Archive for June, 2012


Something i did for an assessment but thought i’d share it anyway


So what is Anonymous ?  Well this is a very good question, Anonymous is an alias of which, many individuals use if they wish to keep their identities hidden. It was founded by a small number of individuals using the 4chan forum and has been used repeatedly since 2003. Though it may seem like a collective grouping of people, officially it is not, as it is an individual’s choice to conceal their own identity and doing so by using the freedom of the internet to do so.  They hide away under a common cover, in this instance the use of the infamous Guy Fawkes mask, which was made famous by the comic and later made film V for Vendetta.

Due to the fact that there is no official membership base as there is no proper official group means that for this article the term “member” will be used, but will be done so extremely loosely. Those interested in “joining” merely has the need to want or have already posted something on the internet using anonymous as their cover alias. For those who want to join the so called ‘more structured network’, as per se may do so by looking at the following website

According to the video, What is Anonymous ? (by username -mashable) individuals may use channels like 4Chan to suggest ideas to the other “members” ,if enough support is given to an idea, it will be acted upon. Though saying that, there is no official quota or number , so there is wide variations of ballots cast between the different ideas, with the HB Gary operation for example saw only a dozen individuals had gotten involved, in comparison to several hundred  who had gotten involved in operation Tunisia, in which the “group had stood up against the Tunisian government for crimes against citizens, which had included censoring free access to internet and information”. Overall ‘member’s as individuals can post ideas of actions  they may have in an attempt to retaliate against  injustices worldwide by governments and corporations and do so by hacking or mass annoyance in actions such as Distributed service denial (overloading websites) forcing the website(s) to collapse, prank calls, spam emails or even the ordering of pizza to households to address of perpetrators and hacking (though this is only a small fraction of the total “membership”).

From the video What Is Anonymous and What Is The Plan?,  it is stated that there is no membership and that Anonymous is just an idea, setting about the principles of fairness amongst all humans.  It strives to fight against the normal “states attempts to mould and conform it citizens to its will”, as this, is what is suggested as keeping states and corporations wealthy, while many suffer around the world due to this greed and inequality. Furthermore adding that if it wasn’t for wealth, there would not be a need for wars, as resources would be equal and distributed equality. As a whole people tend to conform and become dismissive of these inequalities as they had been taught to do so by society and state instruments such as education. Those that share this idea communicate amongst each other through various means, one being the famous 4chan.

According to the vast information sources about or made by “members”, Anonymous are said to be attempting to return power back to the people. The idea, as illustrated through the videos and various supported websites, state that governments have become too corrupt and greedy,  and that it is now time to re-open transparency and accountability, to the heart of government for the populace to take back control of their institutions and their politicians. There are a number of ways how wishing to “join” anonymous can do so via various ways, “officially through the usage of hacktivism, which is seen as the usage of computers and networks mostly the internet, to protest or campaign in order to promote political ends”.

The next important point to consider is what are Anonymous ultimately trying to achieve ? Well this is the interesting question as members of Anonymous attempt to open up the internet ,or in other words have no barriers to information free and away general secrets. Due to the fact that there is no apparent leadership  of the organisation, leads to question it’s affectability.  The general fact that individuals hide beneath the famous Guy Fawkes mask, commonly associated with anarchy and disorder, and an icon that most can relate to especially recently in the various “occupy movement” worldwide including the first and hugely attended, Times Square protests (Occupy Times Square Movement).

Anonymous according to What Is The Plan is open to anyone who wishes to use it; it can be family, neighbours friends, teachers, shop managers, soldiers, absolutely anyone.   However one would need to understand the organisation’s internal procedures to ensure full potential is achieved. Members post up ideas and a vote is taken whether to action upon the ideas and is done through that medium and where each member is deemed as being equal as one another.

To answer how successful Anonymous is particularly difficult due to the way the network works, as it is not an actual physical organisation and therefore measurement of success is not easily obtainable as from other organisations. It is a seemingly open and loose organisation with minor organisation and logistics. Yet it has proven its success , it is known worldwide and has many videos with messages to various people and organisations which all end with the common “We are Anonymous –Expect Us”. The HB Gary operation had shown how powerful Anonymous can be utilising the individuals who do collectively come together and act. The most successful of operations in my opinion is when Anonymous attacked Mastercard Visa for banning any transactions going to Wikileaks, leading to anonymous to crash their website causing many hundreds if not thousands of financial transactions to fail, costing time and money on Mastercard Visa’s expense to correct. The only negative that can be seen is that due to it’s loose membership anyone can claim their actions to be that of the work of Anonymous and would be difficult to prove due to the nature of the membership.

In conclusion, Anonymous is a fascinating organisation who looks to free the internet from censorship and will defend the 99% from the rich 1%.  Anonymous proves highly successful in it’s actions by attacking governments and corporations. Its main successes can also be seen as a coherent weakness, being that there is no head or structures, can prove to work for them as they avoid being caught by authorities, but yet no proper direction.

Categories: UK Politics