Anonymous: The Modern Day Acid Phreak
// Posted by Kindall on 05/21/2015 (2:27 PM)
If you search the term “Anonymous” in a Google browser, the second link will take you to a Wikipedia page which describes the topic as “Anonymous (used as a mass noun) is a loosely associated international network of activist and hacktivist entities. A website nominally associated with the group describes it as “an internet gathering” with “a very loose and decentralized command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives”. The group became known for a series of well-publicized publicity stunts and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on government, religious, and corporate websites.”
The group reminds me of our beloved Acid Phreak from Chapter 5. He bluntly and boldly suggested that hacking is really meant to be “infectious” to institutions. Anonymous takes this digital adage to heart as they hack government and corporate sites at home and abroad. This group claims to fight for free speech and the “lowly middle man” by exposing the hypocrisy and wrong-doing of certain institutions.
Everywhere I turn, Anonymous is there telling me that they are fighting for me and my rights… by doing what is “right”, “ethical”, and “moral”. But if you examine what Acid Phreak said in the Hacking Forum where he debates Barlow and others, he claims that there “is no one hacker ethic.” So, like many before me, I ask: How does Anonymous decide what is ethical/right and wrong? Who makes that call in their own, hierarchical and structured organization? Do they have their own agenda?
Personally, I think they do. Even if their ideas are rooted in good intentions, have they fallen into the same patterns as the institutions they work so hard to bring down and expose? Just think about how easy it was for them to hack into the St. Louis law enforcement system and leak details of the racially charged murder of Eric Holder in Ferguson. They released the home address of the officer (Darren Wilson) in question during a time of dangerous unrest. Anonymous has the ability to hack into various systems and release this damaging information, daily. And yet, they only choose to act when an incident occurs that will place them at center stage as our “protectors”.
I find the group so interesting, and I admire their gumption. I just wonder what their true agenda is. Who pushes their buttons and pulls their strings? Is anyone really a “digital Robin Hood” for us common folk?