Anonymous: Heros or Terrorists?

Yesterday in our seminar, we were discussing the hactivist group Anonymous. Anonymous are an international hacking group, spread through the Internet, initiating active civil disobedience, while attempting to maintain anonymity. They wear masks from the film ‘V for Vendetta’ to hide their identities. Anonymous are responsible for attacks on servers of businesses who didn’t support Wikileaks and could be considered as “cyber-terrorists”.

We were shown a video message where they announce their hatred of Facebook and their privacy settings. The video from Anonymous claims that “Facebook has been selling information to government agencies and giving clandestine access to information security firms so that they can spy on people from around the world,”.


Our seminar leader asked us to give our opinions on the video. Silence falls across the room. I’m sat there thinking that it’s the kind of rough justice you would see in the film franchise ‘Saw’ (and the masks and funny voice reminded me of the jigsaw doll). Then, from nowhere, an American study abroad student pipes up. “This isn’t all that Anonymous do… They do this… this… and this…”, listing off all the ‘positive’ influences Anonymous have had.  Silence once again falls across the room. The seminar leader repeats her question, “What did you all think of the video?”

I pipe up. “Well I think that they don’t present a very good argument. Their views are extreme and it seems to me that it’s just a rant. Theres no substance to what they are saying as they present no facts to back them up.”

It’s safe to say that the American didn’t agree with me! She interjects quickly with a barrage of criticism of my argument. “How boring would their video be if they were just spouting out facts about Facebook?” She then does a mimic of someone saying loads of random facts, in that tone of voice people use when they are trying to make something sound boring. Continuing abusing me, she carries on by saying that “I have my eyes closed in terms of understanding the media”.

I got well and truly served.

But, I’m back and I’m going to give my opinion once more. Why would you back a group of people who are anarchists? Why try to cause anarchy in your spare time? Re-purpose your spare time. Do something useful. Volunteer at a charity rather than trying to ruin businesses. Surely our economy would be better off if these anarchists put their time and efforts into more productive things. Even if your intent on ‘destroying’ Facebook, why not do it in a legal way? If their facts about Facebook selling details to organisations is so clear, take them to a court of law and get Facebook to change. Don’t attack their servers…

Or is that too simple?


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