Anonymous' self-defeating Congress hack

Exposing congressional email passwords probably won't encourage a crackdown on state surveillance

By Andrew Leonard
Published July 19, 2013 3:36PM (EDT)
            (Reuters/Nacho Doce)
(Reuters/Nacho Doce)

Up to its old tricks again, Anonymous hacked into a third-party congressional email vendor and released what purports to be the email addresses and passwords of congressional staffers.

There appears to be some confusion as to whether the passwords were still valid, but the point of the exercise, according to Rebecca Greenfield at Atlantic Wire, who first reported the news, was to protest “NSA domestic spying revelations.”

An understandable impulse, to be sure. But it’s worth asking, as some unamused Washington experts in privacy and technology pointed out in a lively discussion with the original source of the hacking news@OpsLastResort, what the likely political result of hacking congressional passwords might be.

Kevin Bankston, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology

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Joseph Lorenzo Hall, staff technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology

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In other words, hacking Congress is unlikely to encourage Congress to slack off on domestic spying. And so it goes.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Anonymous Congress Hacking Nsa Surveillance State