In Service to FBI, Informant Publicly Advocates Theft, Conspiracy

A week ago, Spanish-speaking hacktivists chatting with the Associated Press revealed their suspicions that recent prosecutions of hackers in Europe and Latin America were the result of extensive infiltration by law enforcement, not technical wizardry. At the end of this week, their suspicions were proved correct.

This week culminated in the arrest of a hacker, important to hacker group Anonymous, known as Sabu. Sabu was in fact Hector Xavier Monsegur, a 28-year-old father of two from New York City, with whom journalistic colleagues at The Internet Chronicle had been keeping in close contact until late last year. Shortly after the time of the original Stratfor infiltration, and not WikiLeaks’s republication of its fruits, Billy Walshe, an authority on the hacker group Anonymous, opined that Sabu’s new tactics against media organizations seemed out of tune with the ideals of Anonymous. He claims Anonymous’s ideas are for free speech. Wrote Walshe, “Anonymous generally stands firm on the issue of freedom of information and especially freedom of the press. With the exception of relatively harmless LulzSec defacements of NPR and The Sun, this has been one of the unspoken rules followed by the collective.”

In reference to an attack on journalists, advocated by Sabu, Walshe added, “As bankers, CEOs, and other white collar criminals rob everyone blind, Sabu has decided to rob what he calls ‘white hat corporate journalists’ because they have big ol’ corporate accounts and they aren’t starving or anything … What’s clear is that he obviously doesn’t work for Anonymous.”

This was only four months after The Economist had declared, “The most expert of [Anonymous’ hackers], who goes by the alias Sabu, is still at large.” Forebodingly however, The Economist would add in the same August article, “Old-fashioned policing, such as less severe sentences for those who snitch, is proving effective.”

Sabu received legal benefit from the FBI by publicly advocating theft from journalistic outlets, and that stolen sums be donated to charities, charities that would inevitably of course have to waste financial resources to return the illicitly contributed sums.

“The federal government is run by a bunch of fucking cowards. Don’t give in to these people. Fight back. Stay strong,” said a tweet from Monsegur’s account Monday. Another from the say day almost seemed to indicate Monsegur’s hinting at his working for the FBI: “Without informants or companies bending over [and] giving up their customer data, the feds would be further behind than they are now.”

On the 24th of December, however, in response to Walshe’s comments, a speaker apparently Monsegur ran a series of epithets at the editor of The Internet Chronicle. “You are reading too deeply into it,” wrote Sabu’s Twitter. “I don’t get your [frustration] considering you’re a fucking pseudo-journalist. Really.” “[In my opinion, I] was_ a massive fan of and supported it, but all of you can really go fuck yourselves. Pseudo-journalism power! Who is that guy from I used to talk to on IRC? I sure as hell hope it wasn’t youre [sic] ignorant ass … You’re as irrelevant as possible. And you aren’t even preaching any truths. You do not dictate who is anon … And you by no means hold any consensus. You’re as irrelevant and useless as Adrian Lamo before snitching Manning. You’re mad. Apparently you are the new overlord and leader of anonymous. You decide who is anonymous and isn’t [sic], and are on a rampage to prove it.” “What a fucking idiot. You lost any credibility at all … You also have a logic problem. I highly doubt you would pass the turing test. You’re bipolar, and emotionally distressed … For someone who is so protective of journalists you sure as fuck are doing journalism wrong.”

However, behind Mr. Monsegur’s rebellious pretenses were probable insecurities about The Internet Chronicle editor’s accusations, which might expose him as part of the very same structure that enabled perpetrations against who “Sabu” would call “the people.”

Months before these tweets, as well as The Economist’s misleading article, on June 6th of 2011, Monsegur was caught by the FBI and in August agreed to enter into a guilty plea to his benefit on the condition that he help the bureau hunt down hackers attacking banks and IT law authorities. Monsegur would months later enter into legal trouble for telling a New York police officer that he was himself a federal agent. The details of Sabu’s prolific Twitter account, @AnonymouSabu, have been removed from Twitter.

The FBI’s announcement of Monsegur’s compliance came at the heels of INTERPOL-led operations in Latin America and Europe that led to the arrest of 25 individuals, for using computers to undermine financial and law enforcement agencies. A late-June posting from PasteBin, a Web service that allows short-term text publication, indeed professed to out the members of “LulzSec.” (“LulzSec” means extremely literally “Out-Loud Laughs Security.”) The list indeed included Monsegur.

While in the service of the FBI, Mr. Monsegur communicated repeatedly to fellow hacktivists about the importance of what he supposed was integrity and about resisting cooperation with law enforcement:

FBI's Monsegur with Countercultural Symbol The iMac

FBI's Monsegur with Countercultural Symbol The iMac

enquerre@anonymouSabu Corporate ownership of the internet can never be allowed. Thank you for your voice against those who #sellout justice. (retweeted by anonymouSabu)

anonymouSabu @GJaniashvili And being in accordance with the people before you sell your ass to any government is even better, mate.

anonymouSabu @Bitchiest I can’t “sell out” friends who I simply don’t know. Lets not get started on how many #obs kids got raided behind your attacks.

anonymouSabu @mikko Touche. You and I are both criminals. I hack governments and you betray the people. In essence we are both the problem. Pussy.

@ioerrorThe people against #antisec that also support US wars in Iraq/Afghanistan, and the military industrial complex are completely hypocritical. (retweeted by anonymouSabu)

anonymouSabu@JustinAngel @YourAnonNews FUCK the intelligence community. the security industry. and everyone in between. We support the people.

5 Comments on "In Service to FBI, Informant Publicly Advocates Theft, Conspiracy"

  1. Liam_McGonagle | Mar 8, 2012 at 2:44 pm |

    “Sabu was in fact Hector Xavier Monsegur, a 28-year-old father of two . . . ”  That’s always how they get you–the kids. 

    “It’d be a shame to see, what’d happen to those kids without a daddy around to take care of them.  Single mom, holding down a couple of part time jobs to make ends meet.  No chance for them to go to college or any of that.  Probably get up to no end of mischief without any parental supervision, rudderless latch-key kids, hanging out at all hours on the street corner.

    “Ah, but what am I talking about?  You’re 28.  Your wife’s only 25 or so.  And pretty attractive, too.  She’ll find a new husband in no time after they send you to Angola.  They’ll be plenty of guys willing to “lend a helping hand”. . . ”

    Marriage:  It’s a trap!

    •  Let’s be honest how would you feel with that cowardly backstabber as your father. That image and the chicken shit attitude of entrapping other people to pay the price for the crimes he committed, is going to be burned into the minds of his children for the rest of their lives, a father playing at hero who in reality is far less than zero.
      The FBI informant who was publicly inciting crime, seriously, how out of fucking control is the FBI (Fucking Bloody Idiots is starting to look all to appropriate unless the review their own agents behaviour and how far over the line they went).
      In their delusional pursuit of ‘Anonymous’ the FBI become the criminal ‘Anonymous’ that has very little to do with the activist ‘Anonymous’.

      • Liam_McGonagle | Mar 8, 2012 at 6:40 pm |

        Not that I disagree with you, but I think you fail to appreciate that the proportion of Americans with anything approaching even the most rudimentary notion of morality is practically nil.  These kids will have no trouble at all finding a community who will be able to accept, maybe even embrace, their father’s act of skullduggery.

        That said, do be realistic.  There is every possibility that “Sabu” started out with the best of intentions, but found that, when push came to shove, he just didn’t have the personal strength or support network to withstand the sustained advanced interrogation methods of the FBI.  Few of us do, really.

        I honestly doubt that there is 1 person out of every 100 whose wives, parents, friends, siblings or colleagues wouldn’t gladly betray us in a heartbeat, were we in Sabu’s position, in order to get the FBI off their backs. 

        Manipulating just one of them into tempting you to treachery is the easiest thing in the world.  Even if you’re one of the extremely rare types with no personal self-preservation instinct, how heartless would you have to be to resist breaking down when the interrogators play recorded footage of your kids begging Mom to know when Daddy’s coming home?  Especially when Mom has to choke back tears to tell them that he probably never will.

        Throw in some surveillance footage of some woman looking like your wife ushering some guy looking like your best friend out the apartment door around 6:00 AM.  Let your imagination run wild.

        I come from an old “law enforcement” family.  No one was quite so brainless as to coach me through internal departmental memos documenting particular cases or policies, but you do pick up on casual clues and hints over time.  As a kid you’ll wake up in the middle of the night, overhear a few raucous, laughter-drenched accounts of “elevator rides”, etc.  Just S.O.P., know what I mean?  T.C.B.

        •  “. . . .It is for this reason that while the content of the
          prisoner’s answer is only sometimes important to the regime, the form of the
          answer, the fact of his answering, is always crucial. … [I]n confession,
          one betrays oneself and all those aspects of the world-friend, family, country,
          cause-that the self is made up of.”

  2. “Monsegur with Countercultural Symbol The iMac”
    Please tell me you were being facetious…

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