We all know kittens love rats! This Saturday at 3pm we will all find out just how much, when Hector Xavier Monsegur aka Sabu, the most hated man in the world of hacktivism, takes the stage at the Suits and Spooks conference for his talk on Anonymous Operations from the inside. By special invitation, he will be joined by Rustle League members VizFoSho and Shm00p, but not by their colleague AsshurtMcFags.
Every. Single. Item. in that paragraph is the centre of its own supernova of controversy.
First of all, Sabu’s continued existence outside of the prison system is an irritant to Anonymous and, more broadly, to the entire world of hacktivism. As lawyer Jay Leiderman noted in The Sabu Effect, his interview with the Cryptosphere (no relation to the hapless dead marketing Twitter account), Sabu’s betrayals of his Lulzsec and AntiSec colleagues did to hacktivism roughly what Watergate did to faith in the American political system. The point was reiterated, complete with chatlogs, in Gabriella Coleman’s book Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous, Chapter 11 of which (“The Sabutage”) details the discovery of Sabu’s collaboration with the FBI, and its attendant fallout throughout the collective and their allies.
As you might expect, Monsegur takes issue with the version of events presented by ex-colleagues in LulzSec and their biographers, lawyers, and allies. Equally unsurprisingly, they take issue with his version. And he isn’t presenting any exonerating documents to counter their incriminating ones.
The FBI themselves declared his assistance invaluable, in documents submitted to the court at his sentencing. According to those documents, he was “an extremely valuable and productive cooperator,” and prior to his cooperation with the FBI none of the other Lulzsec members were known to the FBI.
Monsegur acknowledged his criminal conduct from the time he was first approached by agents, before he was charged in this case. Monsegur admitted both to prior criminal conduct about which the Government had not developed evidence, as well as his role in both Internet Feds and LulzSec. Monsegur subsequently and timely provided crucial, detailed information regarding computer intrusions committed by these groups, including how the attacks occurred.
Monsegur’s consistent and corroborated historical information, coupled with his substantial proactive cooperation and other evidence developed in the case, contributed directly to the identification, prosecution and conviction of eight of his major co-conspirators, including Hammond, who at the time of his arrest was the FBI’s number one cybercriminal target in the world.
Upon releasing him with “time served,” Judge Loretta Preska, who also presided over Jeremy Hammond’s sentencing for the Stratfor hack (her husband was a victim of the hack) praised his “truly extraordinary cooperation” and “sophisticated and complex assistance to the government allowing them to pierce the secrecy surrounding LulzSec and successfully prosecute its members”.
According to AntiSec hacker Jeremy Hammond and ex-Lulzsec member Mustafa Al-Bassam, Monsegur refused to disband the crews when crewmembers rebelled at his orders and selected targets, and those targets included targets chosen at the behest of the US government (of which agenda the crews were unaware at the time). According to ex-LulzSec member Ryan Ackroyd (backed up by sources who prefer not to be identified publicly) Monsegur also engaged in sex chat with accounts and identities which he believed to be underage at the time, while dating a 16-year-old in real life. He would have been in his late 20’s at the time.
As part of his cooperation Monsegur pled guilty to nine counts of computer hacking, one of credit card fraud, one of conspiring to commit bank fraud, and one of aggravated identity theft, and four other charges from outside New York were quietly “disappeared.” He was subsequently re-arrested for breaching the terms of the agreement by going online without authorization.
Ironically, he was ratted out.
Now he’s using his newly-resurrected Twitter account to rewrite the narrative and it’s important to realize when reading this that Sabu was, above all, a writer. Many times I’ve called him “the most powerful polemicist Anonymous has ever had” and now he’s working on the other side. It would be a mistake to think that a change of side means a change of talents. Or of tools.
But other people are on Twitter, a lot of other people. A lot of ANGRY people.
[editorial note: he made the deal with the FBI and they took the kids, ie his nieces, away from him anyway]
Old Lulzsec comrade tflow had some pointed remarks to make:
As did former YAN admin Emmi:
And former American, current German resident Jacob Applebaum of the Tor Project:
As we mentioned earlier, some of those people are angry enough to show up to protest Monsegur’s appearance at Suits and Spooks, and it turns out that simply the threat of a mob of Guy Fawkes masked protesters was enough for the genteel Soho House to cancel the lucrative booking, rendering the conference temporarily homeless. It didn’t take them long to find a new venue, however, and all is going ahead as expected, including the protest, at the Crosby Street Hotel instead.
If you can’t make it to NYC to be physically present, either at the $700 a head conference or at the IRL protest, you can still participate via Tweetstorm; both Tweetstorm and protest are designed to take place at the same time as Monsegur’s presentation.
Interestingly, the original Pastebin paste listing the suggested tweets has been removed. The rather lively YouTube video remains, however.
UPDATED TO ADD: a new Pastebin has just emerged, touting the hashtag #J20ForJeremy as well as the pre-existing #FreeJeremy:
Today, Saturday, June 20, 2015, the tech conference “Suits and Spooks” will host infamous snitch Sabu as a guest speaker. @FreeJeremyNet is calling for an NYC protest outside the conference, at 2 PM, at Crosby Street Hotel (79 Crosby St, NYC) in solidarity with not only Jeremy, but with the other members of LulzSec who were also persecuted because of Sabu’s betrayal: https://www.facebook.com/events/448524148657517/
If you can’t be in the streets in NYC, join @FreeJeremyNet today at 2PM New York time for a #J20ForJeremy twitterstorm. Join us to make sure Jeremy Hammond’s voice is louder than Sabu’s.
The talk itself, originally designed as a one-man show on running Anonymous operations, has morphed into an apparently-unmoderated panel featuring two famous trolls (whose crew, Rustle League, famously hacked YourAnonNews), one Anon called @flanvel, and one snitch. Despite organizer Jeffrey Carr’s invitation to “Anonymous Leaders” and offer of equal time, this seems to be the only Anonymous talk, and there’s no-one from Anonymous on it. None of the participants are currently active in the collective as far as we can determine, at least one besides Sabu being legally barred from such activity now, and their experience dates back a number of years.
So, now it’s a four-man show instead of one-man. But still…
One person invited, then disinvited, to participate is non-man Jaime Cochrane, AsshurtMcFags, aka AsshurtAckFlags, whose disinvitation was chronicled in an article by Fruzsina Eordogh, reblogged here. Despite Carr’s denials, sources have assured us that the DMs between Cochrane and Carr indicate that she was expected to speak at the conference. This, too, has gotten its predictable social media fallout, but at least this one is bitterly amusing.
Troll site Chronicle.su explained it thusly:
Jeffrey Carr, Suits and Spooks organizer, faced massive social media unrest after hiring former Anonymous leader and FBI informant Sabu to speak at his conference. Carr became mired in even worse trolling and ridicule after responding to the mess with an open invitation for other “Leaders of Anonymous” to balance out the butthurt haters of Sabu. All other Anonymous leaders being in prison, Jaime Cochran, the troll known by the famous handle AsshurtMacFags, presented herself as an Anonymous Leader but was quickly exposed and mansplained by Carr.
Jeffrey Carr rudely disinvited Cochran from Suits and Spooks while firing off sex-loaded words like ‘drama’ and ‘gossip’, and when Fruzsina Eördögh called him out, he mansplained to Eördögh that she should have contacted him privately through e-mail instead of on twitter or through a blog. Thus he was conveniently able to deflect all accusations of sexism.
The manppression was so thick in the air that Eördögh’s blogpost became self-aware of its own unavoidable internalized misogyny.
Just when you were starting to take them seriously…
Categories: Activism, Anonymous, AntiSec, AsshurtMcFags, Conferences, Crime, Cyber, FBI, Hackers, Hacktivism, Hector Xavier Monsegur, Informants, Jeremy Hammond, LulzSec, Media, News, Protests, Sabu, Sabu Week, Security, Shm00p, Suits and Spooks, Trolls, Tweetstorm, Vizfosho