By "Radical" Russ Belville
In case you weren’t aware of it, since it’s not Kim Kardashian getting divorced, Dr. Conrad Murray getting convicted, or Gov. Rick Perry getting confused, in Mexico bloggers are being tortured and beheaded. It’s the latest shock in what is a bona-fide 40,000+ casualties shooting war with terrorists literally across a bridge from Laredo, Texas.
(TIME) Another blogger was found murdered in the Mexican town of Nuevo Laredo on Wednesday, according to the Houston Chronicle. This is the fourth blogger since September that has been reportedly killed by the Zetas, a powerful drug cartel that has been instrumental in keeping the country’s devastating drug war alive.
The man helped moderate a site called En Vivo, which posted information about the Zetas’ activities. The blogger, who posted under the name “Rascatripas,” was found beheaded at an intersection next to a note which read “This happened to me for not understanding that I shouldn’t report on the social networks.”
Last week, hacker collective Anonymous apparently abandoned their plans (if such plans ever really existed) to take on the Zetas cartel, perhaps after a report from Stratfor claimed “Los Zetas are deploying their own teams of computer experts to track those individuals involved in the online anti-cartel campaign, which indicates that the criminal group is taking the campaign very seriously.”
The citizens of Mexico have taken to Facebook, Twitter, and forums just to communicate basic information they need to survive day-to-day, since visible and known television, radio, and newspaper reporters can’t or won’t cover these stories for fear of their own lives. Information like where the cartels have struck, what has it done to traffic, is it safe today, can I take my kid down the street without him seeing yet anotherdisemboweled woman’s dead tortured body hanging off the overpass? (NSFW link warning: The UK media actually covers shooting wars on our southern border. With pictures.)
The problem is Los Zetas, the particular drug gang in this story, doesn’t like even the local news media “snitching” on their activities, much less the entire world reading through the internet. And unlike everyone else on the internet (except Jay & Silent Bob), they have the resources to go door-to-door and literally kill every local blogger they consider a troll.
(Boston.com) Despite heightened security awareness among the site’s users Thursday, with warnings not to share personal information with anyone, they remain tremendously vulnerable, said Matt Harrigan, chief executive of the San Diego, California-based security firm Critical Assets.
A trail of information like cookies, server addresses, login and account information was easy visible for some users.
“I know enough about (one user) that I’m uncomfortable with how much I know about (him) just from visiting the site,” said Harrigan. “Just from having looked up information about him, the number of things I know about the guy is pretty staggering.”
Harrigan said it would be relatively easy, with the money the Zetas have from running drugs, to track down posters.
“If you’re a Mexican cartel with hundreds of millions of dollars, there certainly are security experts in Mexico or former hackers, or whoever they are, that I’m certain they’re for hire,” he said.