My Thoughts About: Hacktivist / Hacker Group Anonymous

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By Dean Thorpe

anonymous mask man in the moon word cloud
What is Anonymous?

They are a huge network of hackers / hacktivists that want to help make the world a better place, want freedom of information for everyone, fight for equality for all and try to do things to basically piss off people who have done bad, immoral and unjust things, even if those things are not technically illegal! For instance people who spread hatred and intolerance who often find ways of doing it in legal or at least hard to stop ways!

Do hacktivist's like Anonymous stay within the law?

Not always, but in a lot of people's views they are bending the law for the good of the entire human race, unlike the people they target who want to bend the rules purely to gain power and control people for very bad reasons!

Surely the people who run Anonymous are also craving fame and power by their acts?  
Dean Thorpe in an Anonymous style mask, Matrix style photo

Not at all, hence the name Anonymous! It has no bosses, it has no high profile members doing big interviews on TV etc. Every member is equally as important or in fact as unimportant as the next! Am I part of them, no, but I do agree with a lot of their ideals, goals and even their methods. They have a "motto" that they use:

We are Anonymous,
We are legion,
We do not forgive,
We do not forget,
Expect us.

The bit about being legion is because they have so many members, all over the world, not caring about each others gender, skin colour, sexual orientation, religion, just all working together to achieve common goals for the good of all humanity. To help stay Anonymous they have adopted the same Guy Fawkes masks that were used in the film V for Vendetta, meaning that any member can create YouTube videos etc. without having to show their true identity.

Don't protesters and rioters wear the same masks as Anonymous?

Yes, thanks to the ever growing popularity of the film and the hacking group, plus a desire to not have to reveal your identity (Maybe you feel very strongly about something, but your family or bosses do not!) at events a lot of people do wear the masks, me included! I have been on protest marches, both against local issues and huge anti government ones in London and wearing the masks does feel good, makes you feel part of something so much bigger! I know some do wear it to protect their identity and avoid getting into trouble, but that is a very small percentage of the people who wear the masks. Almost all groups do have crazy extremists that don't follow the true message of that group, just because there are a few extremist Christians, doesn't mean they are all bad, the same with Muslims, Anonymous and so many others. So never judge the actions of a group fighting for good, just because a few nutters put the same masks on! Anonymous and groups like them will always be there to fight unjust systems, you can stop some of them, but you can never stop them all, people will always fight for what they believe in!

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