A faceoff between hacker-activists known as Anonymous and the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is an example of the mounting clash this summer between law enforcement and social media, says the Christian Science Monitor. This summer, law-enforcement officials in cities from Washington to Las Vegas have struggled to rein in “flash robs” that involve mass robberies organized on Twitter or Facebook. British authorities are trying to unravel the role that social media played in fueling riots there.
Anonymous has hacked into a BART website in retaliation for the transit agency cutting cellphone service Thursday to prevent protesters from using their smartphones to organize. These events point to a potential change in the way the disaffected express their displeasure with government, says Prof. Paul Levinson of Fordham University, author of “New New Media.” The Bay Area controversy stems from two fatal shooting incidents – one in 2009 and one on July 3 – in which BART officers shot and killed someone on a subway platform.