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Hackers attack BART-related website for second time

August 17, 2011 |  3:19 pm


The secretive computer hacking group Anoymous attacked computer systems related to the Bay Area Rapid Transit District for a second time Wednesday, officials said.

The attack came amid anger over the deadly police shooting of a homeless man and BART's decision last week to shut down cellphone service during a protest.

On Sunday, the hackers took the personal information of  2,400 BART customers.

On Wednesday, the hackers hit a website of a union representing BART police officers, releasing personal information fon dozens of members.

"These people are criminals and we're going to forward this information to the FBI. These people need to be brought to justice.," the union president, Jesse Sekhon, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

BART officials had come under increasing fire from 1st Amendment experts nationwide who say the agency overreached when it shut off cellphone service to thousands of train passengers last week to thwart a protest over police actions.

The ACLU of Northern California sent a letter to BART officials -- copied to the Federal Communications Commission -- demanding that the transit agency swear off the practice. It referred to BART as the "first known government agency in the United States to block cell service in order to disrupt a political protest." 

Late in the day, FCC spokesman Neil Grace said in a statement that the matter was under investigation.

"Any time communications services are interrupted, we seek to assess the situation," he said, adding that the commission is gathering information "about the important issues those actions raised, including protecting public safety and ensuring the availability of communications networks."


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-- Shelby Grad

Photo: A BART worker, left, tries to move demonstrators away from a train so it can leave the Civic Center station -- one of four downtown San Francisco stations closed during rush hour Monday by protests.

Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images