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Thursday, 23 February 2012 15:42

Why We May Never Have A Truly Free and Open Internet

90In the very recent past the NSA and other governmental agencies have tried to show Anonymous as a terrorist organization. To do this they are using very basic definitions of the term; after all a terrorist uses fear to achieve their goals. However, if you can qualify Anonymous as a terrorist organization based on the loose definition and the fact that fear of them uncovering the truth has led to changes in many areas then you can also classify the MPAA, RIAA, NSA and other organizations as terrorist too.

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Anon-AAWhen you think about social activist groups you often think of Green Peace, or maybe the Suzan Colman foundation, perhaps your mind may hit on groups like the Shriners. I do doubt that you think of Anonymous. When Anonymous comes to mind many people (too many perhaps) think “Hacker!” and all that this negative title has to offer. Anonymous does have only themselves to blame on this one though as through the years many of their members have perpetrated some very unsavory acts. The one that really comes to my mind was the releasing of personal information (including home addresses) of police officers. This act (which was, from what I hear, very unpopular even inside Anonymous) put many innocent people in danger; spouses and children to be exact.  

So we are sure that the question that must be mulling around in the heads of some of the more clear thinking members of the ever changing group is; “How to change the way Anonymous is viewed by the world?” They can no longer just hack companies and gain the same level of response they once did. Defacing a web site is becoming as common and mundane as graffiti painted on the wall of an abandoned building. Sure people look at it, read about it, and then file the incident away in the “just another hacker” section of their minds.  Anonymous needs something to work with that still has mystique but also hits these companies where it counts.

To accomplish this Anonymous has started their own analysis group. This group is reportedly staffed by Anonymous members whose regular jobs are in the Legal, Financial and Analytical world already. Together this new offshoot will use cough “unconventional” methods to identify and expose fraudulent activity and (as they put it) bad corporate stewardship.  This type of “attack” is something that the rest of the world can understand (if not get behind). After all, while the methods differ drastically then results are identical to what the judicial branches of our respective governments claim they are working towards.
Still it is very hard to get a good feel for the motives and psychology of a collective like Anonymous. Usually to find this you look at the movies and ideology of the leader(s). With Anonymous there is no stated leader and there is no group in control. It truly is a collective. Anyone can make a suggestion and those that agree jump in. This is Anonymous’ strength and weakness. As we have seen the smaller splinter groups that have cohesion are quickly infiltrated and run to ground by law enforcement. So while not having a leader helps prevent this, it also makes keeping focus nearly impossible. This is what is responsible for the many projects that have simply died out, or never even started on the date in question. This makes me wonder how long the analytics group will stay focused and if this effort will be enough to maintain momentum, which as we have said is one of the downsides to being a true collective.

Personally, I really hope that this project can meet their stated ends and uncover some of the corruption and fraud that does exist out there. I hope that it is successful enough that some of the more subversive plans and elements will turn their efforts to this instead of releasing information that has the potential to harm innocent people; something that Anonymous claims to be very much against.

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