Gay Nigger Association of America
Gay Nigger Association of America
|Purpose||"Being gay niggers"|
|"The only requirement for membership is a dedication to the struggle of gays and niggers everywhere."|
The Gay Nigger Association of America (GNAA) is an Internet-trolling organization. They have trolled several prominent websites and Internet personalities including Slashdot, Wikipedia, CNN, Barack Obama's campaign website, Alex Jones, and prominent members of the blogosphere. They have also released software products and leaked screenshots and information about upcoming operating systems. In addition, they maintain a software repository and a wiki-based site dedicated to Internet commentary. They are listed as a cyberterrorist organization in TRAC.
Members of the GNAA also founded Goatse Security, a grey hat information security group. Members of Goatse Security released information in June 2010 about email addresses on AT&T's website from people who had subscribed to mobile data service using the iPad. After the vulnerability was disclosed, the then-president of the GNAA, weev, and GNAA member "JacksonBrown" were arrested.
Origins, known members and name
The group is run by a president, but little else is known about its internal structure. New media researcher Andrew Lih has stated that it is unclear whether or not there was initially a clearly defined group of GNAA members, or if founding and early members of the GNAA were online troublemakers united under the name in order to disrupt websites. However, professor Jodi Dean and MIT graduate Ross Cisneros state that they are an organized group of anti-blogging trolls. Reporters also refer to the GNAA as a group.
The former president of the GNAA, known as "timecop", is known for founding the anime fansub group "Dattebayo". Other members include former president Andrew "weev" Auernheimer, Daniel "JacksonBrown" Spitler, former Debian project head Sam Hocevar, and former spokesman Leon Kaiser.
The group's name has incited controversy and has been described as causing "immediate alarm in anyone with a semblance of good taste", and as being "intentionally offensive", and "spectacularly offensive". The group denies allegations of racism and homophobia, explaining that the name is intended to sow disruption on the Internet and challenge social norms, claiming it was derived from the 1992 Danish satirical blaxploitation film Gayniggers from Outer Space.
The GNAA has used many different methods of trolling. One method involves flooding a weblog's comment form with text consisting of repeated words and phrases, referred to as "crapflooding". On Wikipedia, members of the group created an article about the group, while still adhering to Wikipedia's rules and policies; a process Andrew Lih says was "essentially using the system against itself." Another method includes attacking many Internet Relay Chat channels and networks using different IRC flooding techniques.
The GNAA has also produced shock sites containing malware. One such site, "Last Measure", contains embedded malware that opens up "an endless cascade of pop-up windows displaying pornography or horrific medical pictures." They have also performed proof of concept demonstrations. These actions have occasionally interrupted the normal operation of popular websites.
In July 2004, two GNAA members submitted leaked screenshots of the upcoming operating system Mac OS X v10.4 to the popular Apple Macintosh news website MacRumors, resulting in a post which read "With WWDC just days away, the first Tiger information and screenshots appears to have been leaked. According to sources, Apple will reportedly provide developers with a Mac OS X 10.4 preview copy at WWDC on Monday. The screenshots provided reportedly come from this upcoming developer preview."
In June 2005, the GNAA announced that it had created a Mac OS X Tiger release for Intel x86 processors which caught media attention from various sources. The next day, the supposed leak was mentioned on the G4 television show Attack of the Show. The ISO image released via BitTorrent merely booted a shock image instead of the leaked operating system.
On February 3, 2007, the GNAA successfully managed to convince CNN reporter Paula Zahn that "one in three Americans" believe that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks were carried out by Israeli agents. CNN subsequently ran a story erroneously reporting this, involving a round-table discussion regarding antisemitism and an interview with the father of a Jewish 9/11 victim. The GNAA-owned website said that "over 4,000" Jews were absent from work at the World Trade Center on 9/11.
On February 11, 2007, an attack was launched on the website of US presidential candidate (and future US president) Barack Obama, where the group's name was caused to appear on the website's front page.
In late January 2010, the GNAA used an obscure method, known as cross-protocol scripting (a combination of cross-site scripting and inter-protocol exploitation) to cause users of the freenode IRC network to unknowingly crapflood IRC channels after visiting websites containing inter-protocol exploits. They also have used a combination of inter-protocol, cross-site, and integer overflow bugs in both the Firefox and Safari web browsers to crapflood IRC channels.
In late July 2012, the GNAA created a website titled "linuxforniggers.us" for an African-American targeted Linux-based operating system in development. The site provides a download link for an ISO image which, when booted, presents users with a slideshow of images related to African-American stereotypes.
On October 30, the GNAA began a trolling campaign around the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on the east coast of America, spreading fake photographs and tweets of alleged looters in action. The British newspaper, the Daily Mail went on to publish the photographs and ran the story, "'Even momma got outta house to loot new shirt': Looters brag on Twitter" without first verifying their sources. Radio host Alex Jones published an exposé of the alleged 'looters'. Later, after the GNAA published a press-release detailing the incident, mainstream media began detailing how the prank was carried out.
From 2014 into 2015, GNAA members began playing an active role in the Gamergate controversy, sabotaging efforts made by pro-Gamergate parties. Several GNAA members were able to gain administrative access to 8chan's (an imageboard affiliated with Gamergate) primary Gamergate board, which they disrupted and ultimately closed. The GNAA also claimed responsibility for releasing private information related to many pro-Gamergate activists.
Several members of the GNAA with expertise in grey hat computer security research began releasing information about several software vulnerabilities under the name "Goatse Security." The group chose to publish their work under a separate name because they thought that they would not be taken seriously.
In June 2010, Goatse Security attracted mainstream media attention for their discovery of at least 114,000 unsecured email addresses registered to Apple iPad devices for early adopters of Apple's 3G iPad service. The data was aggregated from AT&T's own servers by feeding a publicly available script with HTTP requests containing randomly generated ICC-IDs, which would then return the associated email address. The FBI soon investigated the incident. This investigation led to the arrest of then-GNAA President, Andrew 'weev' Auernheimer, on unrelated drug charges resulting from an FBI search of his home.
In January 2011 the Department of Justice announced that Auernheimer would be charged with one count of conspiracy to access a computer without authorization and one count of fraud. A co-defendant, Daniel Spitler, was released on bail.
In June 2011, Spitler pleaded guilty on both counts after reaching a plea agreement with US attorneys.
On November 20, 2012, Auernheimer was found guilty of one count of identity fraud and one count of conspiracy to access a computer without authorization. This indictment was overturned on April 11, 2014, and Auernheimer was subsequently released from prison.
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