How Far Does the Reach of Anonymous Extend?
I recently read a story concerning the group Anonymous. The story intrigued me greatly, and it went something like this: After the Food Not Bombs scandal in Orlando, Anonymous, the Internet hacktivist group, declared a new operation, deemed operation Orlando, in which they will fight what they see as a freedom of expression violation. Now, this story is rather old, and Anonymous actually took a break from the above mentioned campaign three weeks ago, but it makes me wonder just how far does Anonymous’ power extend? After all, they are taking a break because two of their demands out of three have been met by the Orlando government: The release of Food Not Bombs member Keith McHenry from custody and the cessation of all arrests for public feeding in city parks.
Both of these things have come to pass, and it makes one wonder at the power wielded by an admittedly large group of anonymous hackers. Looking at the groups past, one finds a rather impressive track record, if a little vulgar. The more vulgar ones shall not be discussed in this article, but they have been involved in some pretty big stuff, such as the Egyptian, Algerian, Tunisian, and Libyan Revolutions, as well as orchestrating a group of hackers in Iran to resist government oppression. They immediately attacked companies who denied service to Wikileaks after the leaking of those US government cables in Operation Payback, and in Operation Skynet, they fought against global censorship of the Internet by governments. This operation led to Operations ACTA and IFM, as well as Payback, which was covered above.
With a track record like Anonymous’, it’s no wonder they are considered such a threat to the security of governments throughout the global. But, as a group confined almost entirely to the Internet, it is a little surprising how far they extend: while members have been known to gather in real life to protest, such as against the Church of Scientology, nearly all of their actions take place online. However, as the world’s dependence on computers and the Internet grows, Anonymous will become larger, more effective, more frightening, and above all, more powerful. This thought in itself is terrifying, because, as I like to say, “Everyone knows someone in Anonymous,” Anonymous continues to thrive in this world. Their most recent attack has been on the nation of Chile, due to the president passing a bill banning all student protesting, and ordering the arrest of around 590 people. The attack began on August 7, 2011, and, all though nothing has happened yet as of the time of this article’s writing, the group has released its customary video of warning, informing the Chilean Government “The Manifest Rights of the citizens of Chile are legitimate, these human rights, lost decades ago, are now recovered.
We will not lose them again.” Anonymous is prepared to take once action again, and, once again, we may see that their power extends well beyond mere annoyances on a computer screen. They are, after all, Anonymous They are legion They do not forgive, They do not forget Expect them, For they are many.