As I’ve mentioned a couple of times before, this blog is a for the people by the people (well, just me) blog. Because of this, I do take requests for posts. A friend of mine was pretty adamant about reaching out to me and providing with me with some information so I could do this post. I’d like to thank him in advance. Sorry it took so long, just wanted to do a good job for ya. With that being said enjoy, and any and all readers with ideas for future posts should let me know. You’ll probably see it one day!
A couple of weeks ago, you may have heard that the FBI arrested 16 people who were allegedly involved in major cyber attacks including ones on eBay’s PayPal website. Fourteen of the arrests were made in Nevada, DC, Massachusetts, Florida, Alabama, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Ohio. Two more people were arrested on similar charges in two separate complaints in New Jersey and Florida. The arrests were made as part of an investigation of Internet vigilante group Anonymous.
Despite these arrests, many people do not know who Anonymous is or what they stand for. To be honest, I didn’t know until my friend had told me about them and provided me with a few links. Those who have heard of Anonymous only have knowledge that media provides. Let’s be honest, sometimes the media can paint an unfair, unflattering and completely bias point of view. Fox news is a prime example. Here are two links that will tell you about who Anonymous is and what they do.
As you can see, like most organizations there is good and bad within Anonymous, just like there is good and bad within people. Although there are people who do bad things, there are people who do good things. Although they breach security (which probably isn’t very secure), in most cases it’s done to help people such as those in Egypt during their revolution.
There are four operations Anonymous are currently running. Operation Orlando, Operation Tennessee, Operation Turkey and Operation S978.
Operation Orlando began when Orlando police arrested members of a charity organization called Food Not Bombs. Anonymous vowed to attack multiple Orlando websites until the arrests stopped. As of July 1st 2011, Anonymous successfully attacked and took offline six Orlando related websites. It has also been said that millions of people were emailed Mickey Anon Boycott Orlando posters. The same day, a supporter of the group planted a Guy Fawkes mask (what Anonymous members wear) on a street sign on the same street where mayor of Orlando, Buddy Dyer, resides. This occurred after Anonymous sent a list of demands through city hall. As of July 18, Food Not Bombs co-founder has been released and the arrested have stopped. Anonymous is currently waiting to see if the police will continue to let Food for Bombs operate peacefully.
Operation Tennessee began when lawmakers in Tennessee proposed a bill that makes it a delinquent act, punishable only by a fine of $100 or 30 hours of community service or jail time, for a minor to frighten, intimidate or emotionally distress a person by communicating with or about that person, or transmitting or displaying an image, by electronic device, without legitimate purpose:(1) With the malicious intent to frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress; or (2) In a manner the minor knows, or reasonably should know, would frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress to a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities. All images posted on social networking sites must be able to be viewed by the district attorney. It would also give law enforcement the power to log files, images, or communicates on your ISPs. In response to this law, Anonymous released a file filled with leaked personal information from Tn.gov.
As of July 15 2011, Congress wants to pass a bill that will make it a criminal offense to stream copyrighted material without authorization. This means that any video game game play, demos or tutorials will be taken off the internet and violators could face jail time or a fine. Anonymous doesn’t want to this happen, but it appears no action has been reported yet.
Although there is no official information on Operation Turkey, it is reported that Anonymous will attack Turkish agencies that impose censorship through a new filtering system that the government plans to impose as of August 22. For more on this you can go here: http://blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/2011/06/07/hackers-announce-operation-turkey/.
There you have it folks. A completely unbiased breakdown of Anonymous. I tried to be as unbiased as possible to let you, the people, the readers, decide. Is Anonymous a group hellbent on causing mayhem and civil disobedience or is there a deeper meaning in their actions? Tell me what YOU think.