Anonymous Uncovers Corruption in Wisconsin Labor Dispute

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Anonymous Uncovers Corruption in Wisconsin Labor Dispute

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No longer content to be hacker watchdogs, Anonymous is now apparently blowing the whistle on the underlying government corruption in the Wisconsin brouhaha.

Anonymous brought down the Americans for Prosperity website with a DDoS attack and released a statement asking us all to boycott Koch Industries products like Quilted Northern, Angel Soft and Dixie cups. The statement claimed that the billionaire brothers Koch are undermining the democracy of our country through funding organizations to protest against the state workers of Wisconsin who are fighting for their right to negotiate their contracts as a group. Anonymous believes Koch Industries is doing this in order to profit and not because of any interest in furthering the political process. As of press time, however, the Americans for Prosperity website is back online.

The goings-on in Wisconsin have been the talk of the mainstream news in America the last few weeks. The newly elected Governor of the state previously best known for its dairy products and football teams proposed a bill that would seriously curtail state-paid workers (including teachers) medical benefits and make it illegal for them to negotiate with the state as a consolidated group. Removing the labor unions' right to collective bargaining will effectively render them useless organizations, and even though Governor Scott Walker says that he is more concerned with balancing his budget, he says he won't budge on outlawing collective bargaining.

Enter Anonymous. The hacker group discovered a little-noticed clause in the bill proposed by Walker which would allow the state to sell its utilities to anyone it chose, at any price, without the public even being notified. This clause would allow companies like Koch Industries to purchase publicly owned utility plants, and Anonymous believes this is the reason that Koch-funded "grassroots" organizations like Americans For Prosperity, Club for Growth and Citizens United are supporting Walker's plan to rid the unions of their collective power.

"It has come to our attention that the brothers, David and Charles Koch - the billionaire owners of Koch Industries - have long attempted to usurp American Democracy. Their actions to undermine the legitimate political process in Wisconsin are the final straw. Starting today we fight back," a statement purportedly from Anonymous read.

At first glance, it seems that the hacker conglomerate Anonymous is gaining legitimacy in furthering its own political agenda of freedom of information and empowering the downtrodden. Many people, myself included, want to picture this loosely-held together group of posters on a forum as something grander than they actually are. One or two, or even twenty so-called "members" of Anonymous might support the unions in Wisconsin, but there are just as many - if not more - who think the whole mess is a load of political bullshit that's not worth their attention. As one Anonymous member writes, "Anonymous is not some leftwing sockpuppet to do the bidding of unions and Rachel Maddow. Nor are they all a bunch of Ron Paul loving teapartyfags. Anonymous consists of everything from Anarchists, to Libertarians, to Conservatives, Liberals and anything else on the political spectrum."

Anonymous even has a handy guide for people who are too quick to equate the group's actions with some overarching political agenda:

Anonymous has no official position on abortion
Anonymous has no official position on tax policy
Anonymous has no official position on health care
Anonymous has no official position on collective bargaining agreements
Anonymous has no official position on campaign finance reform
Anonymous has no official position on the Tea Party
Anonymous has no official position on the Democratic Party
Anonymous has no official position on the Republican Party
Anonymous has no official position on the Green Party
Anonymous has no official position on global warming
Anonymous has no official position on off-shore drilling
Anonymous has no official position on budget deficits
Anonymous has no official position on George Soros
Anonymous has no official position on the Koch brothers
Anonymous has no official position on Fox News
Anonymous has no official position on MSNBC
Anonymous has no official position on CNN
Anonymous has no official position on NAFTA
Anonymous has no official position on the IMF or World Bank
Anonymous has no official position on Wall Street
Anonymous has no official position on entitlement programs
Anonymous has no official position on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
Anonymous has a very fucking official position on LULZ

I don't know why, but that list makes me happy. My faith in the hackerdom of Anonymous is restored.

Source: Politics USA

Permalink

Umm, wow... Not sure what to say... damn... this whole affair is starting to turn foul.

Corporate greed aside, rule by street mobs is not the best alternative either. If you dont like the governor, elect a new one at the next election. The unions are hardly better than Koch. "Well, we are not bankrupt yet, so we want our raises now!" To hell with the consequences.

Interesting... I'm not sure what to say about this really. Seems that Anonymous is sayng "This is the last straw" for quite a few things lately

To be fair, federal employees don't have collective bargaining rights at all. Dictating the state must have them seems a little backwards to me.

The Wisconsin bill does allow them the basic collective bargaining right on base pay.

Still, I am glad to see Anonymous trying to bring to light the corruption here. I am always cautiously in favor of Anonymous, but am always worried about them going too far one of these times.

Not really sure why Anonymous would get involved in this whole thing. Unless those utilities thing also includes internet services as well.

illmuri:
Corporate greed aside, rule by street mobs is not the best alternative either. If you dont like the governor, elect a new one at the next election. The unions are hardly better than Koch. "Well, we are not bankrupt yet, so we want our raises now!" To hell with the consequences.

That's just not true. The unions in Wisconsin have already voluntarily agreed to a 8% PAY CUT, right off the bat. This isn't about the state trying to save money, that's just a cover. This is really about the Republicans trying to destroy unions so they stop supporting Democratic politicians.

Are they actually a 'hacker group?' I was never clear on that.

so i guess we know where anonymous' family works now

CD-R:
Not really sure why Anonymous would get involved in this whole thing. Unless those utilities thing also includes internet services as well.

Anonymous's reach seems to be getting larger and larger these days.

Before Anonymous seemed to be only interested in closing virtual pools now every time they come across something remotely corrupt and a threat to free speech or any collective value they have then they hack it to death. It's like the group itself is realizing how strong it is and is pushing their bounds more and more.

Greg Tito:

Anonymous has no official position on abortion
Anonymous has no official position on tax policy
Anonymous has no official position on health care
Anonymous has no official position on collective bargaining agreements
Anonymous has no official position on campaign finance reform
Anonymous has no official position on the Tea Party
Anonymous has no official position on the Democratic Party
Anonymous has no official position on the Republican Party
Anonymous has no official position on the Green Party
Anonymous has no official position on global warming
Anonymous has no official position on off-shore drilling
Anonymous has no official position on budget deficits
Anonymous has no official position on George Soros
Anonymous has no official position on the Koch brothers
Anonymous has no official position on Fox News
Anonymous has no official position on MSNBC
Anonymous has no official position on CNN
Anonymous has no official position on NAFTA
Anonymous has no official position on the IMF or World Bank
Anonymous has no official position on Wall Street
Anonymous has no official position on entitlement programs
Anonymous has no official position on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
Anonymous has a very fucking official position on LULZ

I don't know why, but that list makes me happy. My faith in the hackerdom of Anonymous is restored.

If anything mine has increased: No agenda besides empowering the people.

...is it wrong that i totally saw something like this coming? I can pretend to understand some conservative viewpoints but the corruption of budget minded ones like Reagan and indeed Walker is starting to become concerning. I knew entrusting the wealthy to answer concerns of the lower class when they are totally out of touch with the actual gripes was a major pitfall of the current budget situation, but i'm starting to think we'd be better off hiring random hobos to balance America's budget.

Honestly though... this Koch business is all starting to sound like a conspiracy theory from a liberal Glenn Beck. Is that retard still blaming the economic situation on an old woman who once suggested people eligible for welfare aggressively apply for it? What next? Anonymous attacks Valve because money from the Steam engine was going into research for nuclear weapons?

Destroying unions or trying to hardly seems the best way to going about gaining their support, and just seems would cause unions to dump more money into left wing campaigns.

I have 2 aunts in the teachers unions and they are thoroughly corrupt, and stagnate any meaningful reform in education most of the time, more money more money and more money, both my aunts will make more money retired than they make while working.

I have worked at places where union was trying to get in, one woman in my department filed a restraining order against them for harassing her outside work.

I mean i would love to support unions, the whole better pay better benefits workers rights thing sounds great but how they go about stuff just sits with me wrong. Nevermind that government employees already have benefits and pensions, why do they need collective bargaining? Collective bargaining just says if you do not give us what we want we can shut you down, that is way too much power for state and federal employees to have, especially when it is our tax dollars paying for their salaries, benefits etc, not a private corporation, state workers and federal should get what they get a decent and fair wage and decent and fair benefits but stop trying to leverage our tax dollars into more for you.

I'm still not sure if I like anonymous or not. Some of the things that have been reported on seem nice, particularly how they can step on people that do their best to step on others and not give a fuck about it, nor get in trouble for it due to their anonymity.

However, they seem to be able to do whatever they want, whenever they feel like it. Power unchecked makes me nervous. Rule by the common street gang people isn't as great as it seems, just look at how often some African nations change leadership and politicians after another revolution. Ever seen "Blood Diamond" or heard about the Rwandan civil war?

Whatever their collective intentions* are, they seem to be well on their way to finding themselves a place in the future of college history textbooks (or, in the future, text documents on computers).

*I use "collective" loosely - Anonymous doesn't seem to be a tightly knit group so much as a bunch of people with a few similar key ideals, if even that.

All hail the LULZ!

Seriously - they're the best reason to act politically.

now that is something to be said, finally some kind of... form or way for people to actually be able and speack up!....

this is one of the more interesting things in this phenomena! (i better stop right there before some guy comes and starts selling books about "understanding Anonymous" because no one can...

wow....

That'll do pig, that'll do.

I really don't pay much attention to the news, I used to but found that it really just got me worked up. It was unnecessary stress to worry about everything going on in the world.

So I say this without being well informed, I am glad US citizens are FINALLY starting to protest. US citizens have been abused by politicians and greedy corporations for far too long and we have sat back and taken it, I am glad to see that is changing. Anonymous is a very strange and interesting group, I don't understand them but I'd like to.

CD-R:
Not really sure why Anonymous would get involved in this whole thing. Unless those utilities thing also includes internet services as well.

Just wait till internet providers start billing us like Cell phones.

Ooh, much, much juicy, someones going to jail for that.

Has a billionare ever been stuck in the slammer before?

DevilWolf47:
...is it wrong that i totally saw something like this coming?

No, its not. Your crazy imagination threw out a random possibility that happened to be right. I have a limited ability to predict (before my eyes, i have to see it to predict it) the future because of it.

Of course, if the union has any brains, they do collective bargaining anyway. Law or no law. Just rather than having two or three union managers coming forward to say what they demand, send out a mailer to every union member, and have them all go up to their managers individually to recite what's on the mailer as their demand.

Maybe once the government figures out how much time it saves to work with a few elected reps, rather than individual workers, they'll reconsider.

believer258:

However, they seem to be able to do whatever they want, whenever they feel like it. Power unchecked makes me nervous.

yeah, but what you dont realize is that anonymous are a bunch of whiny jerks that wouldnt move a finguer if it wasnt worth it, they dont "hold" power, they hold a tool to unleash power, and once they get tired of it they leave and someone else uses that tool for their purposes, ultimatelly, Anon is not one, is many and no one, it probably was me, maybe it will be me later, i bet it was you!, in the end it is not "whenever they feel like it" i can almost asure you that the guys that broke into the law firm maybe dont even know about the guys taking this particular case, and i´m sure that they werent the same that hacked into palins mail and twitter, hell, its not one entity, its the whole world, thats the point of anonimous.

and well, taking down the whole world is kind of hard when you dont know where to beggin, who are the leaders?? no one, who is the guy that thought of this first?? everyone!, get it??

i mean, they were making a campaign about showing the moon its place for gods sake!, its completelly stupid to think the guy that said that is saying this in the same timeframe.

hell, for all you know...

gigastar:
Ooh, much, much juicy, someones going to jail for that.

Has a billionare ever been stuck in the slammer before?

Are you kidding

:(

The Revolution will not be Televised ...it will be Tweeted :D

illmuri:
Corporate greed aside, rule by street mobs is not the best alternative either. If you dont like the governor, elect a new one at the next election. The unions are hardly better than Koch. "Well, we are not bankrupt yet, so we want our raises now!" To hell with the consequences.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Elect... elect an elected official? That never happens. You don't elect them, you think you are electing them. You know, I'm starting to think that a good theme song for anon would by Land of Confusion (the badass version by Disturbed).

Causing problems for anti-union types is always a good thing in my books.

CD-R:
Not really sure why Anonymous would get involved in this whole thing. Unless those utilities thing also includes internet services as well.

They would and they do. The problem is that ISP is currently classified as a utlity which allows ISP companies to actually sell an internet connection while still controlling the actual speed and potentially limit how much you get.

Could you imagine if actual utilities were treated like bandwidth caps? With water and electricity? Imagine having your heating cut off or your water cut off for the rest of the month.

Yosarian2:
That's just not true. The unions in Wisconsin have already voluntarily agreed to a 8% PAY CUT, right off the bat. This isn't about the state trying to save money, that's just a cover. This is really about the Republicans trying to destroy unions so they stop supporting Democratic politicians.

I think this is an excellent example of how hard it is to really get a good grasp on this whole issue. Yes, two large state-wide unions have said that they'll accept having to pay towards their excellent benefits. But numerous smaller unions across the state have already started trying to rush contracts through that still require them not to contribute to pensions or health care. Nobody speaks for all of the unions, and a lot of people are saying a lot of things.

There has been a lot of propaganda in play surrounding the whole issue. (Full disclosure: I'm a conservative Wisconsinite who supports the governor. I'll do my best to be even-handed, but I'm only human; there's bound to be bias.) The legislature is trying to do 2 things: require unionized state employees to contribute ~5% of their pay to their pensions and roughly double how much they pay towards health care; and disallow collective bargaining over such things (but not pay). As Ergoemos mentioned above, this still gives them more collective bargaining than federal employees, but that's more of an aside. The biggest detail, to me, is that the state employees would still have excellent benefits. The pension deal still blows my 401(k) out of the water, and they'll still pay far less than average workers for better coverage.

More directly on topic: while this does have the taste of tin-foil-hat to it, I think it's more an example of Anonymous stumbling across something that's fairly routine in politics and making a big deal of it. But I could be wrong... politics gives me a headache.

(One last thing: there are a lot of factors in play with this craziness, and I only highlighted a couple of points which happen to support my position. I'm not claiming to be laying out everything.)

Tenmar:

CD-R:
Not really sure why Anonymous would get involved in this whole thing. Unless those utilities thing also includes internet services as well.

They would and they do. The problem is that ISP is currently classified as a utlity which allows ISP companies to actually sell an internet connection while still controlling the actual speed and potentially limit how much you get.

Could you imagine if actual utilities were treated like bandwidth caps? With water and electricity? Imagine having your heating cut off or your water cut off for the rest of the month.

Oh. Well that makes sense now. Thanks for filling me in.

illmuri:
If you dont like the governor, elect a new one at the next election.

So you're saying that it's ok to give them 4 years to pretty much do as they want (if their bill pass) and screw everyone until that four years has passed. Shrug while it happens thinking the bastard won't be reelected?

Do NOT wait until it's too late to act. Maggots like that have to be hung high and short if there is corruption. Anything else is incomprehensible.

illmuri:
Corporate greed aside, rule by street mobs is not the best alternative either. If you dont like the governor, elect a new one at the next election. The unions are hardly better than Koch. "Well, we are not bankrupt yet, so we want our raises now!" To hell with the consequences.

The problem is that the majority of people that DO run for governor of a state often are richer than most, thus allowing them to fund campaigns that the average person could only dream about inside of a dream.

On another note, its easier to campaign as someone who will fix something wrong with whatever and then once elected ditch on all platforms [Read: Bush campaigned in 1999 that he would acknowledge the Armenian Genocide politically, then after 2001 jumped from it, the same with Obama]

While its easy to say "elect someone different", you have to realize that to the average American, its just easier to sit on our couches and complain about it and never DO anything about it.

PROOF: Remember when everyone wanted to impeach Bush? Two Terms.

Obama? we are still waiting for people to Impeach him.

Yelling is easier than doing.

Keystrokes and moving on.

OT: you know whats funny?

The Tea Party is also funded by Koch Industries, and guess what is also being clumped together with Tea Party protests?

audible gasp, whats that you say? Unions and collective bargaining are......SOCIALIST IDEAS?

Tell me when o' great political party, when do we protest Social Security and the likes, since that is also a base of Socialism.

I wouldn't be surprised if Koch had funded campaign ads for the Governor either.

CAPITALISM, Obviously it works.

Anonymous is beginning to take themselves a bit too seriously.

Jim Grim:
Are they actually a 'hacker group?' I was never clear on that.

I think that's the point.

illmuri:
Corporate greed aside, rule by street mobs is not the best alternative either. If you dont like the governor, elect a new one at the next election. The unions are hardly better than Koch. "Well, we are not bankrupt yet, so we want our raises now!" To hell with the consequences.

You really have no idea what was going on in Wisconsin do you?

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