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Citizens of the World, I am Deric Lostutter, and this is my story
June 10, 2013 7:10 AM   Subscribe

The identity of the hacker KYAnonymous aka KnightSec, who exposed the Steubenville rapists has been uncovered as cybersecurity expert and aspiring rapper Deric Lostutter after being raided by the FBI. If he is convicted for hacking-related crimes, he could spend up to ten years in prison, more time than the rapists. His story is here and an interview here.

His case has been taken up pro bono by criminal rights attorney Jay Leiderman and the Whistleblower's Defense League which was formed in April to "combat what they describe as the FBI and Justice Department’s use of harassment and over-prosecution to chill and silence those who engage in journalism, Internet activism or dissent."

Steubenville previously, 1 and 2.
posted by triggerfinger (43 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Stuebenville rapists ruined a young woman's life forever.
If law enforcement and the justice system had delivered in the first place, there would not have been this incident of hacking.
I am glad someone is coming to this man's defense.
It is totally wrong he faces worse penalties.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 7:24 AM on June 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hey America, your priorities are showing.
posted by mek at 7:24 AM on June 10, 2013 [41 favorites]


This is what the concept of a "pardon" was invented for. I know, it's a laughable hope. But it's what justice demands.
posted by tyllwin at 7:30 AM on June 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


I live in Winchester these days. I would do anything to help out, but I'm not sure where to begin, outside of donations.

There's part of me that fears that I would be harassed or otherwise "marked" for offering any assistance. Just now realizing that I have this fear is exactly why I want to do anything I can to help out.
posted by MysticMCJ at 7:31 AM on June 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


All the links in the first paragraph seem to be drawing their information entirely from Lostutter. Do we actually know for a fact that the raid was based on his involvement in the Steubenville case?

By the way, if you've ever wanted a one-line summation of the problem with vigilante outfits like Anonymous, you'd be hard put to beat this part of his defence-fund solicitation post:
**SIDE NOTE*** I would like to also extend my personal apologies to Jim Parks, The FBI Stated that the girls Noah allegedly found in his email are all over 18, On behalf of anonymous I am sorry for the embarrassment that caused you, I am also glad we were wrong about the age.
posted by yoink at 7:31 AM on June 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do we actually know for a fact that the raid was based on his involvement in the Steubenville case?

He killed the King's deer. It's normal law enforcement. It's got nothing to do with anything he said about the Sheriff or Prince John!
posted by tyllwin at 7:43 AM on June 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


I think it's entirely possible, maybe even likely, that he's being prosecuted for inappropriate reasons, and definitely "support" him to the extent that that means anything. That said, comparing the maximum penalty faced by an adult with the actual sentence received by a juvenile is fairly disingenuous.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:46 AM on June 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


That said, comparing the maximum penalty faced by an adult with the actual sentence received by a juvenile is fairly disingenuous.

Beat me to it. I'll also add that although in this case it happened to a couple of truly loathsome individuals, vigilantism is not ok, EVER.
posted by deadmessenger at 7:49 AM on June 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


If he is convicted for hacking-related crimes, he could spend up to ten years in prison, more time than the rapists.

Someone somewhere will compare the support for Lostutter to the outcry over the recent revelations about the NSA, asking why it's OK for this guy to hack into the Steubenville rapists' phones and bad for the government to do so to stop The Terrorists.

But this sort of prosecution actually underlines one of the problems with PRISM, which is about total information asymmetry between an opaque state apparatus and a transparent civilian population. I don't really support Lostutter's methods, but in terms of scale and impact it doesn't much compare to what the NSA and other agencies (including the FBI) are doing constantly.

It also says a lot that law enforcement will surveil all civilian communications so that terrorist attacks can be analyzed after the fact, but they won't use similar methods to investigate possible evidence for a rape allegation even if doing so is far less invasive in scale and purpose. Some crimes are lese-majeste, other crimes are just boys being boys.

The Stuebenville rapists ruined a young woman's life forever.

They did something horrible, but I certainly hope you're wrong about this. Women who have been raped can survive and go on to be something other than just A Rape Victim.
posted by kewb at 7:56 AM on June 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


To clarify, I'm not trying to minimize rape, just noting that treating rape victims as "ruined forever" doesn't exactly work against rape culture.
posted by kewb at 7:57 AM on June 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Vigilantism may not be okay, but everyone deserves a decent defense. Since the law is pretty heavily stacked against defendants in cases like this, and since the public defender system is so badly broken, the guy should at least get a crack at a decent defense, and that takes money.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:59 AM on June 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


vigilantism is not ok, EVER.

there's a difference between breaking into someone's house to steal property you believe is evidence of a crime and attempting to punish someone for the crime even though both actions are likely against the law unless you are saying it's never ok to break the law in which case...

It also says a lot that law enforcement will surveil all civilian communications so that terrorist attacks can be analyzed after the fact, but they won't use similar methods to investigate...

well, it gets back to the question: what's the difference between killing two people with bombs or 5 people with an assault rifle? the difference is that the bombs carried an implicit idea so that the bombing becomes an act of mass communication. the feds are going after this guy because "Anonymous" represents an idea. the funny thing is that the idea is primarily "doing it for the lulz." however, after a couple law enforcement iterations the arrested spokespeople might be less whiny.
posted by ennui.bz at 8:04 AM on June 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am speaking of the social stigma, and what it does if your earlier experiences of sex are humiliating and cruel. As well rape can leave physical damage. Not always, but if its over some length of time, or multiple perpetrators are involved, the physical damage can require surgical repair.
Then there's the issue of PTSD.
You don't just bounce back from rape.
It takes time, in some cases a lifetime.
Juveniles doing this who get slapped on the wrist very often go on to repeat their offenses.
So while I'm not a fan of vigilante justice, it's important to recognize that if the government doesn't do it's job, that's what you get.
People might let certain petty crimes slide, but the big ones will drive people to take the law into their own hands.
Steubenville as a town was shielding those guys because they were football players.
This is not cool. It was an abuse of authority.
Those guys needed to get more time.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 8:13 AM on June 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


Two football heroes almost going unprosecuted for the rape of a young woman at a party also represents an idea and sends a message to an entire category of people.
posted by kewb at 8:13 AM on June 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


Not so much sends a new message as it does reinforce an existing one, unfortunately.
posted by elizardbits at 8:15 AM on June 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


vigilantism is not ok, EVER.

I can agree with that. However, what Anonymous, Lostutter, and others have done, is more rogue journalism, than vigilantism.
posted by raztaj at 8:48 AM on June 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


He killed the King's deer. It's normal law enforcement. It's got nothing to do with anything he said about the Sheriff or Prince John!

Er...what? The guys who committed the rape in Steubenville are in what way analogous to "the Sheriff" or "Prince John" now? You're suggesting that this was some kind of "revenge" arrest--that the FBI or the DA or someone was so outraged to see the rapists convicted that they decided to "get" this guy?

We know the guy was a hacker, we know he was a member of Anonymous. It hardly seems impossible that the FBI has a legitimate reason to investigate his activities that has nothing whatsoever to do with the Steubenville case, does it? Or that his actions in that case are not quite so unimpeachably benign as he chooses to paint them. At the very least it seems that before we declare ourselves to be OUTRAGED!!!! by this it would be nice to hear a version of the story that didn't come from the one person who has the most obvious motives to present a self-serving and partial account.
posted by yoink at 8:49 AM on June 10, 2013


There's part of me that fears that I would be harassed or otherwise "marked" for offering any assistance.

This means that PRISM is working as it should, and that you should be happy about it, like a good American Patriot.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 8:54 AM on June 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


HACKING. HACKER. HACKING. VIGILANTE. HACKER ANONYMOUS. ANONOMOUS HACKER. HACKERHACKERHACKERHACKERHACKERHACKERHACKERHACKERHACKERHACKERHACKER. ANONYMOUS MEMBER HACKER. LEADER OF ANONYMOUS.

Just so we're clear here:
"Lostutter also told HuffPost that the cache of social media posts was sent to him by Michelle McKee, who had received them from Alexandria Goddard, an activist and blogger, who had originally tracked down the posts, which at the time were publicly available and weren't obtained by hacking."

Someone somewhere will compare the support for Lostutter to the outcry over the recent revelations about the NSA, asking why it's OK for this guy to hack into the Steubenville rapists' phones and bad for the government to do so to stop The Terrorists.

When exactly did he 'hack into the Steubenville rapists' phones'? And why do you think this story is back in the news?
posted by sexyrobot at 9:14 AM on June 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


The only reason he's facing more years than the rapists is because the rapists were tried and sentenced as juveniles.
posted by kafziel at 9:21 AM on June 10, 2013


deadmessenger: Beat me to it. I'll also add that although in this case it happened to a couple of truly loathsome individuals, vigilantism is not ok, EVER.
The town of Skidmore disagrees, with substantial evidence to the contrary.

Vigilantism may be acceptable if the government has completely failed the safety of the people.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:22 AM on June 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


The guys who committed the rape in Steubenville are in what way analogous to "the Sheriff" or "Prince John" now?

Dude... They are analogous to the deer, obviously.
posted by Chuckles at 9:38 AM on June 10, 2013


I believe the current US government has a deliberate policy of targeting people who use any sort of behavior that borders on hacking in conjunction with any sort of activism, and devoting highly disproportionate efforts to dragging them into court and convicting them of some sort of crime, which doesn't at all fit the seriousness of any actual crime that they may have committed. That their purpose in prosecuting him here is entirely political, to send messages and make examples.

I don't doubt that he may, in fact, be guilty of crimes. Maybe Aaron Swartz committed some sort of crime, too. What I suggest is that they are targeting this "vigilante" -- rather than people committing frauds and running botnets -- for purely political reasons. Not that they're going after an innocent man, but rather that they are allocating scare resources for political ends, while ignoring more serious law enforcement matters. How much have they spent investigating whether the rape victim was denied her civil rights, for example? Do the activities of Visa and Mastercard receive the same scrutiny as the activities of those who participated in an Anonymous protest against them? Have we spent money combing over their actions to find something to charge them with?

Was my Robin Hood analogy a bit flip? Maybe. Let me give another analogy instead. Here locally, we had a woman who was briefly jailed for taking video of a police stop. People held an impromptu meeting the next day to strategize support for her. The police turned up with rulers, writing a flurry of parking tickets for being more than six inches from the curb. Now, I don't for an instant deny that the folks ticketed were, in fact, seven inches away. Nor can I prove that the timing wasn't merely coincidental, or that they had no possible other reason to be concerned about the parking there. But my experience of life leads me to think it was deliberate targeting.

Does your experience of the Bush and Obama DoJ lead you to believe it's happenstance?
posted by tyllwin at 9:48 AM on June 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


vigilantism is not ok, EVER.

Obama's war on whistleblowers in a nutshell.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:51 AM on June 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


The search warrant they gave me said: "the hack of rollredroll.com, all communications relating to Batcat

What are you guys talking about

Guys, this has nothing to do with the video and is about the Anon "raids" on the Steubenville football team website.

Batcat is the guy who claimed responsibility for hacking the Steubenville football website.

Operation Roll Red Roll

Im as sympathetic to hackers as anyone here but this isn't journalism.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:56 AM on June 10, 2013


>Beat me to it. I'll also add that although in this case it happened to a couple of truly loathsome individuals, vigilantism is not ok, EVER.

>The town of Skidmore disagrees, with substantial evidence to the contrary.

That's the point I wanted to make. I don't see how it makes any kind of sense to make broad sweeping statements like that. Vigilantism is not a good thing. But sometimes, rarely, it is okay. I grew up in a town not far from Skidmore, I've been familiar with the story since I was a kid. And I've always been very glad that someone in that town had the guts to take the matters into their own hands, because someone needed to.

I would love if the police would just do their job to the degree that vigilantism was never looked at as a good thing. But if that's not happening, and certain situations reach a certain point, you won't see me screaming to hang the person who tried to do a good thing when nobody else would.

If this situation is more than just about Steubenville, then he might have other crimes to pay for. But as far as Steubenville goes, he's fine by me.
posted by trogdole at 10:07 AM on June 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Was my Robin Hood analogy a bit flip? Maybe. Let me give another analogy instead. Here locally, we had a woman who was briefly jailed for taking video of a police stop. People held an impromptu meeting the next day to strategize support for her. The police turned up with rulers, writing a flurry of parking tickets for being more than six inches from the curb.

Yes, it is a well-established fact that cops are often assholes to people who video them. Again, how is that remotely analogous to what this guy did or claims to have done in the Steubenville case? He didn't give the press video of cops behaving badly; had he done so then I would understand why we might assume that the FBI raid was in some way retaliatory. He gave the press video/photos/other evidence of some random dudes breaking the law who were then successfully prosecuted for doing so. Again, I ask, how does that suggest that the motivation for the raid on his house was retaliation?

Just so we're clear here:
"Lostutter also told HuffPost that the cache of social media posts was sent to him by Michelle McKee, who had received them from Alexandria Goddard, an activist and blogger, who had originally tracked down the posts, which at the time were publicly available and weren't obtained by hacking."


The guy makes no pretense that he is not a member of Anonymous (indeed he apologizes to Jim Parks "on behalf of Anonymous" in the linked post/fundraising appeal) and a hacker; the fact that he claims not to have participated in this one particular hack is only of interest A) if it proves to be true and B) if the raid was, in fact, in connection with the Steubenville case. Neither A nor B has been established yet and neither can be established simply on the basis of Lostutter's assertions.
posted by yoink at 10:09 AM on June 10, 2013


Again, I ask, how does that suggest that the motivation for the raid on his house was retaliation?
I assume you have no evidence it wasn't right? So really you're not saying anything at all, aside from the obvious fact that nothing is ever truly knowable?

And, yes, there is evidence - which would have been clear to you if you'd bothered to read the article.
At first, he thought the FBI agent at the door was with FedEx. "As I open the door to greet the driver, approximately 12 FBI SWAT team agents jumped out of the truck, screaming for me to 'Get the fuck down!' with M-16 assault rifles and full riot gear, armed, safety off, pointed directly at my head," Lostutter wrote today on his blog. "I was handcuffed and detained outside while they cleared my house."

According to the FBI's search warrant, agents were seeking evidence related to the hacking of RollRedRoll.com.
Rollredroll is a website related to the football team. That is to say the warrant they served was directly related to this case.

So you'll have to find something else to troll about.
posted by delmoi at 11:03 AM on June 10, 2013


There's wrong doing, and then there's really wrong.
When those who are in charge of enforcement ignore and disrespect the law, there is a moral imperative for citizens to intervene. Rape is not stealing a candy bar. In this case, by performing an action that our own government inflicts on citizens, he respected a higher law.
Maybe not scot-free, but he should get off lightly.
posted by BlueHorse at 11:06 AM on June 10, 2013


Hey America, your priorities are showing.

You might get some paint on yourself with that wide brush you're swingin' around there, friend.
posted by aught at 11:14 AM on June 10, 2013


Er...what? The guys who committed the rape in Steubenville are in what way analogous to "the Sheriff" or "Prince John" now? You're suggesting that this was some kind of "revenge" arrest--that the FBI or the DA or someone was so outraged to see the rapists convicted that they decided to "get" this guy?

Sometimes metaphors pull the reigns out of their riders' hands and gallop crazily off across the field pooping on things and biting the palms of kind children trying to feed the metaphor apple slices.
posted by aught at 11:20 AM on June 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile,
Mays and Richmond appear to be on the move. "Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said ... the judge will likely approve the move at a June 14 hearing in Jefferson County Juvenile Court," reports WKBN-TV. As noted by the sheriff (yes, that same sheriff), the transfer would move the boys from their current state-run detention facility to a privately-run "residential rehabilitation center" called the Lighthouse Youth Center at Paint Creek, which "has no bars or fences outside on their 33-acre property."
posted by homunculus at 11:25 AM on June 10, 2013


Obviously bringing the video to light and working to bring these rapists to justice is a good thing.

I can even get behind hacking rollredroll.com because fuck football.

But I don't know if I agree with what they did to the webmaster, Jim Parks. The dude, and whoever it was in his pictures, got dragged through the mud here. The Anon pastebins accusing him of being some kind of ring leader are going to stick around for a long time.

My personal opinion is they are leaning on this guy to get him to testify against BatCat.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:26 AM on June 10, 2013


I assume you have no evidence it wasn't right?

What a hilariously stupid thing to say. I also have no evidence that the FBI agents were not from Alpha Centauri, would it be foolish of me to suggest that a poster who alleged that they were was making a strange allegation?

That is to say the warrant they served was directly related to this case.

Great. Now how, exactly, does that establish A) that the raid was "retaliation" for his role in getting the Steubenville rapists arrested, Delmoi? And B) why are we supposed to be outraged that the FBI would have the temerity to even investigate his role in that hacking based solely on the fact that he asserts that he had nothing to do with it? Should we be outraged in every single case where someone is investigated despite their protestating that they are innocent? Or do you have some secret super-sensitivity that lets you know when people are or are not telling the truth about criminal activity? Perhaps you should let the police know about this superpower of yours, Delmoi.
posted by yoink at 1:45 PM on June 10, 2013


...as cybersecurity expert and aspiring rapper...

What are: signs you're in a cyberpunk future beyond Zaibatsu?

I'll take "Political Semiotics" for $200, Alex.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:13 PM on June 10, 2013


Indiana Town Shames Rape Victim, Speculates About Her ‘Promiscuous Behavior’
[A] 14-year-old in Elwood, Indiana who is eight months pregnant faces ongoing harassment simply because her neighborhood sees her as a very young pregnant girl. But a reporter at the Indianapolis Star writes that her town does not know the full story of the 17-year-old boy who physically overpowered her after she told him “no.” On Tuesday, he faces sentencing for three counts of child molestation.

At the same time the girl has encountered vicious public shaming from her community, she and her mother Kristy Green have spoken out because they worry her assailant will walk free in juvenile court (emphasis in original):
“I can’t walk out the door without someone calling me a whore or slut,” the girl said. “I used to have a lot of friends, or people I thought were my friends, but as soon as this happened I just isolated myself.”

The repeated vandalism incidents at the family’s home — including the words “whore” and “slut” scrawled on the garage doors — were reported to police. But Green said no charges were filed because there were no witnesses to the acts.

Her daughter also has been the target of mean-spirited rumors and speculation that her pregnancy is the result of promiscuous behavior.
This ordeal is all too common for victims of sexual assault — a reality that affects not just U.S. teens in school, but also pervades military and sports culture. The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board recently noted that “it’s still news when a rape victim stands in front of the cameras to state what ought to be obvious, which is that she has nothing to be ashamed of.”

But the people in Elwood — lacking the details of the rape due to privacy in the juvenile court system — reverted to alienating the teen for her pregnancy because they assumed she must have been “promiscuous.”
posted by zombieflanders at 4:32 AM on June 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


“I can’t walk out the door without someone calling me a whore or slut,”

Jesus. Hopefully she'll get out of that dead-end shithole of a town ASAP.
posted by delmoi at 12:29 PM on June 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is This Rape Case the Next Steubenville? An Ohio woman who says she was gang-raped as a high school freshman reached out to Anonymous—with mixed results.
posted by homunculus at 7:46 PM on June 11, 2013


Trent Franks reflects on abortion and rape
Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), whose measure banning abortions after 20 weeks was being considered in the House Judiciary Committee, argued against a Democratic amendment to make exceptions for rape and incest by suggesting that pregnancy from rape is rare.

"The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low," Franks said.
Please, Mr. Franks, tell us more. How many rapes do you think lead to pregnancies? Do you think women have ways of shutting that whole thing down? Why do you want to punish the women who fall into this category you consider inconsequentially small?

"I just find it astonishing to hear a phrase repeated that the incidence of pregnancy from rape is low," Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said at the hearing. "There's no scientific basis for that. And the idea that the Republican men on this committee can tell the women of America that they have to carry to term the product of a rape is outrageous."

The Republican-led Judiciary Committee, not surprisingly, rejected the rape and incest exceptions -- all of the GOP members on the committee are conservative men -- but not before Franks could share his perspective on the issue.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:18 AM on June 12, 2013


aught: Hey America, your priorities are showing.

You might get some paint on yourself with that wide brush you're swingin' around there, friend.
If he'd said "Americans", you'd be right. But "America" is the country, and since we're talking about the actions of the state itself... it is America's priorities we're discussing.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:15 AM on June 12, 2013


"Weaponize the Media": An Anonymous Rapper's War on Steubenville
posted by homunculus at 3:26 PM on June 12, 2013


Serena Williams On Steubenville: "I'm Not Blaming The Girl But ..."
posted by homunculus at 4:16 PM on June 18, 2013


Trent Franks reflects on abortion and rape

Everything You Need To Know About The 20-Week Abortion Ban Advancing In The House
posted by homunculus at 4:19 PM on June 18, 2013


« Older Surgeries on Friday Are More Frequently Fatal....  |  Women are finally allowed to p... Newer »


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