It all started with this PasteBin Link and I’ll be clear from the outset, it’s all unconfirmed so far.
I read in the Register:
We have blissfully obtained records of every single citizen who gave their records to the security-illiterate UK government for the 2011 census We’re keeping them under lock and key though… so don’t worry about your privacy (…until we finish re-formatting them for release)”
In response the Office of National Statistics (ONS) had this to say:
“We are aware of the suggestion that census data has been accessed. We are working with our security advisers and contractors to establish whether there is any substance to this. The 2011 Census places the highest priority on maintaining the security of personal data. At this stage we have no evidence to suggest that any such compromise has occurred.”
Sky news have been quick to set out the ‘authorized’ line, the usual pre-trial sentencing on the alter of public scrutiny has begun in earnest, article here. It must be said that this 19 year old lad, named as Ryan Cleary has been hurriedly ‘associated’ with a number of recent (and very convenient) high profile cyber-attacks. The usual sheeple will of course fall in line with the standard line of ‘where there’s smoke, there’s fire,’ whether the lad is innocent, or not. I say convenient simply because only a fool would fail to see that this ‘opportunity’ will be seized on to its fullest to bring in a whole heap of regulation and censorship upon the only source of unfiltered information on what’s really happening in the world. Articles aplenty litter the net on the Internet 2, internet ‘driving licenses’ and even just plain preferential bandwidth for those sites that ‘toe the line’ as opposed to those that would question and dare I say possibly object to being force-fed complete shite!
So it should not come as a surprise that I’m hardly surprised if this has happened. People allowed themselves to be deluded into believing their private details would be kept confidential, though it never could be and all they had to do was read the clauses within the bloody PRIVACY STATEMENT. The blog Wasps Nest did excellent posts on this subject last October entitled “2011 Census – who gets your information?” and “2011 Census – the ONS responds” both of which spelled it out quite clearly.
Cyber Fascism Coming Your Way
Now, to talk of the ‘attack’ itself and what might be coming down the pipe in the very near future.
If its legit, not a hoax which is making my gut twitch just thinking about it, and the motifs of these “hackivists” are true, then sure, you may argue that the ends justifies the means. Certainly this seems to be a position favored by a great many on the various social networking sites.
Others though, not just vested interests and shills, will flat out denounce this as the work of completely unaccountable nobodies running amok with potentially ulterior motifs and that unknown scares them more than the at least partially accountable (often corrupt) officials in the public offices… They at least are quantifiable, we expect the worst from those parasites, it’s no surprise when they talk out their arse and fail to keep their promises.
Morally on the other hand… I’d have to point out that any infringement on anothers personal information is essentially wrong, but for a slight ‘legal’ justification in this case, that being those who actually signed that declaration on the 2011 census gave up property rights on the data submitted to the Crown via its agency the ONS (see below).
We were originally assured by the ONS that:
“ONS has put in place additional contractual and operational arrangements in the 2011 Census contract with Lockheed Martin UK to ensure that US authorities could not gain access to census data.” Those arrangements included:
- All data processing will be carried out in UK – no data will leave or be held at any point outside the UK
- All data is the property of the ONS and only UK/EU owned companies will have any access to personal census data
- The only people who have access to the full census dataset in the operational data centre will be ONS staff
- No Lockheed Martin staff (from either the US parent or UK company) will have access to any personal census data
- ONS will control system access rights to all data systems
- Everyone working with census data will sign declarations of confidentiality
- Independent checks by an accredited UK security consultancy of both physical and electronic security are carried out for ONS.”
That signature gave up any legal claim to the information submitted by you upon their forms, not that its un-winnable, there’s always lawsuit for tort for example. Can we say we have been damaged by this fiasco (suffered personal loss) by this loss of privacy?
Can we we say that there was an expectation of every measure being taken to protect the data obtained under the threat of reprisal (initiation of force) for non-compliance?
Yes, this was expressly declared on the mainstream media relentlessly…
Was this a breach of civil duty and trust?
So you have to ask, why they are putting the information on a network that can be accessed with, it would appear, relative ease via the internet. Sounds somewhat risky to me… Though what’s a little more bad press for the ONS (with Lockheed Martin to use as whipping boy/scapegoat in the daily rags) a small price to pay for some seriously freedom curtailing legislation to throttle the internet, i.e. make the hosting companies liable etc for the content… to protect our liberties of course… and our data… oh, and to stop those gosh darn terrorists. (God I wish I could truly express the intense sarcasm that is dripping off that last sentence!)
But the plot thickened immediately as LulzSec disavowed the alleged census hack, as it must, when the indoctrinated masses are well used to these shenanigans, though their 15 minute attention spans help the propagandists craft such a fine dramatic farce to keep them occupied.
So what did the LulzSec twitter feed say?… Drum roll please!
“Not sure we claimed to hack the UK census or where that rumour started, but we assume it’s because people are stupider than you and I.”
This is followed by:
“I’m not seeing “we hacked the UK census” on our twitter feed or website… why does the media believe we hacked the UK census?”
A previous message noted:
“Seems the glorious leader of LulzSec got arrested, it’s all over now… wait… we’re all still here! Which poor bastard did they take down?”
Now the only thing I want to know is who’s perpetrating this apparent hoax, who benefits from the heightened atmosphere of cyber-fear? Hmm, I wonder…