UPDATED: Hacker, white supremacist website claim responsibility for anti-Semitic messages around U.| Mar 25, 2016
The University is undertaking an investigation with the Department of Public Safety and the Office of Information Technology in response to en masse anonymous delivery of anti-Semitic messages across campus between Thursday night and Friday morning.
The flyer'smessageaccused the Jewish people of "destroying the country through mass immigration and degeneracy." A limited number of posters were found on different parts of the campus.
University Media Relations Specialist Min Pullan said that the messages were printed out using Internet-accessible printers. When asked to comment on how these messages were discovered, Pullan added that OIT was alerted through phone calls, incident tickets, online chats and DPS.
The University does not have a final number in terms of how many messages were sent out to networked printers across campus, according to Pullan.
Other universities, including the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the University of Southern California,are reportingsimilar incidents.
The printed posters at the University stated that the messages came from the Daily Stormer, a white supremacist website. Andrew Anglin, editor and founder of The Daily Stormer, said in an email interview with the Daily Princetonian that the fliers were sent by Andrew Auernheimer, a forum member of the Daily Stormer. Anglin described this member as a "White supremacist hacker."
In an email interview with the 'Prince', Auernheimer claimed responsibility for hacking the University's and other universities' networks.
"The white race was a quarter of the world's population a mere century ago. Now white women of childbearing age are 2%. We are undergoing a demographic collapse that is unfathomable," Auernheimer wrote. He also said that his goal with the endeavor is promoting white supremacy.
Manipulating the printers required no special technology, according to Auernheimer.
He further noted that he is not targeting universities, but rather every publicly accessible printer on the Internet.
According to University Assistant Vice President for Communications Daniel Day, Auernheimer’s actions did not constitute hacking in the sense that they did not breach security.
Anglin alleged that there is a student group at the University with whom he has been working to distribute these messages. Anglin said that he is also actively involved in student groups at other Ivy League schools, given that these schools "have greater influence on society."
According to the Anglin, the group at the University is allegedly attempting to establish a White Student Union to target the Jewish people who allegedly control the University. Anglin said that the student who is in charge of this group sent him a scan of his University ID card as proof of enrollment and racial identity and a photo of a meeting of the group, which had about 25 individuals present.
The University student in charge of the white supremacist group told him that upwards of 200 people are presently involved in the organization, Anglin said.
The existence of such groups has not been verified.
Anglin declined to comment further on the identity of this student leader.
Last November, Anglin posted aracially charged commentaryon his site about the controversy surrounding the removal of Woodrow Wilson's name.
Currently, OIT and DPS are working to research what can be done to block further messages, Pullan said. DPS has contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well, she added. Pullan stated that anyone with knowledge about the distribution of the messages should contact theDepartment of Public Safety.
In astatement, Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity Michele Minter said that "these flyers are offensive and contrary to the values of the University, which is committed to creating and maintaining an environment free from discrimination and harassment. Princeton attaches great importance to mutual respect, and we deplore expressions of hatred directed against any individual or group."
Incidents of bias, bigotry and hatred are hurtful and can cause stress to members of the community, Minter said. She noted that confidential counseling is available throughCounseling and Psychological Services, theCarebridge programand theOffice of Religious Life.
The University enforces disciplinary rules against speech that constitutes harassment and threat, according to "Rights, Rules, Responsibilities."
Director of DPS Paul Ominsky and a representative at OIT deferred comment to Pullan.
Center for Jewish Life Executive Director Rabbi Julie Roth said that she supports the actions being taken by the University to address this situation that has impacted several college campuses across the country.
“I also appreciate the position taken by Michele Minter, Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity,” she said.
In the wake of the incident, many student organizations, as well as alumni, have voiced their concerns about the events that transpired.
Josh Roberts ’17, president of the Student Board of the CJL, noted in a statement that many student groups have reach out to the Jewish community on campus in solidarity.
“We are sincerely grateful for all of our peer organizations and friends who are reaching out with support and kindness in the face of hatred,” Roberts’ statement reads.
Roberts deferred comment to the statement.
“At a time when political leaders' messages resonate with and propagate white supremacy, such anti-Semitic, white supremacist speech is particularly dangerous and hurtful,” a statement released by the Princeton Committee on Palestine reads, “Princeton Committee on Palestine stands in solidarity with our Jewish friends and neighbors and the entire Jewish community, and we are extremely sad that this has occurred on our own campus.”
Princeton Faith and Action also released a statement saying that the group is concerned about the incident and the allegations of white supremacist group on campus.
“Whether it be this most recent expression of anti-Semitism, or the anti-black rhetoric and threats of racial violence that occurred in the wake of the BJL protests, we denounce any association, action, or expression that seeks to devalue or dehumanize others," the statement reads.
Similarly, Princeton Latinos y Amigos denounced the incident as a, “despicable act [that came] at a time when anti-Semitism has ignited at campuses across the country, and even more inappropriately, during Purim, a time of celebration for the Jewish community.”
Zhan Okuda-Lim ’15 stated that he was alarmed when he learned that white supremacist hackers sent anti-Semitic flyers to printers at the University and elsewhere.
“I hope the University investigates thoroughly and bolsters printer and IT security on campus,” he said.
In light of conversations surrounding the freedom of speech, Okuda-Lim said that he hopes that all members of the University community use their freedom of expression to speak out against anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.