A 'Government of the Dead' campaigner stands outside the Houses of parliament on May 23, 2009 in London, England. The Guy Fawkes imagery is often used by the hacktivist group, Anonymous.
Censorship is at the heart of Anonymous' operation against BART. When BART shut down cell phone service last week, internet usage of Twitter and other social networks was, for all intents and purposes, shut down. Anonymous responded with a hack of BART's user profiles over the weekend, and a call for a nonviolent protest this afternoon.
Now, if BART shuts down cell service, Anonymous has a handheld workaround: Auto-BAHN.
Auto-BAHN basically allow for near-field communication, sans cellular network service, using Bluetooth and WiFi. The Android app allows for phones to create an ad-hoc message passing network during disasters -- or, "the system could also help protesters in nations that routinely switch off networks to quell unrest." There is an iPhone version reportedly underway, but Google's platform will be the most popular among protesters.
Auto-BAHN was unveiled at the hacker's conference, DefCon, earlier this month in Las Vegas.
According to a post attributed to Anonymous, "In the Bay Area, we've seen people gagged, and once more Anonymous will attempt to show those engaging in censorship what it feels like to be silenced."
The cited hashtag is #OpBART, but another is #muBARTek. Anonymous frequently uses @YourAnonNews to convey messages to the public about its motivations as well as intentions.
People of San Francisco, join us Monday, August 15th at 5pm for a peaceful protest at Civic Center station to illustrate the solidarity with people we once knew and to stand up for your rights and those of your fellow citizens.
We will be wearing “blood” stained shirts for remembrance to the blood that is on the hands of the BART police. (Protest flier)
For the people outside of San Francisco, show solidarity by using black fax, email bombs, and phone calls to the BART Board of Directors. BART decided to cut off your communications and now we will flood theirs.
Anonymous also discourages all forms of violent protest, but does encourage protesters to bring cameras to record any "further abuses of power."