#OpTrapWire, Anonymous against surveillance systems

Pierluigi Paganini August 15, 2012

In this days I have written several times regarding surveillance systems and the huge business around it. Private companies, government agencies and cyber units are all working to develop new tools to spy on wide audience.

This tools are really attractive for those governments that desire to monitor and pursue dissident, in many cases these application arming the hands of the Executioner.

A spyware is a tool and it could be used for good purposes as bad ones, we cannot demonize them, however, we must remain outraged when the companies in the name of money violate all kinds of rules to make profit at the expense of the human rights.

It’s normal at this point that the voice of Anonymous thunder in defense of these rights by bringing the light of the sun a problem that is often shelved for obvious reasons, to talk about certain issues is inconvenient and detrimental to the interests of many.

We are facing with a growing and profitable market that has too much shadow starting from the names of the players that operate on it.

This time Anonymous has started an operation named #opTrapware that targets the massive surveillance project named Trapwire after that WikiLeaks has recently disclosed information regarding a global system of surveillance run by the U.S. government.

On August 12 the group of hacktivist has published on AnonPaste a call to arms in order to “initiate the doom of this evil and misbegotten program (TrapWire).”

Which are the revelation made by Wikileaks?

At the beginning of August Wikileaks published documents related to intelligence firm Stratfor describing the massive electronic spying system run by the U.S. government.

The project is described in a pdf document dated 2007 that introduces the TrapWire as “a unique, predictive software system designed to detect patterns of pre-attack surveillance.”

Representatives of Anonymous sustain that TrapWire is already used in different US cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas.

The system appears really complex, to prevent terrorist attacks it use many surveillance  technologies to monitor on ongoing events, a powerful facial recognition combined with an artificial intelligence engine allow to track and monitor any individual in a specific area using images captured from several closed-circuit cameras.

Anonymous despite recognize the anti-terrorism use warns citizens that the system can also be used to provide unprecedented surveillance and data-mining capabilities to governments and corporations.

In one email from 2010 leaked by Anonymous, Stratfor’s Fred Burton allegedly writes,

“God Bless America. Now they have EVERY major HVT in CONUS, the UK, Canada, Vegas, Los Angeles, NYC as clients.”

The web site RT.com published

Files on USASpending.gov reveal that the US Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense together awarded Abraxas and TrapWire more than one million dollars in only the past eleven months.
News of the widespread and largely secretive installation of TrapWire comes amidst a federal witch-hunt to crack down on leaks escaping Washington and at attempt to prosecute whistleblowers.

Following some statement from official announce of Anonymous

“The more we learn about TrapWire and similar systems, it becomes absolutely clear that we must at all costs shut this system down and render it useless. A giant AI electronic brain able to monitor us through a combination of access to all the CCTV cameras as well as all the online social media feeds is monstrous and Orwellian in it’s implications and possibilities. The Peoples Liberation Front and Anonymous will now put forth a call to arms, and initiate the doom of this evil and misbegotten program.”

“Operation TrapWire is a direct action of the over-arching Anonymous Operation USA. TrapWire is but one instance of how the government of the USA has turned against it’s own citizens, designating them as suspects and enemies. Now those citizens rise, and take back their country and their freedom. Welcome to the Second American Revolution. “

Actually there is no concrete plan to boicot the system, @Asher_Wolf has already developed and announced a plan to fight TrapWire on the legal and social fronts by, for instance, flooding it with reports of fake suspicious activities,

This is not only the unique option, there is also the possibility of massive DDoS attack against TrapWire’s site.

The real question to solve is

Are we ready to sacrifice our privacy in the name of security?

If so, we must also accept the possibility of “unpleasant” use of our information.

Pierluigi Paganini

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