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Anonymous hacks BART, who are the real victims?

A Vendetta against Facebook? CC Anonymous-Munich/Flickr

(CBS) - It seems like attacks from the hacking group Anonymous or one of their spinoffs are common these days. Sure, they have a cause and fight for their idea of justice. But what do they gain from jeopardizing the privacy of innocent bystanders?

In the most recent attack of mybart.org, a website that caters to people who are planning trips on the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART), Anonymous not only took control of the site, but published email and home addresses, as well as phone numbers of the site's registered users.

Let's consider the core of this protest. It was to stand up for the people who lost cell phone service last Thursday on BART, during a protest which never happened. In solidarity with the would-be protesters Anonymous vowed to strike revenge 

Instead of taking down BART's website, the hacking group targeted mybart.org and released the information of private citizens that had nothing to do with the shootings or BART's shutdown of cell phone service. That means 58-year-old Aunt Jackie's home address and phone number are now exposed because she wanted to plan a ride to watch a Giant's game last spring.

What's the lesson here? Drive instead of taking mass transit? Isn't that the post 9-11 type fear-mongering we're trying to move past?

This isn't the first time a group of hackers has released confidential information about private citizens to prove a point. The Anonymous spinoff LulzSec released the data of PlayStation Network usersto prove that Sony was not secure. In that case, email addresses, passwords, phone numbers, home addresses and birth dates were leaked.

What is Anonymous' end-game with the recent BART leaks? Why not hack into the system to allow free rides for all? (Sorry, BART.) It's time to throw the gauntlet down and challenge Anonymous to keep it real. If you're fighting for the people, don't throw them under the bus to make a point.

The BART protests where to bring attention to the unnecessary violence aimed toward riders, which ultimately lead to the death of an unarmed Oscar Grant in 2009. Officer Johannes Mehserle was charged with involuntary manslaughter and served two years in prison.

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