There Be Ghosts in the Machines
Last week I kept threatening to post something serious about Internet security. I had gotten all worked up over the kerfuffle involving HBGary Federal. (Although this particular article bothers me in part because someone in New Zealand tries to explain the pronunciation of pwned. Good luck in your future endeavors.)
There are many morally ambiguous questions when it comes to “hacktivism” and the future of Anonymous. My personal stance is that I hope “they” start coming up with a better plan instead of lashing out. This idea of vengeance to those who anger them – the cultural war as it were – needs to be understood as a method of fear. It’s the same method their enemies are using and in the end may get the opposite of what they want (as many bloggers are saying). Those participating in the attacks are on the borderline of cyber terrorism, though some see it as a form of social activism and the only way to actively struggle against increasing rules. Everyone involved has different views and some of Anonymous doesn’t even take part of DDos, but actively discusses ways to fight for the freedom of the Internet (and the take-down of Scientology). Unfortunately, security groups want to find the main attackers and bring them down and say: “These are the leaders of Anonymous. These are the people who represent an entire body of beliefs.” You cannot defeat the Internet Collective that way. There is no Borg Queen.
techdirt wrote an article examining each and every player. We have Barr & Co. We have WikiLeaks. We have Glenn Greenwald (of Salon). We have Bank of America. And of course, we have these mystery names of Anonymous that Barr claims are the leaders. Whether or not they are and whether or not they could just be replaced and whether or not these are just the leaders of the attacks he focused on is not discussed. It’s just a big clusterf**k. As Lewis Black says, “I don’t have the energy. I don’t have the energy.” Even though this attempt has been partly curbed by Anonymous, I fear we will see before the end of the year an even bigger meltdown if these companies wizen up and focus on the overall security of the Internet and start breaking down Net Neutrality. That’s going to hit us all where it hurts.
And don’t forget, these security groups have Gene Simmons working for them. He is working hard day and night to get the names, faces, and IP addresses of those who have hurt him and his family by taking down his site. He probably believes it’s as easy as fighting robots in the park. Don’t worry, Gene, you’ll get ’em:
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