Last weekend I was browsing through Netflix. I always end up at the documentary section because I genuinely enjoy watching that stuff over anything else, but I really didn’t expect to find what I did. ‘We Are Legion’ it was titled, something about hacking and computer nerds so I flicked it on.
It may have been I was born a too late, or my school was such a bubble it never reached me, but how have I never heard of the organisation ‘Anonymous’. They started as a small group of internet ‘nerds’ on 4chan, sharing jokes, pictures and comments anonymously (social media these days–nothing is anonymous) and did loads of trolling. But that was kinda the point of 4chan.
Things started to get political. They took down a Neo-Nazi guy who was preaching illegally. They had massive internet and public protests against Scientology. (If you don’t know, people from Scientology stalk and threaten and harass people who speak out against their faith). Pretty rapidly, they gained members all over the world. They went on to do amazing things… when the Egyptian dictatorship cut all internet access to Egyptian residents, Anonymous worked with Telecomex over Twitter to give them a dial up connection. This enabled the people to organise protests and lead to the overthrow of the corrupt government.
They basically have total internet dominance and if they want to take something down they do it. If somebody is being manipulative or deceitful, they let the world know. If someone tries to mess with them….they send thousands of pizzas to their house, call them 24/7, refresh their webpage millions of times until it crashes.. and wipe their iPad.
So they have all this power and they could abuse it… I mean, Anonymous do have laughs over what they do. The pizza prank is pretty hilarious. But the point is that they use their intelligence to do good.
A spin-off group, ‘Lulsec’, however, had another approach. They crashed sites if they simply didn’t agree with the opinion being put across. This is kind of contradictory and limits freedom of speech, which was the whole reason they set up in the first place. Lulsec are an example of where this internet power has been abused and used irresponsibly. It also contributes to the bad stigma against other communities that are doing good stuff online, like Anonymous.
When PayPal and MasterCard withdrew their services from the WikiLeaks site, no more donations could be made. However, their services are still available on Neo-Nazi sites. Even though the subject of Julian Assange is controversial and should all documents be shared with the public? It’s debatable, but that’s not the point. Paypal and Mastercard were being hypocrites. Anonymous took action…….their members all over the world helped crash the PayPal and MasterCard websites. Unfortunately, the government did not like this and are trying to send some of those activists to prison. I see this as an online protest. Enormous numbers of people coming together to take down a site for a very valid reason. Not everybody agrees of course, but that’s the point of a protest – some are for, some are against.
Is the government afraid that maybe they aren’t the most powerful force in the world? Is this why they’re trying to control it by arresting a few activists..? Welcome to the world of the internet…it’s the future. They’ll soon realise they can’t keep putting away people that they don’t like because more will rise up.
Follow Anonymous on Twitter for news updates 🙂 @YourAnonNews
“We do not forgive, we do not forget”