Hackers Use Gay Bulgarian Pop Singer Azis To Attack Russian Court Website
Pink News UK reports:
Unidentified hackers attacked the website of the Moscow-based court who sentenced Pussy Riot last week by posting on it a video by Azis, a gay Bulgarian Romani pop singer.
Along with anti-government slogans, the hackers posted a provocative video clip for the song “Мrazish” by Azis on the website of Moscow’s Khamovnichesky District Court, as reported by Russian news agency Interfax.
The platinum-haired Azis, who is of Roma origin, is widely known in his country as the openly gay king of Bulgaria’s popfolk, a genre which has generated much controversy and combines Bulgarian sounds and culture with oriental motifs.
The themes around the genre are generally sex, money and luxury, similar to much contemporary mainstream American hip-hop. The video depicts him sprawled on a bed with men in various states of undress.
It’s by no means clear why the hackers chose the video, as Azis has no direct connection to Pussy Riot, nor is his music punk rock. However, his tendency toward provocative behavior in a conservative society bears some relation to Pussy Riot’s plight.
The original text on the homepage of Moscow’s Khamovnichesky District Court was replaced with slogans calling for freedom for the Pussy Riot women. The titles of the website’s sections were changed to sneering remarks about Russia’s justice system.
In addition, a Pussy Riot song called Putin is Lighting the Fires of the Revolution was uploaded along with a slogan reading “No Logic – Just Hardcore” placed near the Russian coat of arms in the upper right-hand corner of the webpage.
Experts believe the hack was most probably staged by the Anonymous hacktivist group.
The Khamovnichesky District Court sentenced the three members of Pussy Riot to two years each in a prison colony.
Anonymous Hacks Ugandan Government In Protest At Their Anti-LGBT Policies
Pink News UK reports:
Anarchic ‘hacktivist’ group Anonymous hacked into two of the Ugandan government’s websites yesterday in protest at their homophobic policies which include the Kill The Gays bill which is currently being deliberated.
That bill would make homosexuality punishable by death. Anonymous attacked the websites of the prime minister and Justice Law and Order Sector and issued following statement:
“Today’s hack and deface of the Ugandan Prime Minister’s site was the latest in a long list of actions against the government and infrastructure of Uganda for crimes against LGBT people.
“We will not stand by while LGBT Ugandans are victimized, abused and murdered by a ruthless and corrupt government. #TheEliteSociety and #Anonymous will continue to target Ugandan government sites and communications until the government of Uganda treats all people including LGBT [people] equally, with respect and dignity and immediately ends the arrest and harassment of LGBT [people].
“The government of Uganda will not stop us or LGBT people from standing up to their hatred and fighting against their abuses … Equal treatment for ALL people, or you can expect us again.
Another message, which featured an image from Uganda’s recent Pride celebration appeared on the Office of the Prime Minister’s website:
“You have been warned, repeatedly, to expect us. Your violations of the rights of LGBT people have disgusted us. ALL people have the right to live in dignity[,] free from the repression of someone else’s political and religious beliefs.
“You should be PROUD of your LGBT citizens, because they clearly have more balls than you will ever have.
Real Ugandan Pride is demonstrated in standing up to oppression despite fearing the abuse, torture and murder inflicted on LGBT [people] at the hands of the corrupt government.”
Facebook Fights Cyberbullying
Today Facebook launched a new button to report cyberbullying.The first change is specifically for 13- and 14-year-olds (you have to be at least 13 to sign up for a Facebook account). If a boy in that age range wants to report a mean or threatening post or image a schoolmate has put on Facebook, he can click “This post is a problem” (a new phrase chosen to replace the stiff “Report”) and go through a series of casually worded questions to determine what kind of issue he’s having and how serious it is. There’s even a grid for ranking his emotions.
Once he finishes the questions, a list of suggested actions is generated based on how pressing his complaint is. If the boy is more annoyed than than fearful, he might choose to send a pre-written message to the other person saying that the post makes him uncomfortable. If he is afraid, he will be prompted to get help from a trusted friend or adult. There are links to catch anyone who may be feeling suicidal and direct them to professionals and Facebook’s own suicide chat hotline.
The change comes after Facebook collaborated with psychologists at Yale, Berkeley, and Columbia.
Facebook Introduces New Timeline Gay-Married Icons
Facebook has rolled out a new feature providing additional recognition for its users who are married to a person of the same sex. Now these users who have indicated on their Facebook timeline that they are married will be recognized by new same-sex marriage icons, rather than the marriage icon used for straight married couples.This change follows several notable LGBT inclusion efforts by Facebook. Last year, Facebook added ‘In a Civil Union’ and ‘In a Domestic Partnership’ options to user profiles. Facebook has also taken significant steps toward preventing anti-LGBT bullying, and created theNetwork of Support with GLAAD and other LGBT organizations in 2010. In June, Facebook became the first social media company to be given an award at the GLAAD Media Awards. Facebook was presented with the award by Spirit Day founder Brittany McMillan. McMillan launched the idea for Spirit Day in 2010 and began working with GLAAD on the annual event which inspires millions of participants to wear purple or change their Facebook photo to purple in support of LGBT youth and to stand up against bullying. Facebook was first involved in 2010 when a Spirit Day event page on Facebook was flooded with anti-gay comments and violent images, and the company worked with GLAAD to come up with a solution to the problem.
Secret Religious Right Facebook Group, Truth4Time, Plotting Cyber Attack On Gay Community
Gay blogger & activist Alvin McEwen has uncovered a secret Facebook group called Truth4Time, whose members have taken on the mission to take down gay blogs, Facebook pages, and YouTube clips that they find contrary to their bigoted religious views (Christianist). McEwen says that, among the group’s members are well-known religious leaders and anti-gay activists, but private citizens are as well engaged.
Based upon information I received from an anonymous source, there is a project afoot by members of the religious right to strike at the gay community via sites like Youtube, Twitter and Facebook. This project is conducted by a secret Facebook group called Truth4Time. According to the creator of the group (whose name shall remain anonymous because he is not a public figure), Truth4Time is supposed to be a library of anti-gay articles, blogs, and other materials for its members to use in their fight against the supposed “gay agenda.” Apparently the group has a large lists of documents which contains anti-gay information (i.e. propaganda) that members are invited to use. The founder says that the group is supposed to be a sort of a “behind the scenes support system for the religious right. He seems to think that he is on some type of divine mission.
Some of the samples of posts he posted on his blog show open condemnation to fellow blogger & activis Joe Jervis (Joe.My.God.).
RELATED: I don’t know if it is the same group, but definetely there’s someone using that group’s name on Tumblr already. There aren’t many posts on that blog, but the first one was published a year ago.
Check out the artist’s profile by The Washington Post.
Valentine’s Day Google Doodle
Check out the artist’s profile by The Washington Post.
Google+ Hangouts: President Barack Obama
Did you catch President Obama’s Google+ hangout earlier today?
In case you missed it, here it is, via YouTube.
UTAH: Big Web Companies Back Anti-discrimination Bill
The Advocate reports:
Big Utah businesses including Ancestry.com, eBay, and 1-800-Contacts called on state lawmakers Thursday to pass an antidiscrimination law that prevents employers from firing anyone just because they are gay.
They say the lack of guaranteed protection from discrimination creates the perception among potential LGBT employees that they aren’t safe or welcomed in Utah, according to newsreports from a forum held at the state capitol.
Leaders from the businesses, which each have large employee bases in the state, were taking part in an event sponsored by the Salt Lake Chamber — which included implementing the new law in its 2012 Policy Guide, released this week.
But not all the lawmakers in the audience were immediately receptive to the message.
“You are, in fact, picking a special activity and creating a class of people out of that,” said Scott Jenkins, the Senate majority leader, according to video from Fox 13 News. “I can’t fire somebody now because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity. I don’t know what that is, that’s the point. I don’t know what it is. And unless they announce it or tell me about it or bring it on to me or put it on their job application, or some way inform me of it, I don’t even know what that is.”
State senator Ben McAdams, a Democrat from Salt Lake City, is sponsoring the antidiscrimination bill, which is modeled after an ordinance passed in Salt Lake City and then emulated by 11 other local governments in Utah.
Understanding #PIPA/#SOPA & Why You Should Be Concern
Although such bills have been stopped in the US Congress (for now), the discussion on this issue has just reached a new level, and more reactions to this, from those who brought PIPA & SOPA to you, are still to come. Although this generated a huge response against such proposals, not many understand the reach and the consequences that such types of laws would have had if approved.
This video is what you need to watch to understand what it all is about. Check it out, and if you like it, take the time to donate to New Left Media. Projects like this one are really worth it to support.
Produced and edited by Chase Whiteside (interviews), Erick Stoll (camera), and Liz Cambron.
Graphic design by Chase Whiteside.
Motion design by Ashley Walton.
Music from Nicolas Jaar’s album Space is Only Noise.
David Cohn and the Center For Democracy & Technology
Chris Riley and Free Press
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#PIPA Vote: Sen. Harry Reid Postpones Vote, Seeking Compromise On Anti-Piracy Bill
The Huffington Post reports:
In a significant victory for open Internet advocates, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) both indefinitely postponed votes on controversial anti-piracy legislation.
“In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the Protect IP Act,” Reid said in a written statement.
The move followed a frantic week of political jockeying on Capitol Hill amid intense online activism, in which Wikipedia and other major websites voluntarily blocked access to their content in protest of the bills. The Stop Online Piracy Act and its Senate companion, Protect IP, would have given the government broad powers to shut down entire websites accused of violating copyright laws — without a trial or a traditional court hearing. Hollywood movie studios and other content creators would also get new powers to sue companies like banks and advertisers that do business with websites accused of piracy.
In the House, Smith had been planning to hold a committee vote on SOPA in February, which lobbyists on Capitol Hill expected to closely mirror whatever legislative language passed the Senate. While the delayed Senate vote does not necessarily mark a final failure for the anti-piracy legislation, it almost certainly delays any vote for months. During an election year in which lawmakers are particularly cautious about bringing up controversial legislation, the bill’s supporters now face a steep uphill battle to pass anything on piracy at all.
Hollywood had been pushing the bills hard for months, and had secured broad bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress. But free speech advocates warned that the power to shut down whole sites, rather than current powers to remove infringing content, created the prospect of widespread First Amendment violations, while tech experts noted that the anti-piracy tools envisioned by the legislation would threaten the basic functionality of the web.
New Zealand: Megaupload’s Founder, Kim Dotcom, Arrested, Police Raided Properties In Auckland
According to The Huffington Post, Megaupload is gonna be represented in court by Bob Bennet, who famously defended US President Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Also, the company listed Swizz Beatz, a musician who married Alicia Keys in 2010, as its CEO. He was not named in the indictment and declined to comment through a representative.
Anonymous Responds To Megauoload Take Down; Claims Credit For Many Websites Outages #SOPA #PIPA
The Huffington Post reports:
The hacktivist group Anonymous launched its “largest attack ever” Thursday, claiming credit for a coordinated takedown of websites managed by the Department of Justice and organizations supporting controversial antipiracy legislation.
The attack, dubbed “Operation Payback,” came in response to Thursday’s news that the Justice Department had shut down massive file-sharing site Megaupload. The attack also temporarily brought down the websites of the Recording Industry of America, the Motion Picture Association of America and Universal Music, among others, in retaliation for their support of antipiracy legislation in Congress, known as SOPA and PIPA.
On Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department said the web server hosting justice.gov “is currently experiencing a significant increase in activity, resulting in a degradation in service.”
“The Department is working to ensure the website is available while we investigate the origins of this activity, which is being treated as a malicious act until we can fully identify the root cause of the disruption,” the spokeswoman said.
Anonymous also took credit Thursday night for taking offline the website of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI.gov.
The takedown of Megaupload, and the arrests of its CEO and several execs, sent shockwaves through the online community Thursday. An indictment accused the company, which is one of the world’s most popular file-sharing sites, of costing copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue.
“The fact is that the vast majority of Mega’s Internet traffic is legitimate, and we are here to stay. If the content industry would like to take advantage of our popularity, we are happy to enter into a dialogue. We have some good ideas. Please get in touch,” read a statement posted on Megaupload before the site was taken offline, according to the AP.
“The raid on Megaupload Thursday proved that the feds don’t need SOPA or its sister legislation, PIPA, in order to pose a blow to the Web,” Anonymous said in a statement posted to its website.
“In a world where govts [sic] just keep on pushing their malicious agendas, we’re no longer ready to play nice. We do not forgive!” said a post from one of Anonymous’ Twitter handles.
The statement also said that Anonymous was planning another attack - this time on the White House’s website, whitehouse.gov. One Anonymous operative, Barrett Brown, told the Russian news service RT on Thursday that more attacks were coming and the group plans to “damage campaign-raising abilities of remaining Democrats who support SOPA.”
The websites of the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry of America, who were both vocal supporters of antipiracy legislation, were both back online by 8 p.m. But the website of Universal Music, which also supported the legislation, was still down Thursday night, with a message: “The Site is under maintenance. Please expect it to be back shortly.” Anonymous also took credit for bringing down the website of Warner Music Group on Thursday.
The antipiracy bills, known as SOPA and PIPA, sparked widespread online protests on Wednesdaybecause of provisions that would make it easier for authorities to go after websites with pirated content. Opponents say the proposals limit free speech, stifle innovation and undermine the architecture of the web. On Wednesday, several major websites, led by Wikipedia, blacked out or blanketed their pages with information about the legislation.
Thursday’s retaliation by Anonymous came in the form of a “denial of service” attack, a digital protest technique used often by Anonymous to bring down websites of organizations it disagrees with by overloading their servers with traffic, causing their sites to crash. The attacks on Thursday had more than 5,600 participants, according to the Russian news service RT.
But not all of them may have been aware of what they were doing. According to Gawker, Anonymous ratcheted up the force of its attack by distributing a link on Twitter and in chat rooms that tricks Internet users into loading a program that attacks websites. Once users click on the link, they download a program, known as a Low Orbit Ion Cannon, that overloads websites with traffic, causing them to crash, Gawker reported.
According to other reports, Anonymous’ attack also included the websites of the US Copyright Office and the site for BMI, or Broadcast Music, Inc., which collects license fees from businesses that use music and distributes them as royalties to songwriters.