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FBI raids house on N. Eagleville

By Megan Toombs
On February 3, 2011

The FBI, armed with search warrants and special members of the Cyber Task Force, raided a home at 208 North Eagleville Road last Saturday, Jan. 29, as part of a larger investigation into cyber attacks led by a group supporting WikiLeaks.

After the FBI thoroughly interrogated the UConn chemical engineering student, he admitted to being a part of a larger, underground group going by the name of Anonymous. Though the student admitted to knowing what he was doing as well as that this was not the first time he had been involved in similar activities, he was not arrested.

This national group is responsible for disrupting credit card websites such as Visa, MasterCard and PayPal. After entering the website, several commands are run that overload the servers for days and render them useless to users.

On the group's website (www.whyweprotest.net/en/), it claims to be a "leaderless movement that has worked tirelessly to oppose all forms of Internet censorship worldwide, from DMCA abuses to government mandated content filters."

The website continues on to say that the group's "intiatives include supporting dissenting groups in Iran, Zimbabwe and Tunisia, as well as waging the highly visible information battle against the Church of Scientology" and that it is "now prepared to take the fight to the world stage." The group's homepage ends with "stand with us to defend your freedoms. We are anonymous and so are you."

The FBI originally interrogated two UConn students, Peter Lariviere and Zack Hixon, in the neighboring home at 204 North Eagleville Road before realizing they had the wrong household.

Lariviere, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, said that a group of about 15 FBI agents came to his door t 6 a.m., saying that they had an FBI search warrant.

"They popped open my door while I was sleeping and said put your hands where I can see them," Lariviere said. "It was terrifying because I had no idea why they were there."

The FBI said to one of the students in reference to the cyber attacks that "this is second on their priority list only to child pornography."

According to Lariviere, his brother, Chris, who works for RiCas Media Group, had mentioned in a conversation that if it weren't for the riots in Egypt, the nationwide raids would have made national headlines that day.

Editor's Note: Previous versions of this story incorrectly identified Chris Lariviere's employer as WFSB news station and featured a direct quote from him, when it was, in fact, a second-hand quote. Anonymous was also described as an organization that hacks into websites, when it does not.


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