Students and parents are raising concerns after pro-Nazi fliers appeared on printers around UC Berkeley campus that also championed the day that Donald Trump is sworn in as president.
A Jewish mother, who asked to be called Mary for fear of retribution and who lives in the San Fernando Valley, said her daughter is a freshman at UC Berkeley. She obtained one of the fliers through a friend, who works on campus, and who said that they appeared on many, if not all, printers on Tuesday.
She said she’s upset because the school did not notify the students about the fliers and dismissed her claims. She provided one of the fliers to NBC Los Angeles, showing swastikas and which say “Samiz.dat…It’s almost here, we take power on the 20th.” Samizdat was a key form of dissident activity across the Soviet bloc, where people produced underground publications to evade censorship.
Jan. 20 is President-Elect Donald Trump's inauguration date.
"I wish the students at least would've had some sort of notice, because without finding out through someone who works there, we wouldn't have known,” Mary said on Tuesday.
In an email on Tuesday, UC Berkeley spokesman Roqua Montez said there is no credible threat at this time, and a UC Berkeley police sergeant said detectives are following up on the issue. How many fliers were found and on how many printers has not been revealed. He added that the university does not consider this a case of hacking and there is "no actual crime being committed," as the sender is "exploiting open source printers and fax machines that are being legally access via the Internet." He said the university's IT department is trying to inform employees how to best update the machinery to be better secured.
Nazi fliers were sent to university printers, including ones at UC Berkeley, in March although there is no direct link of evidence between what happened in spring and what was found on Tuesday. However, they appear to look alike.
“These fliers look to be very similar,” Montez said in an email.
In the spring, the fliers were filled with hate against Jewish people and gays. A man the New York Times identified as Weev was thought to be behind the fliers that were found on seven different printers at UC Berkeley, some of which spewed fliers emblazoned with swastikas, calling on white men to join the "struggle for white supremacy." Similar messages were found at 11 other universities across the country.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has a dossier on Weev, who the center describes as a "notorious neo-Nazi hacker" who blasts printers across the country with swastika-adorned fliers. According to Forbes, anyone who sends unsolicited advertisements on a fax machine could be in violation of the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005.
Weev told the Times in a previous interview that "white cultures and only white cultures are subject to an invasion of foreigners."
A records search under Weev’s real name shows he had not been arrested in the Northern California as of Wednesday morning, according to the federal court system. But the New York Times noted that that he had been convicted of identity fraud to access a computer without authorization in 2010, but his conviction was overturned on appeal in 2014.