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Anonymous: good or bad, in your opinion?

The "Idea"/society Anonymous has sprouted from internet subculture and is causing disturbance to groups which oppress freedom of speech (and possibly others)
Without leaders, anyone can declare membership and as a member, a target, while every other member decides if they will support it individually.
Is this truly an international "peoples army", or a menace to be dismantled?

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    Sep 1 2011: They are a new experiment in social justice. In theory, sounds like modern activism. In practice, we'll see. In either case, if a centralized authority declares them a "menace" and tries to "dismantle" them, then it is the authority and their evidence that deserves equally intense scrutiny. It would require a full-on Oligarchy to control the internet. Then what?
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    Aug 30 2011: As you said, anonymous is an idea rather than a group. Menace or not, you're not going to be able to dismantle a leaderless organisation. You should instead go after those hackers that perpetrates specific crimes, as is already the case. Not all of the project that fall under the anonymous umbrella term are bad. Project chanology for example, should be pursued.
    • Aug 30 2011: I agree, they should get punished for their actions individually. Especially if they caused more harm than benifit to society when doing so. It's still a double edged sword - kind of, even tho I don't have supportive opinion about organized religions in general. Their beliefs/organization are/is as foolish as any other organized religion's.
  • Aug 30 2011: Somehow interesting activist group in my opinion, but it's members/views are too diverse for me to be able to tell, if it's benificial or not. I support freedom of information and transparency. But generally it's bunch of kids/adolescents/younger adults which uses botnet to DDOSs websites and uses known exploits to deface/disable access to web pages. There are no 0-day exploits or heavy (ingenius) programming involved, like "superstar hackers"/governments[cyberwarfare] (could potentially) use. Unfortunately, it has no higher intellectual basis to show (good manifesto or something - which is imperative for good activism/revolution) , so it might fail in it's "ultimate efforts". They also seem to be fans of "V for Vendetta" movie thinking they can do the same as what happened in the movie. Also search for it's page on which everything started. It is very hard/impossible to disassemble it in my opinion because they work collectively and are not organized (think of difficulty of destroying/detecting/preventing organized crime [like drug trade for example], lone wolf terrorist type or terrorist cells).
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    • Aug 30 2011: actually that is likely government run, notice it has registrations and logins, moderation, many things that anonymous stands against.
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        Aug 30 2011: it was the only way to keep goverment out but still stay connected

        its not easy to be anonymous
        • Aug 30 2011: why keep government out, is it not made up of people?

          4chan and the like are the only places true anominity exist and therefore the only places anonymous can congregate. Anyone allowing themselves to be logged and moderated is not Anonymous.
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        Aug 30 2011: what is the plan was made for oganization. it needed its own seperate site because the plan is much more than ddos attacks. the mods on the site basicaly keep the site LEGAL so no one post something they shouldnt and have the feds knocking on the door the next day
        • Aug 30 2011: the members of what is the plan are by definition a separate organization, one with leaders (moderators) and not what I'm referring to. While claiming to be Anonymous they are a separated cell, not the whole, what's more by being identifiable are in fact the exact opposite of Anonymous and each breaking the first rules.
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    Aug 29 2011: since anonymous does not control or limit its "members" in any way, i suggest not assigning any value to it, rather, evaluate the individual actions.
    • Aug 29 2011: Krisztian, it's not known to me if there is any control of membership actions; assuming they were"caught" together, there must have been an organization to designate their actions, especially controlled DDoS attacks. Tim takes a more Ghandi-like approach in non-violence tactics. Wikipedia has an excellent bit on various interpretations. I am American and feel this type of activity to be crucial to a true Democracy, or a modern Republic. I applaud it. Where the question is whether messing with corporation's profit intakes is equally OK. Did the government pursue them for corporate security? Of course. We all have inalienable rights to shop, shop and shop anytime of day or night- we can't disallow a breach of Consumerism here.

      Which brings me to a question I'll post. If I were to promote everyone not shopping via credit cards for a period of sufficient time to see a downfall in profits at Visa,etc., would that be civil disobedience?
      • Aug 30 2011: from what I understand the DDoS attacks are discussed in a forum called 4chan which has no moderation, no logins, no leadership. The attacks themselves seem (though this may be propaganda) to be run through a "low orbit ion cannon" program, or just through pinging in dos for the more knowledgeable and less trusting. So, while organized, not by any one exclusive group of individuals. I believe there are also localized groups for the purpose of public protesting, which may or may not have individual leaders (but should not).

        The problem with Ghandi-like approaches is they rely on one of two things, that another aggressor will see the peaceful actions as honourable or at the very least worth defending, or that the original aggressor will see no threat and thus enslave, assimilate or at best leave the pacifist alone.
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          Aug 30 2011: no one uses 4chan anymore, everything is done in chat rooms
  • Sep 6 2011: it seems to me that they generally go after legitimate targets. I'm generally all for it. There are a lot of dicks out there, and they make themselves fair game.

    But anonymous is not a group as such, as others have said. Its a collection of individuals, but I hope they they have a common interest at heart generally, as do the majority of hacker groups and crackers.

    I think it's great that there are people out there that are willing to fight back. The more the authorities and business gets het up about it, the more legitimate they seem. I love that.
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    Aug 29 2011: im all for it until someone proves any action they have taken has harmed anyone.
    • Aug 30 2011: Unfortunately this is a major drawback since there is no control of membership, any party against anonymous could easily claim a target and DDoS it themselves, claiming it was the work of the whole. This has already been used by the government to gain support from the sheeple for tightening on-line security and logging.
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        Aug 30 2011: they dont want membership. they want people to think for themselves and act for themselves. plus, those in the know are quite aware of this and always make it public when an hack is done not in concencous of the group. to be honest, they already know they wont get the sheeple.
  • Aug 29 2011: Anonymous is a neo-technological rendition of "civil disobedience", utilizing current communications to broadband a message which the government would rather not have aired. Who wrote the book on Civil Disobediance? I recommend you look it up, read it and we can debate further.
    • Aug 29 2011: Assuming your referencing the essay by that title, I am aware of Mr. Thoreau's work, among others. What I'm not aware of is the overall opinion of our globalized community. North America was forged through the ideals of rebellion, so I'm very curious what our brothers from other cultures thoughts are on the matter. TED seems like a good place to gather input.

      I for the record am not a member of Anonymous, but believe them to be a very good thing, and if they are not I'd like to be educated on why.