Anonymous talks about Anonymous

Anonymous talks about Anonymous

HACKTIVIST GROUP Anonymous, or at least one part of it, has visited Reddit to discuss who it is, where it is and where it's going.

The section of the group that runs the AnonymousIRC Twitter account started the Reddit conversation earlier today, and it discussed things like: its leader - there isn't one; its motives - they are varied; and its members - which are legion.

There might be some disinformation sprinkled around in the conversation, such as the late mention that 9,000 people operate the Twitter account, but otherwise the Reddit session seemed frank and forthcoming. For example, discussing the real numbers behind the account, the group explained that it was managed by "More than one person," adding, "It's impossible to shut down the twitter by arresting a single person."

These is no money behind the group and there are no obvious monetary agendas. Fortunately for the group its methods are cheap, and effective. "We run on a very low budget," said on poster, "but 20 bucks is enough to take on the filthy leaders, fortunately :)".

These cheap and effective methods could lend themselves to attacks on any kind of organisation, like the Opcartel plans to take on a Mexican drugs cartel. This controversial move was backed by some camps and opposed by others. AnonymousIRC said that these Anons were "bold".

"We support them with all our heart, And oops, we may have some data on them which would be preferred to be undisclosed, according to them," it said. "It'll all get out, tho. Why? We do not need to fear Govt's OR Cartels. We're Anonymous and we're mad as hell." It added later, "OpCartel are some ballsy guys. We love them <3".

The disparate nature of the group - and this is just one out of many social media accounts associated with Anonymous, remember - should suggest that there are many disagreements, but it seems that while different sectors may carry out their own initiatives or random attacks, this is fine within the greater Anonymous consciousness.

"We cannot control or limit what some individual anon may do or not do. Neither it is our interest. An example: If some cop finds it funny to mace innocent girls, Internet crowd will hate him. Which will include his family, if that information is public. Like it or not, it's just what happens," one poster said.

"There is no individual Anon. We might agree or not, it does not matter much, though. Anonymous strives because its base is covered every where: Pacifists as well as Anarchists. And while they despise each others methods they still can work together. Isn't it beautiful?"

What might not be so beautiful is the use of the Guy Fawkes or V for Vendettamask that has become the face of the organisation, and one respondent seemed to want to distance the group from its use, or at least its connotations.

"The Guy Fawkes mask became a traditional symbol of Anonymous. We find that troubling for a number of reasons," he or she wrote.

"It's all down to Hollywood. Nobody of us would know of him if it wasn't for the movie. Possibly there was an evil plan. Let's calculate with that - not only to push Time Warners' profits. Most of us don't want to burn down the Parliament. And most of us don't want to throw money into TW's throat. So let us meet halfway."

Other symbols of leadership, such as Topiary who was arrested in the UK, are also dimissed as leaders, but not as personalities. "It does not matter whether Anonymous has a spokesperson or not, even less who that might me. Once you understand you realize it does not matter," adds the poster.

"Barrett Brown is not a spokesperson. Neither is Topiary btw. Or me. Or Sabu. Or whoever. We just keep on pounding the establishment until there is no more."

Majority approval is not necessary for a movement to succeed, but there is a tipping point for action that depends on the mood of the group. This may explain why an operation like that against Facebook was ignored, for technical reasons, but an assault on the Zetas drug cartel was not.

"Nobody within Anonymous can approve or reject any idea. Nobody has that authority. What happens is: Someone suggests a plan. Or an idea. Or an operation. If it is sound, other Anons will support it. If it isn't, it will be ignored. It's a bit like democracy except that it can be taken literally and it is actually working," they said.

"[Facebook] is hosted and backed by Akamai and Amazon, the largest backbone providers you have. It still is possible to screw them but it would take skill and determination. However, those involved in [it] said [the] Op lacked both. You cannot kill [Facebook] with LOIC obviously. Needs different stuff..." ยต

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