Angry Employee Deletes All of Company’s Data

1_61_cooley_marie.jpg Call it a tale of revenge gone wrong.

When Marie Lupe Cooley, 41, of Jacksonville, Fla., saw a help-wanted ad in the newspaper for a position that looked suspiciously like her current job — and with her boss’s phone number listed — she assumed she was about to be fired.

So, police say, she went to the architectural office where she works late Sunday night and erased 7 years’ worth of drawings and blueprints, estimated to be worth $2.5 million.

“She decided to mess up everything for everybody,” Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office spokesman Ken Jefferson told reporters. “She just sabotaged the entire business, thinking she was going to get axed.”

It didn’t take Steven Hutchins, owner of the architectural firm that bears his name, much time to figure out who’d done it — Cooley was the only other person who had full access to the files.

Police arrested Cooley Monday evening and charged her with causing greater than $1,000 damage to computer files, a felony. She was bailed out the following afternoon.

Hutchins told one TV station he’d managed to recover all the files using an expensive data-recovery service.

As for the job, Cooley originally wasn’t in danger of losing it. The ad was for Hutchins’ wife’s company.

The firm told FOXNews.com that Cooley no longer is employed there.

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Saddam faked having WMD to prevent possible Iran invasion

image2237624g.jpg(CBS) Saddam Hussein initially didn’t think the U.S. would invade Iraq to destroy weapons of mass destruction, so he kept the fact that he had none a secret to prevent an Iranian invasion he believed could happen. The Iraqi dictator revealed this thinking to George Piro, the FBI agent assigned to interrogate him after his capture.

Piro, in his first television interview, relays this and other revelations to 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley this Sunday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Piro spent almost seven months debriefing Saddam in a plan based on winning his confidence by convincing him that Piro was an important envoy who answered to President Bush. This and being Saddam’s sole provider of items like writing materials and toiletries made the toppled Iraqi president open up to Piro, a Lebanese-American and one of the few FBI agents who spoke Arabic.

“He told me he initially miscalculated… President Bush’s intentions. He thought the United States would retaliate with the same type of attack as we did in 1998…a four-day aerial attack,” says Piro. “He survived that one and he was willing to accept that type of attack.” “He didn’t believe the U.S. would invade?” asks Pelley, “No, not initially,” answers Piro.

Once the invasion was certain, says Piro, Saddam asked his generals if they could hold the invaders for two weeks. “And at that point, it would go into what he called the secret war,” Piro tells Pelley. But Piro isn’t convinced that the insurgency was Saddam’s plan. “Well, he would like to take credit for the insurgency,” says Piro.

Saddam still wouldn’t admit he had no weapons of mass destruction, even when it was obvious there would be military action against him because of the perception he did. Because, says Piro, “For him, it was critical that he was seen as still the strong, defiant Saddam. He thought that [faking having the weapons] would prevent the Iranians from reinvading Iraq,” he tells Pelley.

He also intended and had the wherewithal to restart the weapons program. “Saddam] still had the engineers. The folks that he needed to reconstitute his program are still there,” says Piro. “He wanted to pursue all of WMD…to reconstitute his entire WMD program.” This included chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, Piro says.

Saddam bragged that he changed his routine and security to elude capture. “What he wanted to really illustrate is…how he was able to outsmart us,” says Piro. “He told me he changed…the way he traveled. He got rid of his normal vehicles. He got rid of the protective detail that he traveled with, really just to change his signature.”

It took nine months to finally capture Saddam, but U.S. calculations on where he might be early on turned out to be accurate. Saddam was at Dora Farms early in the war when the known presidential site was targeted with tons of bombs and many missiles. “He said it in a kind of a bragging fashion that he was there, but that we missed him. He wasn’t bothered by the fact that he was there,” Piro tells Pelley.

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This is not a joke folks…

The Internet-based group “Anonymous” has released statements on YouTube and via a press release, outlining what they call a “War on Scientology”. Church of Scientology related websites, such as religiousfreedomwatch.org have been removed due to a suspected distributed denial-of-service-attack (DDoS) by a group calling themselves “Anonymous”. On Friday, the same group allegedly brought down Scientology‘s main website, scientology.org, which was available sporadically throughout the weekend.

Several websites relating to the Church of Scientology have been slowed down, brought to a complete halt or seemingly removed from the Internet completely in an attack which seems to be continuous. The scientology.org site was back online briefly on Monday, and is currently loading slowly.

On Monday, the group released a video titled: “Message to Scientology” on YouTube concerning their intentions to attack the Church of Scientology. A robotic voice on the video begins with “Hello leaders of Scientology. We are Anonymous,” and continues by explaining their motivations: “Over the years we have been watching you, your campaigns of misinformation, your suppression of dissent and your litigious nature. All of these things have caught our eye. With the leakage of your latest propaganda video into mainstream circulation the extent of your malign influence over those who have come to trust you as leaders has been made clear to us. Anonymous has therefore decided that your organisation should be destroyed.” The message goes on to state that the group intends to “expel Scientology from the Internet”. As of Wednesday, the video had been viewed 370,347 times, favorited 2,473 times, and is currently YouTube’s top third video of the day.

if this video is any indication, it seems like the assailants mean business.

The Michigan Daily

The “Message to Scientology” video was highlighted as the “YouTube Video of the Week” by The Michigan Daily. Commenting on the video, the piece states “if this video is any indication, it seems like the assailants mean business”. In a blog post on USA Today‘s website, Jess Zielinski wrote that it was “not a shock that hackers hold a grudge against Scientology,” and in a followup post on another USA Today blog, Angela Gunn wrote that “those of us who remember … the adventures of Operation Clambake are fascinated to see this kind of thing flare up again”. Blogging for Wired magazine, Ryan Singel wrote about the incident in a piece on Wednesay titled “War Breaks Out Between Hackers and Scientology — There Can Be Only One”. Singel wrote that the Project Chanology wiki page “directs Anonymous members to download and use denial of service software, make prank calls, host Scientology documents the Church considers proprietary, and fax endless loops of black pages to the Church’s fax machines to waste ink”. According to Wired, “The Church of Scientology did not immediately respond to a call for comment”.

The viewpoints expressed in the video are echoed on the “Project Chanology” website, an open source of information and direction for those within Anonymous, which talks of tactics such as blackfaxing and prank calling alongside other “real-life” methods of attack. The satirical website Encyclopedia Dramatica also has a similar page devoted to “Project Chanology”.

The so-called Church of Scientology actively misused copyright and trademark law in pursuit of its own agenda … They attempted not only to subvert free speech, but to recklessly pervert justice to silence those who spoke out against them.

—”Anonymous” – Press Release

“Anonymous” released a statement on Monday in the form of a press release, “Internet Group Anonymous Declares “War on Scientology”: “Anonymous” are fighting the Church of Scientology and the Religious Technology Center”. In the statement, the group explained their goal as safeguarding the right to freedom of speech “A spokesperson said that the group’s goals include bringing an end to the financial exploitation of Church members and protecting the right to free speech, a right which they claim was consistently violated by the Church of Scientology in pursuit of its opponents.” The press release also claimed that the Church of Scientology misused copyright and trademark law in order to remove criticism from websites including Digg and YouTube. The statement goes on to assert that the attacks from the group “will continue until the Church of Scientology reacts, at which point they will change strategy”.

The attack was reportedly motivated by the Church of Scientology’s attempts to remove a promotional video featuring Scientologist Tom Cruise from YouTube. After the Church of Scientology lodged a copyright infringement complaint with YouTube, the site took down the video. The Tom Cruise video is still available on Gawker.com, which has stated it will not remove the video “It’s newsworthy, and we will not be removing it.”

… a whole range of sites has turned the Church into a mockery by doing what mainstream celebrity-coverage outlets wouldn’t dare.

Gawker.com

Gawker.com discussed the actions of the “Anonymous” group, in a post on Monday titled “Scientology vs. the Internet: Why Kids On The Internet Are Scientology’s Most Powerful Enemy”. Gawker.com briefly outlined actions of other anonymous users critical of Scientology, including actions taken in the past by users of YouTube, Digg, and YTMND “This isn’t the only group of Internet users unafraid of the intimidating cult; a whole range of sites has turned the Church into a mockery by doing what mainstream celebrity-coverage outlets wouldn’t dare.”

A poster on the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology (a.r.s.) was critical of the actions by the “Anonymous” group. In a post titled “Open Letter to Anonymous” Jeff Jacobsen, webmaster of lisamcpherson.org, posting as “cultxpt” wrote that “It’s understandable that people get upset over the things the Church of Scientology has done online and off”, pointing out that the Church of Scientology had “tried to shut down a.r.s.”, and “spam our newsgroup to this day”. In 1999 “sporgery“, a form of nonsensical spam tactic, was used as an attempt to disrupt discussion on the newsgroup. Previously in 1995 Helena Kobrin, an attorney for the Church of Scientology, attempted to remove the a.r.s. group from Usenet. Kobrin sent a rmgroup message which stated: “We have requested that the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup be removed from all sites”. This later led to a declaration of war by the hacker group Cult of the Dead Cow, and an increase in popularity of the a.r.s site. This initial conflict came to be known as “Scientology versus the Internet“.

The post from Jacobsen went on to criticize the actions of the “Anonymous” group, stating: “We’re supposed to be the good people,” and stated that contrary to the Anonymous group’s tactics, “Our weapons as critics are reason, evidence, argument, and free speech”.

Freedom of speech means we need to allow all to speak – including those we strongly disagree with.

Andreas Heldal-Lund, Operation Clambake

On Tuesday, the founder of Operation Clambake, a non-profit organization and website critical of Scientology based in Stavanger, Norway, released a statement about the attacks by “Anonymous”. Andreas Heldal-Lund was critical of the “Anonymous” groups actions, stating: “The author of Operation Clambake does not condone such activity. Attacking Scientology like that will just make them play the religious persecution card. They will use it to defend their own counter actions when they try to shatter criticism and crush critics without mercy.” Heldal-Lund went on to emphasize the right of all people and organizations to freedom of speech – including the Church of Scientology: “Freedom of speech means we need to allow all to speak – including those we strongly disagree with. I am of the opinion that the Church of Scientology is a criminal organisation and a cult which is designed by its delusional founder to abuse people. I am still committed to fight for their right to speak their opinion.”

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Now the Three Little Pigs are racist!

A story based on the Three Little Pigs fairy tale has been turned by a government agency’s awards panel as the subject_44375959_pig203.jpg matter could offend Muslims.

The digital book, re-telling the classic story, was rejected by judges who warned that “the use of pigs raises cultural issues”.

Becta, the government’s educational technology agency, is a leading partner in the annual Bett Award for schools.

The judges also attacked Three Little Cowboy Builders for offending builders.

The book’s creative director, Anne Curtis, said the idea that including pigs in a story could be interpreted as racism was “like a slap in the face”.

‘Cultural issues’

The CD-Rom digital version of the traditional story of the three little pigs, called Three Little Cowboy Builders, is aimed at primary school children.

But judges at this year’s Bett Award said that they had “concerns about the Asian community and the use of pigs raises cultural issues”.

The Three Little Cowboy Builders has already been a prize winner at the recent Education Resource Award – but its Newcastle-based publishers, Shoo-fly, were turned down by the Bett Award panel.

The feedback from the judges explaining why they had rejected the CD-Rom highlighted that they “could not recommend this product to the Muslim community”.

They also warned that the story might “alienate parts of the workforce (building trade)”.

The judges criticised the stereotyping in the story of the unfortunate pigs: “Is it true that all builders are cowboys, builders get their work blown down, and builders are like pigs?”

Animal Farm?

Ms Curtis said that rather than preventing the spread of racism, such an attitude was likely to inflame ill-feeling. As another example, she says would that mean that secondary schools could not teach Animal Farm because it features pigs?

Her company is committed to an ethical approach to business and its products promote a message of mutual respect, she says – and banning such traditional stories will “close minds rather than open them”.

Becta, the government funded agency responsible for technology in schools and colleges, says that it is standing by the judges’ verdict.

“Becta with its partners is responsible for the judging criteria against which the 70 independent judges, mostly practising teachers, comment. All the partners stick by the judging criteria,” said a Becta spokesman.

The reason that this product was not shortlisted was because “it failed to reach the required standard across a number of criteria”, said the spokesman.

Becta runs the awards with the Besa trade association and show organisers, Emap Education.

Merlin John, author of an educational technology website which highlighted the story, warns that such rulings can undermine the credibility of the awards.

“When benchmarks are undermined by pedestrian and pedantic tick lists, and by inflexible, unhelpful processes, it can tarnish the achievements of even the most worthy winners.

“It’s time for a rethink, and for Becta to listen to the criticisms that have been ignored for a number of years,” said Mr John.

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Raid on London Scientology HQ planned for feb 10

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War Breaks Out Between Hackers and Scientology

A loose confederation of online troublemakers who call themselves Anonymous have declared war on the Church of Scientology by flooding its servers with fake data requests, describing the attacks as punishment for the Church’s alleged abuse of copyright laws and alleged brainwashing of its members.

Anonymous congregates on the net at various hangouts such as 711chan.org (NSFW) and partyvan.info and sundry IRC channels. The group usually amuses itself by stealing passwords to downloading sites and finding ways to harass online communities that its members disdain. They were last seen on THREAT LEVEL when a Los Angeles Fox News affiliate ran a story that hilariously implied the group’s arsenal included exploding vans.

The attack on Scientology, which Anonymous has dubbed Project Chanology, started in recent days, set off by the Church’s most recent attempt to censor the internet by forcing sites to remove a creepy Tom Cruise Scientology video. A wiki set up for the project directs Anonymous members to download and use denial of service software, make prank calls, host Scientology documents the Church considers proprietary, and fax endless loops of black pages to the Church’s fax machines to waste ink.

From the Wiki page for Project Chanology:

Let our message ring out from the highest e-mountain.

So you want to join Project Chanology eh? Fight the good fight for the Internet? Or perhaps you are a skeptic, doubtful we can do anything? I won’t lie to you. I am an /i/nsurgent first, a /b/tard second, and an all around Anonymous, but I know that for a fight against the Beast it will take more then possible even every chan combined could muster. We might be rivals; hell, we might hate each other’s guts, but this goes beyond just us. The people of the Internet, Anonymous, the Goons of SA, the YTMNDers, various hacker groups, trolls of the world, the GameFAQs members, the Gaians, the eBaumers; us old time Internet users, and the newest of noobs, the YouTubers and MySpacers, must band together for a fight that transcends our differences and takes us to a level beyond our individual selves. When things happen to Scientology, like that South Park episode or Tom Cruise going insane on Oprah’s show, Scientology loses lots of credential. We need to finish that off, or leave it open for the major media to deliver the coup-de-grace.

The Church of Scientology was founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in 1952, and has a large presence in Los Angeles. Scientology’s core beliefs center on overcoming traumas from earlier lives, something overcome through sessions with a Scientologist “auditor” who uses an “e-meter” to measure electrical changes in the petitioner’s body.

The highly secretive Church of Scientology is liberal in its use of lawsuits to attack its critics and to have Church documents removed from the internet.

The Church of Scientology did not immediately respond to a call for comment.

Correction: This story initially reported that the Church of Scientology had issued a $5000 reward to identify members of Anonymous. That reward was issued months ago, seemingly in response to another online attack. Archive.org has a copy from July 2007.

THREAT LEVEL regrets the error and thanks commenters for pointing it out.

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BBC: “Palestinians blow up border wall”

laun1.jpgTens of thousands of Palestinians have surged into Egypt from the Gaza Strip after masked militants destroyed parts of the border wall.

Gazans rushed to buy food, fuel and other supplies that have become scarce because of an Israeli blockade – aimed at stopping rocket attacks from Gaza.

Egyptian police took no action to stop people crossing.

Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak says he allowed Gazans in to buy food, but Israel urged Egypt to restore security.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya called for urgent talks with Egypt and his Palestinian rival, President Mahmoud Abbas, on border crossings.

“We do not want to control everything, we are part of the Palestinian people,” Mr Haniya said, apparently in response to an offer from Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayad to control Gaza’s borders – so far rejected by Israel.

Hamas has controlled Gaza since last June.

Guns seized

A total of 350,000 Gazans crossed the Egyptian border, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported.

Hamas has not taken responsibility for breaching the border but quickly moved in to police it, the paper said, confiscating seven pistols from a man returning to Gaza.

Haaretz quoted one Gazan, Mohammed Abu Ghazel, as saying he had crossed the border three times with cigarettes which he had sold for five times the price he bought them.

“This can feed my family for a month,” he said.

Correspondents say the breaching of the border is a security concern for Israel, as Egypt is a main source of weapons for the militant groups in Gaza.

But the BBC’s Tim Franks in Rafah on the Gaza-Egypt border says it will be difficult for the Egyptians to reseal the border on their own, and Hamas has very little incentive to co-operate.

Palestinians have broken through the border before, in 2005, and it was quickly resealed with barbed wire, but reports say that on this occasion two-thirds of the border wall was destroyed.

Overnight, gunmen set off a number of explosions along the wall near the Rafah crossing.

People then packed into cars and donkey carts, or crossed the border on foot, to buy essential goods.

Among them was Ibrahim Abu Taha, a father of seven, who told the Associated Press news agency: “We want to buy rice and sugar, milk and wheat and some cheese.”

One Gaza woman told the BBC as she crossed the border: “We’re going over there to our family. They’re all there. I haven’t seen [them] for 10 years.”

Mostly sealed

President Mubarak said he had allowed the Palestinians to come in.

He said he had told Egyptian troops to “let them come to eat and buy food and go back, as long as they are not carrying weapons”.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Arye Mekel said his government was concerned about the chaos.

But in a BBC interview, he added: “It’s the responsibility of Egypt to ensure that the border operates properly according to the signed agreements.”

US State Department spokesman Tom Casey said Washington was concerned about the situation, as was Egypt.

In recent months the border has been mostly sealed, in an understanding between Israel and Egypt.

The territory has been short of fuel and other essential goods since last week, when Israel imposed the blockade.

It was eased slightly on Tuesday to allow some fuel and medicines through.

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