There was a cross country US raid conducted by the FBI on Tuesday. Unfortunately, since the initial sweeps, reasons to doubt that the raids having an impact on Anonymous have been cropping up. Today, another person who was the target of those raids has stepped forward to say he is not only not a hacker, but also barely even knows how to turn a computer on.
Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes
Just hours after the FBI raid on the 19th, questions were being raised as to the effectiveness of the headline grabbing event.
Just yesterday, the day after the raids, one person was identified as one of those arrested. In a detailed look at Scott Matthew Arciszewski, we found that the only evidence that was publicly available was of him posting comments about Infragard security publicly. The incident only fueled speculation that the people who were arrested in the FBI raids were probably little more than script kiddies.
Now, a report has surfaced that might suggest that saying that only script kiddies were affected may have been an overstatement to the effectiveness of the FBI raid. In a report appearing in The Brooklyn Paper, a second individual has come forward as someone who was affected by the FBI raids. His name is Garrett Deming, a 25 year old, a singer in a band. He, and his room mates were targeted in the FBI probe, but Deming isn’t really a hacker at all. From the report:
“I can barely turn my computer on. Any of our computer use is for band promotion stuff,” he said.
Ouch. Doesn’t exactly sound like the kind of person the FBI was looking for. So, exactly how would someone get wrapped up in the FBI probe? The speculation for him was that his WiFi was hacked. When any illicit activities were discovered by the FBI, a plain old IP address would have merely lead to him instead. More from the report:
Deming and Eugenides lived in the fifth-floor apartment at the McKibbin Lofts with their band for a year, but moved to Bed-Stuy a few weeks ago when their lease was up.
The current tenant told us that the agents were looking for the band.
“They asked me about the wireless and whether I was stealing the Internet. They asked if any of my roommates were good with computers,” said Meaghan Ralph, 21, who sleepily answered the door when a half-dozen armed agents knocked at 6:15 am. “They said that they wanted the people that were living there before me.”
So, forget script kiddies, some of the people that the FBI were apparently netting barely knew anything about the activities of Anonymous. So, so far, it appears that the FBI is 0 for 2 in terms of catching anyone related to Anonymous.
What this case also serves as a great reminder that it’s next to impossible to connect an IP address to an actual person – something that people who want three strikes laws in place for many countries are all too willing to forget. Wrong people will be implicated whether for copyright infringement or for alleged hacking activities.
In any event, I think that this is really shaping up to be a PR disaster for the FBI so far.
[Hat tip: AnonymousIRC]