Behind the Mask: Anonymous, Masks & Halloween
- 31 October 2012 by laila 0 Comments
The Sexy Hacktivist War of Anonymous
Part One of Three-Part Blog Special
We are an anonymous, decentralized movement which fights against censorship and copywrong. This is our homepage. Please look around and/or join the discussion in our chat.
Who are they?
Anonymous is the name of a “hacktivist” collective who, since their 2008 inception, have developed into a group promoting free speech online and are against web censorship and copywriting web materials. They have been defenders of WikiLeaks, The Pirate Bay as well as the Occupy Movements. They have also taken on foreign repressive governments who censor the internet and control the access of information to citizens. Anarchists? Maybe. Defenders of Truth? Quite possibly. Gamers? Most certainly. This blog special will investigate the origins and hacktivist operations of Anonymous and seek to make connections to popular culture, visualizations, issues of online identity as well as glean some understanding of what the future holds for hacktivists and how it may effect your future access to information on the web.
Why the mask?
Anonymous adopted the “Guy Fawkes” mask to represent the collective. The original Guy Fawkes was a rebel fighting for a return to Catholicism in England in the early 17th century. He, and other English Catholics, attempted to assassinate King James I. Fawkes was the protector of the gunpowder in the operation. The English authorities received an anonymous letter alerting them to the plot and, after search the palace, they discovered Fawkes who was promptly arrested, tortured to reveal his co-conspirators and foiled his own execution for jumping off the hanging platform scaffold before the hangman could execute him. Since then, the British celebrate every November 5th by burning a effigy of Guy Fawkes and hosting a big fireworks display.
The Guy Fawkes’ mask was drawn by David Lloyd for the comic book series V for Vendetta, written with David Gibbons. The two are also responsible for the comic series The Watchman. In V for Vendetta, the hero/anti-hero “V” fights against the government of a futuristic fascist England. The mask was later used by activists of the Occupy Movement.
Anonymous: The Beginning
Anonymous first came to public attention in January 2008. The occasion was an internal Scientology video starring Tom Cruise, which had been leaked to YouTube. The church, saying that the video was copyrighted, requested that YouTube remove it. Members of Anonymous, however, took issue with that request, and as part of what it dubbed “Project Chanology,” reportedly began launching distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against Scientology websites, blanketing church centers with prank phone calls and faxes, and “doxing” the church by releasing its sensitive documents into the public domain, for example via peer-to-peer networks.
4chan.org, an image-based bulletin board website inspired by the massively popular (especially in Japan) 2channel (2ch.net), is launched. Any poster who doesn’t post text in the name field automatically gets credited as “Anonymous.” Most of the various forums on 4chan are based on Japanese pop culture, but their most popular forum is /b/.
Project Chanology: You cannot win a war against the internet itself
Anonymous Takes On Scientology
Rather than answering the criticism, Scientologists have responded in their standard manner-by attacking their critics with confrontation and litigation. This article is a summary of recent events in what began as the battle between Scientology and its critics and, because of these tactics, is now the battle between Scientology and the Internet. — Jim Lippard & Jeff Jacobsen, “SCIENTOLOGY v. the INTERNET: Free Speech & Copyright Infringement on the Information Super-Highway”, From Skeptic vol. 3, no. 3, 1995, pp. 35-41.
The Leak: On January 14th, 2008 a Church of Scientology video was leaked onto YouTube.
The Response: The Church of Scientology begins litigation to suppress the video.
1. Anonymous posts: Message to Scientology.
2. A “call to action” calling for protests outside Scientology centres worldwide. Thousands show up to protest.
3. A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack against the Church of Scientology website.
Gaining Speed: A new dawn appears to you
We are not a government agency, nor are we Iranian. We are simply the internet and we believe in free speech.
In 2009, Anonymous teams up with file-sharing group The Pirate Bay offering Iranian dissidents a forum to communicate, plan demonstrations and connect with the world outside their suppressive government.
“A new dawn appears to you and your country will be free from the chains of oppression, tyranny and torture. You can finally exhale and take a new breath of air that will fill you with strength, wisdom and freedom.”
Attacks by Anonymous against Iranian government websites include distributed denial of services (DDoS). Hacked government sites show these messages:
This Site Is Hacked By Anonymous Hackers .#OpIran FuCk Y0u 1Ranian G0urment. #OpIran Is here, You GTFO ..:: H4x012 Was Here::..
Special Fuck You To : Ashiyaneh Digital Security Team & Montazer 313 & Iranian Cyber Army
Infographic About How Anonymous Attacks
Next week: Anonymous & WikiLeaks, the Next Operations against internet censorship, promotions of free speech, and the Anti-Anonymous attacks: Doing Evil & Blaming it on Anonymous
The Halloween Infographics
Just in time for trick-or-treating
QUESTION: Who Scares You More?
Which of these masks sends shivers down your spine?
Comment & Let Us Know!