We are Anonymous.
We are legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Expect us – always.
To quote Penny Leavy, HB Gary Inc. president, “They have committed a crime against our company and, unfortunately, we are legally bound,” she said. “I wish it had been handled differently.”
OK Penny, let’s look at the situation. One of your boys, the oh so infamous Aaron Barr, tried to do some research on Anonymous. Some of the information that he came up with, like his claim that Anonymous has a well defined hierarchy, is so ludicrous, that he has to have been feed it. In other words they knew who he was from the start, and everything that he got was faked.
If he had have asked anyone who ever did any research on Anonymous, we could have told him that he’d been had. But he didn’t. Instead he shoots his mouth off in public.
Um, pardon. Let me get this straight. You paint a target on your forehead, set up a pie throwing booth, sell tickets, and dare the customer to throw a lemon meringue pie at you. Then you get upset when the pie hits.
This is what we call where I grew up, plain stupid. We used the term to describe kids that played with skunks.
Psychohistory And The Prediction Of Mass Reactions
Psychohistory is a fictional science invented by writer Isaac Asimov for his Foundation Series. It may be fictional, but a group of people with a common background of philosophy will tend to react to stimulus in a similar manner.
Penny Leavy is a good example of that. Anonymous, or should we say, groups claiming to be Anonymous, have hit several companies in the past. Penny Leavy’s response is a very typical corporate response. She’s said she’s coming after them. If she does what the other companies who’ve been hit have done, that’s the last we will have heard of her. After all, she’s got more important things to do right now, like try and salvage her company.
Anonymous is another good example. You poke Anonymous, Anonymous pokes back. Us country kids were cruel. We figured it was your fault if you got stung after sticking your hand in a beehive. Aaron Barr stuck his hand in the hive and got stung. Aaron Barr has made himself into a corporate embarrassment. It’s called stupidity above and beyond the call of duty.
Lamestream Media Culpability
Take the Financial Times, please. There’s idiocy, and then there’s idiocy. How can you interview someone who’s Anonymous? Just how stupid can you be?
Or for that matter The Guardian, which in this article seems to be trying to prove that all of the Manchester stereotypes are true. They’ve interviewed a person claiming leadership in an organization that doesn’t exist. How droll.
Let’s look at a somewhat comparable situation. I’m a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. Have been for years. Probably will still be when I die. Yeah, it’s a shitty team. But it’s my team.
There are millions of Toronto Maple Leafs fans across Canada. We have no organization (yes, I know the team runs a fan club, but no true fan belongs). We have no membership lists. We have no identifying marks. We are doctors, lawyers, salesmen, politicians, scientists, buss drivers, hookers, artists, musicians, poets, welders, teachers, and housewives. We are Leafs fans.
Take the same paragraph, and rewrite it slightly:
There are millions of Anonymous across the world. We have no organization. We have no membership lists. We have no identifying marks. We are doctors, lawyers, salesmen, politicians, scientists, buss drivers, hookers, artists, musicians, poets, welders, teachers, and housewives. We are Anonymous.
Rather obvious, now isn’t it? So the Financial Times and The Guardian have interviewed someone who may or may not be part of Anonymous. They have no way to determine if this person is or isn’t. It’s possible that the person that they interviewed didn’t know themselves! But the Lamestream Media quotes them anyways.
That would be like interviewing me about why Toronto Maple Leafs fans are loyal despite the team being such an absolute dog. Sure you’d get an answer. But there are millions of other Maple Leaf fans out there. Why would my answer be any more valid than that of a fan in Sudbury?
What I Do Know
Defining Anonymous is like trying to define a puddle in the middle of a torrential rain storm. The best description that I can come up with, after watching them for the last couple of years is that Anonymous is a group of amorphous nonentities with one common interest. Ethics. It might not be ethics as described in the dictionary, but it is ethics.
And there’s some damned smart people involved. The Low Orbit Ion Cannon software that was supposedly used in the denial of service attacks? The software that the FBI said was so easy to trace? Guess what folks – it’s already been re-written. It already had been re-written several times before the FBI mentioned it’s traceability. Yesterday I mentioned that I’d been doing research on Anonymous in the past, and part of my research involved looking at the LOIC software, which if you read the lamestream press is a single application.
But it isn’t. I found several variations, written using several different programming languages. The original was written to run on Windows, and wouldn’t run on anything else. I don’t run Windows, so I looked for Mac and Linux versions, and I found them. There’s even a cross platform version that I downloaded last September, and tested on our home network. Yes, it works. The workstation that I attacked with it, couldn’t see any of our other computers.
Since each of these different versions of the LOIC will have been re-written in a different way, I suspect that come the next attack, law enforcement won’t find tracking attacks anyway near as easy.
Ethics. Remember ethics. If you are the United States government, you might think that you have to keep suspected terrorists imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. But is that ethical? If you are Tony Blair you might feel that you have to protect your old pal Hosni Mubarak by saying what a nice guy he is. But is that ethical?
Because one thing that Anonymous does is speak to the average person. Most people try to live ethically, or at least as ethically as they can. They expect to get treated ethically too, and they get upset when a company or government treats them in a manner that they don’t think is ethical.
Every time a business or a government acts in a manner that their customers and/or citizens don’t perceive is ethical, that business or government is acting as a recruitment center for Anonymous. Crackdowns like the FBI is currently attempting also function as a recruitment mechanism, because the companies that the FBI is protecting aren’t acting ethically (specifically in cutting off funds to Wikileaks, an organization which has never been found guilty of illegal actions).
Take the recent Usage Based Billing fiasco in Canada. Indications are that the cost to Bell Canada to transmit a Gigabyte of data is between $0.01 and $0.10, and Bell Canada wants to charge up to $5.00 per Gigabyte? If this ethical? Is Bell Canada a recruitment center for Anonymous? It may not have been before, but it is now.
Ethics. It all comes down to ethics. Anonymous acts in what to them is an ethical manner. They attempt to bring justice to situations where they don’t see society acting. Society isn’t reacting well the the criticism.
Tuesday February 8, 2011