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Previously: BART Braces For Anonymous-Organized Protest Monday
BART Defends Decision To Cut Off Cell Service After Civil Rights, FCC Concerns Raised
BART Officer Contradicts Spokesperson, Says Transit Agency Did Block Cell Phone Service Thursday Night

3:03 PM: A marketing website for BART, MyBart.org, was hacked today and data for hundreds of users was stolen and posted to the Internet. The stolen data included names, addresses, phone numbers and passwords.

“We are working to mitigate the attack,” BART spokesman Jim Allison said. “We’re also working to notify the people whose information has been breached.”

The hacker protest group “Anonymous” took credit for the attack, and posted links to the stolen user data on its Twitter account. It also posted contact information for BART employees on its website and encouraged its members to flood them with emails and phone calls.

Allison said that BART is working with federal officials to respond to the attacks and to prevent any future security breaches. He said that any MyBART.org users that have had their information stolen should not open any unsolicited emails and immediately change any passwords that my have been shared with their MyBART.org account.

The MyBART.org website was hacked using the logo of Anonymous and to add a link to its Twitter account. The site is normally used for marketing, announcing and deals near BART stations, and sends subscribers regular emails.

As of 2:30 p.m., BART’s main website, bart.gov was still accessible. Allison said that if BART’s website did go down, travelers are recommended to use 511.org for transit information.

Allison also noted that BART’s website infrastructure is not at all connected to the computer systems that run the trains themselves, and that the web attacks would not result in any service delays.

Another website not associated with BART, Californiaavoid.org was also hacked with the logo of Anonymous and to add fake news stories containing racial slurs. California AVOID is a state-sponsored partnership of law enforcement organizations to prevent drunk driving.

Anonymous announced its intention to hack BART websites in a posting on its website. The hacker group said that it is already engaged in a phone, email and fax campaign to disrupt BART’s operations, and that there will be a live protest in the Civic Center BART station Monday at 5 p.m.

The hacking attacks and protest are in response to BART’s interruption of wireless cell phone service in several downtown San Francisco BART stations to prevent a disruptive protest on Thursday.

Last week BART announced on its website that it was anticipating demonstrations on the BART platforms in August. Commuters were “advised that protesters may attempt to disrupt train service during August commute periods beginning as early as Thursday, August 11, 2011, in downtown San Francisco BART stations.”

On July 11, protesters prevented trains from leaving the Civic Center BART station in response to the July 3 BART police shooting of Charles Hill in the same station. Protesters blocked the train doors and one even climbed on top of a train.

The Civic Center, Powell Street and 16th Street BART stations were all temporarily closed due to the protest. As a precautionary measure on Thursday, BART temporarily suspended wireless cell phone service in several downtown San Francisco BART stations.

“They were clear in stating they could use mobile devices to organize,” Allison said. He said protesters intended to use cell phones to communicate about the number and location of BART police.

While the protest never materialized, Allison said he did not know if that was an effect of disrupting cell phone service in the stations.

The move has been widely criticized and reported worldwide, provoking further protest announcements and statements of disapproval from Bay Area public officials. Mayoral candidate Phil Ting released a statement Saturday that said the move violated fundamental principles of democracy. “The decision was made at the very highest staff level of the agency,” Ting’s statement said. “Censorship is not, and must not become, a public safety tool.”

State Sen. Leland Yee also released a statement blasting BART officials for their decision. “I am shocked that BART thinks they can use authoritarian control tactics,” he said. “BART’s decision was not only a gross violation of free speech rights; it was irresponsible and compromised public safety.”

The planned actions against BART have been widely discussed on Twitter using the hashtags #OPBart and #MuBARTek, a reference to deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek, who reportedly disrupted Internet and wireless communications to stifle growing protests in Egypt. As of 11 a.m. today, over 100 people said they would be attending Monday’s protest on a Facebook announcement.

Allison said no decision has been reached on whether BART will further disrupt cell phone services for Monday’s demonstrations. “The top priority for us is the safety of our passengers. We’ll be taking steps to try to make sure our customers get home safely,” he said, but did not specify what those steps may be.

He said that BART allows for protests in the station, but outside the fare gates. “We firmly believe in free speech, that’s why we have an expressive activities program that allows for activities outside the fare gates, where it’s safe,” Allison said.

In an announcement for Monday’s protest it was not clear whether demonstrators intended to gather on the platform or outside the fare gates.

Organizers from Anonymous said the protest would be peaceful.

12 PM: BART’s move to prevent a disruptive protest Thursday by temporarily interrupting wireless cell phone service in BART stations has provoked further protests and a threat by hackers to take down the BART website today.

The hacker protest group “Anonymous” announced a series of actions shortly after reports surfaced that BART temporarily suspended cell phone service in several downtown San Francisco stations Thursday to make protest organizing more difficult.

In a posting on its website, Anonymous claims that they are already engaged in a phone, email and fax campaign to disrupt BART’s operations, that there will be a live protest in the Civic Center BART station Monday at 5 p.m., and that they will remove BART’s website for six hours beginning at noon today.

BART spokesman Jim Allison said that BART is aware of the threats that its web site will be taken down and said, “We’re working to make sure that is still available to customers.”

As of Sunday morning, BART officials said they had not seen any sign that the communications campaign is underway, Allison said. As of 2:16, however, as rreported by the Bay Citizen MyBART.org seems to be hacked, with the Anonymous “logo” (for lack of a better term) linking to the organization’s twitter feed.

The Next Web is reporting that Anonymous has also “released thousands of names, email addresses, home addresses and phone numbers believed to be from myBart.org, an independent site that uses BART’s (San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit) open data services.”

Last week BART announced on its website that it was anticipating demonstrations on the BART platforms in August. Commuters were “advised that protesters may attempt to disrupt train service during August commute periods beginning as early as Thursday, August 11, 2011, in downtown San Francisco BART stations,” according to BART’s web site.

On July 11, protesters prevented trains from leaving the Civic Center BART station in response to the July 3 BART police shooting of Charles Hill in the same station.

Protesters blocked the train doors and one even climbed on top of a train. The Civic Center, Powell Street and 16th Street BART stations were all temporarily closed due to the protest. As a precautionary measure on Thursday, BART temporarily suspended wireless cell phone service in several downtown San Francisco BART stations.

“They were clear in stating they could use mobile devices to organize,” Allison said. He said protesters intended to use cell phones to communicate about the number and location of BART police.

While the protest never materialized, Allison said he did not know if that was an effect of disrupting cell phone service in the stations. The move has been widely criticized and reported worldwide, provoking further protest announcements and statements of disapproval from Bay Area public officials.

Mayoral candidate Phil Ting released a statement Saturday that said the move violated fundamental principles of democracy. “The decision was made at the very highest staff level of the agency,” Ting’s statement said. “Censorship is not, and must not become, a public safety tool.”

State Sen. Leland Yee also released a statement blasting BART officials for their decision. “I am shocked that BART thinks they can use authoritarian control tactics,” he said. “BART’s decision was not only a gross violation of free speech rights; it was irresponsible and compromised public safety.”

The planned actions against BART have been widely discussed on Twitter using the hashtags #OPBart and #MuBARTek, a reference to deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek, who reportedly disrupted Internet and wireless communications to stifle growing protests in Egypt.

As of 11 a.m. today, over 100 people said they would be attending Monday’s protest on a Facebook announcement. Allison said no decision has been reached on whether BART will further disrupt cell phone services for Monday’s demonstrations.

“The top priority for us is the safety of our passengers. We’ll be taking steps to try to make sure our customers get home safely,” he said, but did not specify what those steps may be.

He said that BART allows for protests in the station, but outside the fare gates. “We firmly believe in free speech, that’s why we have an expressive activities program that allows for activities outside the fare gates, where it’s safe,” Allison said.

In an announcement for Monday’s protest it was not clear whether demonstrators intended to gather on the platform or outside the fare gates. Organizers from Anonymous said the protest would be peaceful.

Eve Batey contributed to this report by Scott Morris, Bay City News

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  • Greg Dewar

    blocking a few cell repeaters installed a few years ago will not/would not have stopped any protest. Duh. Most of BART is above ground.

    Personally I think they should just shut them off for good as a “fuck you” to the out of town protesters who care nothing for civil rights and just get off on damaging public property.

    BTW, cell phone service on Muni sucks thanks to AT&T’s shit service. Why isn’t “Anonymous” hacking the fuck out of AT&T who COLLABORATED WITH THE NSA ON WIRETAPPING.

    And where were the protestors and anger when a 10 year old boy was stabbed on Muni? Oh wait, I forgot, we can’t be pro-victims of crime in SF.

  • Greg Dewar

    blocking a few cell repeaters installed a few years ago will not/would not have stopped any protest. Duh. Most of BART is above ground.

    Personally I think they should just shut them off for good as a “fuck you” to the out of town protesters who care nothing for civil rights and just get off on damaging public property.

    BTW, cell phone service on Muni sucks thanks to AT&T’s shit service. Why isn’t “Anonymous” hacking the fuck out of AT&T who COLLABORATED WITH THE NSA ON WIRETAPPING.

    And where were the protestors and anger when a 10 year old boy was stabbed on Muni? Oh wait, I forgot, we can’t be pro-victims of crime in SF.