Anonymous Hacks BART Website for Protest-Busting

Last week, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) admitted to shutting down cell phone service to quell a planned protestof the amount of police shootings on the subway system (which worked). Yesterday, prominent hacktivist group Anonymous hit in retaliation for BART's First Amendment squashing, in a new campaign named #OpBART, pulling down the site and replacing it with an Anonymous banner and a link to its Twitter account. Bay Citizen:

Using the name #opBART on Twitter, the group has encouraged others to bombard BART’s fax machines, emails and phone lines -- and file complaints with the Federal Communications Commission.

It appears the group also hacked into //, a web site for an anti-drunk driving program run by California's Office of Traffic Safety. The site encourages law enforcement agencies in counties throughout the state to participate in the program.

"Thus below we are releasing the User Info Database of, to show that BART doesn't give a shit about it's customers and riders and to show that the people will not allow you to kill us and censor us," the group said in a statement.

Unfortunately, Anonymous also posted citizens usernames, passwords and emails, which is counterintuitive to the movement and allowed BART some moral leverage in the public arena which obscured the original point of the hack.

According to a statement posted on BART's main web site, "an unauthorized person has obtained contact information from at least 2,400" of's 55,000 members. The statement also advised people who think their personal information may have been compromised "to remain vigilant, to review your account statements and to monitor your credit reports."

Still, in a showing of unity and the direct link that hacktivists have with IRL activists, Anonymous called for a peaceful protest today at 5 PM, convening at Civic Center BART station. 

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at August 15, 2011, 5:35am

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