Anonymous

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By Steven Dugon

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you have undoubtedly heard of the activist or ‘hacktivist’ group AnoOccupy_Wall_Street_Anonymous_2011_Shankbonenymous. People all over the world are coming together, donning Guy Fawkes masks, with a set of specific ideas rather than directives, and no real command structure. These hackers, sitting in different countries all over the world, might not seem very big, however, through their targeting of certain governments and corporations they have gathered a considerable standing on and off the internet; including being ranked in Time magazines “Top 100 influential figures”.

Now, I’m not condoning them. To have the power to hack into the Pentagon, or easily infiltrate into any high rank government or corporations website can be dangerous to say the least. However, thus far they have proved to be committed to preventing corruption and injustice. Even just their name can make a difference. As I previously mentioned, with their hack into the Pentagon, all they did was get in, making it known that they could, and leave; having said “we did it simply because we can”. Some of their other feats include helping coordinate and organise a movement called ‘Occupy Wall Street’ as well as bringing down the New York Stock Exchange.

Not all their actions are political though, some are just moral. For instance, releasing the names of members related to child pornography websites, announcing a cyber war with the KKK; releasing the names of over 120 high ranking members (some of which were in high positions in the police force), and actively and publicly protesting organisations such as Westboro Baptist church (well known for their extreme racist and homophobic indecency); as well as releasing the names, phone numbers and addresses of  the church’s members and bringing down their hate website; ‘godhatesfags.com’. Most recently, they have announced that they are now targeting the infamous terrorist group ISIS, hacking dozens of their Facebook and Twitter accounts and posting a video saying: “We will hunt you, take down your sites, accounts, emails, and expose you. From now on, no place is safe for you online. You will be treated like a virus, and we are the cure. We own the internet. We are Anonymous; we are Legion; we do not forgive, we do not forget, expect us”.

There have been a number of smaller ‘hacktivist’ groups trying to claim to be with Anonymous throughout the years, but most end up being denounced publicly, some of which were even hacked by Anonymous for misusing their skills or going too far. In my opinion, Anonymous is a group of like-minded individuals standing up for what’s right, a quiet and efficient necessary force in this day and age. Showing people in power that we don’t answer to them, they answer to us.

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