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William K. Wolfrum's picture

An Anonymous storm is gathering - Let it rain

 

"Anonymous is not the name of an organization. In fact, "organization" is the least appropriate word to describe the phenomenon that is Anonymous. It might be better to call Anonymous a movement, or a trend, or even a philosophy. However, the best ways to describe Anonymous is as a group action, a spontaneous and unified activity performed by like-minded people with no specific starting point. Fans of anime might call Anonymous a "stand-alone complex." -- Will Greenwald, PC Magazine.

"Without information, one cannot fight for any other cause. Children will remain abused if their plight remains unknown. Nations will rage wars against their own people if cloaked in secrecy. Crimes will go unpunished, victims will go uncomforted, and walls will remain undefended." -- Anonymous.

Following its involvement with Wikileaks and its complete devastation of HBGary Federal (It's Web site is still down and CEO Aaron Barr resigned yesterday), the anonymity of the movement known as Anonymous has taken a hit. Anonymous is quickly becoming anarchy for the masses. And the masses are just getting started.

While it is impossible to know how many are involved with Anonymous, it seems quite safe to say that its numbers - both those faithful to the core Anonymous philosophies and those with their own agendas - have swelled. And with the swelled numbers, comes a divergence of political and societal beliefs that are now being acted on. In just the past few days, Anonymous hackers have been accused of:

Mind you, not all involved are thrilled with having Anonymous be used by a variety of groups or individuals:

“Leftist leeches, sucking the fun out of Anonymous. Go play pretend-time somewhere else. Build a fort, and play United Nations, or worry about global warming and whatnot. Just stop trying to ride the Anonymous wave please," read one comment at AnonNews.

But such are the inherent dangers of a movement based on a lack of heirarchy and more than a hint of Anarchistic ideals. It becomes an incredibly easy movement to co-opt. Already, "Magnanimous" - which took credit for the Koch Brothers attack - has introduced itself as a "subset" of Anonymous.

Magnanimous group is a subset of Anonymous associated (but unaffiliated as are all Anonymous) with Anons and others who are members of other groups or simply individuals. Where Anonymous may wish to see an outcome, as a subset we can take it further and build that outcome without unnecessarily warping the nature of the larger Anonymous corrective.

At AnonNews, Anonymous has a letter to journalists detailing their beliefs (or lack of them) and making a point about those that will co-opt their brand. 

There have been several news articles recently suggesting that Anonymous is taking a very specific political stance regarding the events in Wisconsin. While some Anons are undoubtedly passionate about this issue, it would be a mistake to report that Anonymous is targeting the Koch brothers, or are even uniform in their opinion of collective bargaining rights of public employees at the state level.

Perhaps it might make more sense to you if you simply add a press release here at AnonNews, and see how easy it is to make a pronouncement on behalf of Anonymous? 

Please recognize that as Anonymous' brand has aquired legitimacy, opportunists have and will continue to try to tie their personal political agendas to the movement.

Those involved in Anonymous understand opportunists will continue co-opting their brand. Even more than that, it's something they just have to accept to an extent. If the whole endeavor is based on freedom of information, how could they truly object? And who will stand up to try and create a more ideological streamlining of Anonymous?

From a personal standpoint: We are on the cusp of a unique moment. And mind you, I'm a journalist and have been warned away from use of the word "unique." But this fits. It is my belief that what we see today is but a harbinger of things to come.

Because it would defy normal human conditioning to believe that those involved with Anonymous are not flush with confidence that comes with so much notoriety. Attacks will continue, and with that more and more individuals and/or groups will co-opt the Anonymous banner. Left, right and all other flavors of the political spectrum will become involved.

The Pandora's Box of Anonymous has been opened. And while the faithful Anonymous individuals will likely stay true to their beliefs and do what is necessary to distance themselves from groups co-opting their brand, exactly how far can they go to stop it? The whole thing devolving into a hacker vs. hacker civil war seems quite unlikely. And seems to go against the whole philosophy.

So where will it lead? Who knows? It's safe to assume arrests will be made. It's impossible to believe that all involved in Anonymous or copycat groups will manage to keep their fingerprints off their work, or avoid the temptation of going after too large a fish. And any individuals working outside the legal system must know that some of their brothers (and sisters) will fall eventually. But this is not an "organization" that can simply be eradicated.

As for predictions, I have but a couple, albeit based more on instinct than fact. For one, the Anonymous brand will continue to grow. Quickly and consistently. This movement is not one likely to peter out or lose its luster among potential hackers anytime soon. The allure is too strong. The cause too great. The "lulz" too readily accessible.

My main predictions would be these:

  • The national U.S. media will be completely useless in explaining the Anonymous phenomenon, especially when it comes to those co-opting the Anonymous name. Any hacking instances in the foreseeable future will be connected to Anonymous, regardless of fact.
  • The 2012 U.S. Presidential Election will be unlike anything any one has ever imagined.

For years I have used the line "The Hackers will save us." Now that hackers are beginning to get more involved in our world, I honestly have no idea if any amount of "saving" will take place, or whether they'll just all end up making a mess of the joint. Regardless, Anonymous' overriding philosophy is truly an attractive one:

The battle standard that Anonymous follows, however, is the freedom of information.

Simply put, a chaotic, Anonymous storm is gathering.

Let it rain, say I.

--WKW

Crossposted at William K. Wolfrum Chronicles

You left out 'Anonymous' taking credit for taking down Gaddafi's official website and the Bank of Libya's website.

The poster who complained about 'leftist leeches' is an idiot. He needs to go back and school himself on the Anonymous concept.

I, for one, welcome our anonymous overlords.

For a couple of years now, Sharon Astyk has been predicting some sort of struggle between generations.

2009: A basic conflict between generations will begin to emerge and simmer as younger people realize that the concentration of wealth in the baby boomer generation isn’t going anytime soon, and youth joblessness rises, and people realize that their expectations are less than their parents’. I doubt that this conflict will emerge in any dramatic way in 2010, but I think its groundwork is being sown right now and this will shape the politics of the next decade.

2010: Again, this is a tough one to evaluate, but I think there’s increasing evidence in its favor. Two places to look at the fault lines would be on the far right and left – to the right, the age demographics of the Tea Party movement, often commented upon underscore a narrative that essentially runs “we don’t want anyone else to get the kind of benefits we had, because we are pretty sure we can’t afford them. On the left, Susan Faludi wrote an interesting article this fall in Harpers about why the generational division between younger and older feminists was so vast – and so vicious. In both cases, the explanation is held to be something other than a pie that isn’t big enough and an emerging battle between age groups, but i think that is emerging. Time will tell whether this was a critical year or not, but I’m taking this one.

Astyk didn't mention tech, but it would be the logical avenue for the younger generation to get back at the older ones with more money than tech savvy.

The internet was developed for free sharing of info. They never even thought about security. So it doesn't take much to use it the way it was intended. The only cops on the beat are those in the DMZ's trying to get a handle on their own intranetworks and to keep the dogs of the internet from ravaging their secured environments. Since personal PCs connected to the internet are free agents, a person with the right stuff could take the time and cultivate an army of unknowing, but willing units to use spare CPU cycles to terrorize whomever they please and no one would be able to track the actions to the mastermind behind the attack. The only way to secure a network would be to divorce it from the cloud, but that defeats the purpose. The internet is the true power of the people that governments have no control over other than shutting it down, but they too loose because they too have become dependent on it so the people win either way.

>The battle standard that Anonymous follows, however, is the freedom of information.

No, it isn't.

Why then Anonymous attacked HBGary after claims of discovery Anonymous' personal information? How idea of the freedom of information can combine with idea of fanatical hiding own identity?

Also, only, like 0.005% of anons are actually hackers.

Idiotic comment. Revealing personal details about ones private life is not the same as revealing abuses being committed by corporations. Try again fail troll/plant.

Actually. Since there is no telling who is associated with anon, there could be tons of actual hackers ... or just one highly effective SOB. No way to tell.

You are confusing the issue that causes anon to proactively select a target with a simple reality of life: if you attack Anon, they are going to defend themselves. The two motivators are not mutually exclusive. There is healthy debate about targets and many people decide not to participate in any given op. However, when someone attacks the collective all bets are off. Injury to one is injury to all -just like with the pre-Trumka era labor unions. It would hardly be an effective group if every time some blog jackass came up with an intellectually moronic assertion of double standard they rolled up and left their flank open to assault. Which part of "We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us." do you not understand?

So, HB Gary self-selected their firm as a target. What you seem intent on ignoring, though, is that the first thing Anon did upon successfully breaching their network was RELEASE THE INFORMATION. Including the names Barr was claiming were Anons. Their stated point was specifically to give the FBI information "about them" that Barr was trying to sell for money - for free. That seems to be right in line with a group motivated by freedom of information, yes?

You may have missed this video. Someone reporting to be from Anonymous took down the WBC website while onair. It's actually pretty funny and happens around 7-8 min. mark. It was because WBC accused them the initial threat and of DDoS attacks. 

Excuse me, Wolfrum, but I believe you are breaking with the Dagblog party line on Wikileaks, Anonymous and all things chaotic and web-based. Namely -

WHAT ABOUT ASSANGE'S PENIS???? 

Until that question is fully answered, nothing further of interest will be occurring on that file. 

P.S. I also predict that Mossad will be found to be behind Anonymous.

P.P.S. And China will be discovered to be behind Assange's willie. 

Well, now, you may be conflating Dag Doctrine on Wikileaks with Dag Doctrine on Anonymous; no one knows if they have willies or that other thing...er...duckies.

Couldst tha leave a message at mine Posterous?

Ok but I'd also like to to see if your opinion changes after the first DOS attack on DagBlog. Laughing

They'll never find us! They anonymous, but we're... obscure!

I prefer to think of it as "niche".

An acquired taste.

Certainly the all-powerful Ghengis would to be able to turn back such an attack with a stern glance at the internets and a Fonzie-style blow to the top of his router.

Dagblog remains uncowed!

Actually, I was thinking of starting a little protection racket. You know, a small fee to keep Anon off your host.

Invest in whatever company makes Guy Fawkes masks.

Ghost of the French Resistance raising up and giving a hollah?  Is that the storm that's coming?  Anyway, the French Underground is what I was reminded of as I read this, Wolfrum.  Only on a larger field than just Frawnce.

A paragraph from Wikipedia, the source of perfect knowledge Undecided...

The French Résistance played a significant role in facilitating the Allies' rapid advance through France following the invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944, and the lesser-known invasion of Provence on 15 August, by providing military intelligence on the German defenses known as the Atlantic Wall and on Wehrmacht deployments and orders of battle. The Résistance also planned, coordinated, and executed acts of sabotage on the electrical power grid, transportation facilities, and telecommunications networks.[4][5] It was also politically and morally important to France, both during the German occupation and for decades afterward, because it provided the country with an inspiring example of the patriotic fulfillment of a national imperative, countering an existential threat to French nationhood. The actions of the Résistance stood in marked contrast to the collaboration of the regime installed at Vichy.[6][7]

"Politically and morally important".

Hmmm.

Well, that chimes.

Face facts. The anonymous group are a bunch of criminals, vandals and vigilantees.

Those who have the most to hide, have the most to fear....

"Be always scheming and afraid of schemes...?  No thank you...!

"Make humble requests...?  No thank you...!

"Seek introductions to useful people...?  No thank you...!  No! No! and Fuck NO!

"We make it our modest rule to be satisfied with whatever flowers, fruit or even leaves we gather as long as they are form our own garden...  Then if we should happen to gain some small success we're not obliged to render any of it on to Caesar....  We dream of flying to the moon but give no thought to fame or fortune..."

So SMMFDDB...!

OK, I'll bite. SMMFDDB? Wassat?

It's

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=SMMFD&defid=1161346

+

damn bitch (?)

I can't believe I know and you don't.Surprised

Goodnes. How crass ... not civil at all :)

People's grandmas text circles around me.

Hmm.  I was going with 'dumb bitch', but 'damn bitch' werks, too.

Either way, I've been called worse by better folks than the above Anonymous, so, eh, if said Anonymous was indeed referring to moi. Undecided

I think Anonymous #2 was referring to Anonymous #1, who was, ironically, insulting "Anonymous". Got it? Wink

Yeah.  It's getting so you can't tell the players without a program around here,. Smile

I'd love to face facts.  If only I could find some through ordinary ways.

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