backed down once they realized that this was actually real. Anonymous is made up of a few thousand members that do nothing but talk a lot of shit, make threats, etc. and a small handful of skilled hackers. In the past what has happened is that one or two of the hackers have broken into something (i.e. sony) and released a lot of data while the rest of the group takes all the credit. But even the skill of these few hackers is questionable. The servers they broke into had known security vulnerabilities that were unpatched due to incompetent administrators, one guy actually gave out the password to his server after some social engineering. The recent "child porn bust" was some "genius" who managed to write a script to return a list of names and other information that was publicly available in the first place.

      I suspect what happened here is that a lot of members said "we're going to take down the cartels", the cartels didn't like that and responded by killing people. So now you're left with a bunch of shit-talking idiots and a few good hackers. The hackers aren't exactly useful here because I'm pretty sure the drug cartels don't go around storing details of their crimes on insecure servers. MAYBE some cartel member has an email account that might be of some use, but good luck hacking into a gmail account that you don't have any prior knowledge of. The rest of the anonymous members decided that maybe they should stop poking a hornet nest and tried to play it off as "well, we don't want anyone else to get hurt" rather than "we threatened some bad people, couldn't back it up, and got someone killed so we're not doing that anymore".
  • I'm pretty sure that Anonymous would have (did?) discovered undercover moles inside the Zetas...... so the real question is who didn't want to be discovered by Anonymous?

    • Obviously it's because they are a bunch of cowards. It has nothing to do with the fact that they could have discovered undercover moles, or because they could accidentally damaged innocents, or any of the other reasons Slashdot was hysterically opposed to they doing anything. No, it HAS to be because they are a bunch of cowards.

      • by jimpop (27817) *

        Cowards wouldn't have initiated a challenge in the first place. Cowards don't throw down a gauntlet in front of the Zetas, and then walk away quietly. Something else is awry.

        • by bloodhawk (813939)

          Cowards wouldn't have initiated a challenge in the first place. Cowards don't throw down a gauntlet in front of the Zetas, and then walk away quietly. Something else is awry.

          I have no idea whether anonymous are cowards or not, but you are dead wrong, the behaviour exhibited is exactly how the classical cowardly school yard bully works, pushing people around and making demands until confronted and then finding some excuse to back down. whether they are cowards or not, backing down in this situation I think was probably smart, the moronic thing was getting into the situation in the first place, what sort of retard attacks a gang of people with money, resources and a complete lack

  • ANONYMOUS: we are basement-dwelling computer nerds who will attack you by hacking your web server and posting your info on the net!

    DRUG CARTELS: we will kill you with AK-47s and cut your head off with a machete.

    Any guesses to who would win?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bluefoxlucid (723572)
      And backing down only teaches the cartels that this form of intimidation works. I would never back down from some mexican with a machete.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I would never back down from some mexican with a machete.

        No, you'd die. Idiot.

        • What about 'a mexican with really long fingernails'? Would you believe 'a very tanned white guy with bottle opener'?
      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        And Darwin smiles....

    • anonymous plays counterstrike so they can probably dodge-jump all that
  • Who's Anonymous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fastest fascist (1086001) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @04:13PM (#37911638)
    Here we go again, talking of Anonymous as a unified group. What makes someone a member of Anonymous? It seems claiming to be one suffices. So, someone posted a threat to the Zetas in the name of Anonymous, and another person posted a notice saying Anonymous will not be taking action against the Zetas. That's about all that can be said about this.
  • Are they attacking /. today because every other link I click I am getting a 404 error.
  • by Superdarion (1286310) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @04:17PM (#37911676)

    It's a good thing they backed away. Anonymous usually attacks organizations that are somewhat bound by law and fear of PR disasters, so their retaliation is quite limited. Drug cartels care for neither of them. That's why being a reporter in Mexico is a very risky thing to do.

    Had they gone ahead with their attacks, they could have unleashed hell for all bloggers in Mexico. A lot of blood could be in their hands.

    • by BitterOak (537666) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @04:24PM (#37911770)
      I disagree. By backing off, they're letting the cartels know that their methods of intimidation work. It will only encourage similar acts in the future. The only way to stand up to bullies like the drug cartels is to defy them, not to cave in to their threats.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The only way to stand up to bullies like the drug cartels is to exterminate them

        Fixed. Standing up to bullies has never worked. Stopping bullies from bullying does.

      • They already know it works. It has been working for hundreds and thousands of years.

      • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @04:55PM (#37912218)

        The only way to stand up to bullies like the drug cartels is to defy them

        ...and then your mutilated corpse is found hanging from a freeway overpass. This is not some schoolyard fight. We are past the point of standing up to the Zetas with blog posts and words, the only way to deal with them is with military force -- Mexico is in a state of what amounts to civil war.

        • Or, worse, your mutilated corpse is found along with those of your wife and children. Thus sending the message: "Oppose us and we'll not only go after you, but we'll go after the ones you care about." Many people might be willing to stand up to Zetas at the risk of their life, but when you factor in the lives of those they care about, it becomes harder to stand up to them.

          In the end, I agree. Individual bloggers standing up to Zeta stand no chance. They need to be hit and hit hard by a military-level fo

        • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @05:20PM (#37912610) Journal

          We are past the point of standing up to the Zetas with blog posts and words, the only way to deal with them is with military force

          Or legalizing drugs in the US, removing the lions share of funding for the Mexican cartels.

          • They are already moving on from drug-related businesses to other ways of obtaining income. Not so long ago, they have started "taxing" the people in some locations - simply demanding that a certain amount of money is provided monthly, or else they will "punish" you.

        • by jopsen (885607)

          ...and then your mutilated corpse is found hanging from a freeway overpass. This is not some schoolyard fight.

          You would think a group called anonymous would avoid getting caught... In fact I'd be surprised if many of them were living in Mexico...

          This is not some schoolyard fight.

          Which is probably why they are backing down (I'm not saying anonymous are kids), but rather that you should choose your fights, and given what they have been fighting so far. This is probably not their fight.
          Besides, drugs aren't transported over the internet, they can't attack their primary interests.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Attacking them with military force is exactly what sparked the current bloodbath. Felipe Calderon campaigned for the presidency of Mexico with a promise to go to war against the drug cartels, while his predecessor, Vicente Fox, suggested that drug legalization would cut off their source of funding and limit their power and influence. Drug cartel violence was a problem when Fox was president, but the situation was at least under control before 2006. When Calderon launched his military campaign, he found o

        • Sigh. No it is not. But I have said this already so here's a link: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2499980&cid=37885206 [slashdot.org].

          Please excuse my grammar.

        • by ed1park (100777)

          The other way to deal with it is to legalize drugs and the drug cartels and crime will go away. Have the govt subsidize it like corn if we must.

      • by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @05:00PM (#37912300)

        I disagree. By backing off, they're letting the cartels know that their methods of intimidation work.

        Er, the cartels already know that.

        And the discussions between different Anonymous-affiliated factions that I've seen reported didn't focus on fear of retaliation, they focussed on whether an action that would mainly reveal low level people who had been blackmailed into cooperation by the Zetas so that they could get murdered by rival drug gangs was in any way consistent with the ideals Anonymous wanted to advance, or productive in any way.

    • This is attacking people who are bound by law and PR, the people who are at least complicit and at worst corrupted by the gang. In particular, they claimed to have knowledge of police officers who are collaborating with the gangs, that alone is reason enough they should take the step and release the data. Hide yourself behind every proxy service you can think of and bite the bullet. They almost certainly won't be able to find you, and if they take out their anger on innocents that is, for better or worse

    • by StikyPad (445176)

      No, the blood would be on the hands of the cartel, and anyone who says otherwise is full of shit.

  • When people are directly being murdered in response to Anonymous actions, should give Anonymous pause. Anonymous is better far conducting such actions secretively and funnel intelligence quietly if they want to thwart drug dealers.

    I wish Anonymous would start saving lives instead of ruining them. But at least they don't want to have innocent blood on their hands. My guess Anonymous members have all watched "No Country for Old Men" and thought really hard if it's worth the risk.
  • A group like Anonymous can only operate in a free society where the rule of law constrains the actions of large and powerful actors. Shame and humiliation of powerful players is possible because they are unable to fully marshal their resources to strike back. Sure, Western governments have made some arrests, but in the end, the military and large corporations are limited in what they can do (yes, they can illegally and secretly do things, but the complexity, costs and risks of doing it are extremely high)
  • POSEURS! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spidercoz (947220) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @04:28PM (#37911820) Journal
    Anonymous had a chance to do some good, they pussied out like the fucking poseurs they are.

    While I'm at it, we've INVADED countries for lesser atrocities than these barbarian Zeta motherfuckers have committed. WHERE'S YOUR BALLS NOW, U.S.? Send a few dozen cruise missiles up their asses!
  • summory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @04:31PM (#37911850)

    Anon; "We'll expose you if you harm him."
    Zeta, "Go ahead. We will kill every man, women, and child wearing a guy fawkes mask."

  • by yodleboy (982200) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @04:35PM (#37911900)
    The problem is that targeting a government agency or what have you might lead to them tracing back and nailing the actual people involved, not just someone that happens to be in the same group but was on vacation that week. With these cartel guys, if you've EVER been associated with Anon and they find you, they don't really give a shit, you're fair game to them. They are just as happy making an example of you as they would be to catch the masked clown that made these idiotic threats to begin with. That's a real problem with groups like Anonymous. With no clear leadership, some "faction" can spout off crap that endangers everyone.

    You can throw out all the police state, abuse of power crap you want, the bottom line is in the end the FBI is accountable to SOMEONE and subject to laws and public outrage. There IS a limit to what they can and will do to you. The cartels have no such limit.
  • by bhcompy (1877290) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @04:42PM (#37912008)
    Don't fuck with Russians and don't fuck with ruthless organized crime operations. As the saying goes, you mess with the bull, you get the horns. Fucking with the FBI is messing with the de-horned milk cow, not the bull.
  • by Aphoxema (1088507) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @04:55PM (#37912222) Homepage Journal

    Anonymous isn't a person, it's a meme. Even when you identify the people who participate and hold them responsible for the actions of the group, you're doing nothing to define what it is or keep it any less intangible. "We are legion" is another Christianity, another Patriotism, another The 99%, and it is indestructible because it has no body. It is only by the elimination of any memory and evidence that this kind of thing can be destroyed.

    Even when governed it has no nature or goal. It is exactly as what each person who is aware of it decides it to be. The way those who call themselves Anonymous see themselves is just as much authority as the way those who do not call themselves Anonymous see them. It is the Ship of Thesius incarnate, My Grandfather's Axe in practice.

    Don't bother judging the supposed declarations you see today. Just because you saw one collective of "Anonymous" back off doesn't mean another won't act differently. But still, we'll call them all the same. Every time they do something we appreciate or find unforgivable we'll still blame that same meaningless word.

    Zeta made the mistake of having a name.

    • As much as I'd like to see the headline "Anonymous Takes Down Zeta, Infamous Drug Cartel In Tatters", I really don't think Anonymous threatens Zeta. If Anonymous reveals names, Zeta will just start killing people associated (even remotely) with Anonymous until they stop. Zeta doesn't seem to have any moral issues with blood and gore. Besides, if Anonymous reveals names, what will it matter if Mexico's often corrupt politicians don't act on it?

      • by Aphoxema (1088507) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @05:27PM (#37912736) Homepage Journal

        As much as I'd like to see the headline "Anonymous Takes Down Zeta, Infamous Drug Cartel In Tatters", I really don't think Anonymous threatens Zeta. If Anonymous reveals names, Zeta will just start killing people associated (even remotely) with Anonymous until they stop. Zeta doesn't seem to have any moral issues with blood and gore. Besides, if Anonymous reveals names, what will it matter if Mexico's often corrupt politicians don't act on it?

        Well, it's true for anything. That's the problem with even trying to consider "Anonymous" as any kind of entity with any involvement, and even the qualifications for membership is shaky, philosophically or otherwise. Do I stop being a member if I say I am a member? If I say I'm a member of Zeta, it's the majority of that community that has the right to say I'm not or just cleverly show me I'm not with a bullet to the face. The majority of Anonymous can't make that decision so easily because there's no validity in membership because then... well, they'd no longer be "Anonymous" if they could at all identify each other not would they have any way to verify how many members there are and who are the originators.

        That's where the power is. Zeta can try to kill anyone they think is Anonymous but, for all they know, they'll have to kill every person on Earth or even their own membership to annihilate those people who've chose to associate with Anonymous. Even after eliminating with any certainty every member of Anonymous, because it is an idea it would be entirely possible for another person to take up the vague title again.

        As for naming the members of Zeta, anyone can just do what Zeta does to others. There's nothing barring a person who thinks they're following the will of Anonymous from murdering someone. For both groups, they may rely much in their lack of identification to persist, but Anonymous is at much less risk of actually being identified.

        This is a serious question that's due for an answer, and I fear most people haven't begun to realize that.

  • ROFL, I guess they realized that there are people out there in the real world that don't fuck around.

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