Home > Articles, English > New collectives: The Anonymous example.

New collectives: The Anonymous example.

[Este articulo fue traducido al castellano (espanol). Pincha aqui para leerlo.]

In the growing clash between private and governmental institutions (which now includes politically controlled news sources), and individuals and free media, the self-referenced Anonymous group has come to stand as a possible alternative in which normal global civilians can participate.

Anonymous is an effective icon of how individuals, using the power of collectivity and a popular task-force, can take an active part in such crucial times. Their ideology is very simple: “We are doing this to support the ideals of Freedom of Speech and Information […] our ideals have always been to see information shared freely, and this won’t change in the future”. The main and obvious implication is that they are not politically oriented, a rule on which its members insist on. They claim to be outside the political-economical structure, they want to be a vessel through which well connected people can actually affect it and not only legitimate it through the planned regular ‘democratic’ elections.

The collective came into world’s attention after a Fox News report in 2007. In it, the media giant made a direct relation between the members of a forum on the 4chan service (a forum for members), with a group of hackers whose interests were stealing passwords, spreading false rumors to bring chaos, violating internet privacy, distributing pornography etc. This is actually blatant misinformation, and very far from reality. “Anonymous has been active long before Fox coined the ‘Hackers on Steroids’ meme”, we were told by an Anon. member. They are a “decentralized, non-hierarchical collective”, seeking to spread and enforce the ideals mentioned above, which has led them to be directly involved in campaigns against institutions and people who openly practiced censorship or applied restrictions on knowledge and information, organizations such as the Scientology Church and the Iranian and U.S. Government, among others.

They, just as Wikileaks chief Julian Assange has done in the past, do not regard themselves as hackers or a hacker organization. “We all have different skills to offer, we cannot be classified as a hacker collective (…) actually some of us can hardly even be called Tech-savvy”, they say. What makes Anonymous a collective is the diversity and the amplitude of its actions and members, they are not just “a small group of misfits on a lone imageboard. We are normal people: students, teachers, white collar, blue collar, doctors, lawyers, and so on. The one thing that ties all of us together is the internet”, as we were told by another member.

Internet is giving people the possibility to exercise their individuality, to assume an active disposition towards global concerns in a way we could only imagine a few years ago. This is especially notable respecting freedom, not only in speech or information but also in a personal idealistic context. Anonymous has become, in the light of recent events, one of the leading examples of these global dynamics: with the help of thousands of unnamed civilians who have found a way to make a difference, they are fighting for their causes, which, as we have been told, have been motivated by Wikileaks.

Thus, we are watching a massive and voluntary adhesion to the Payback Operation, a global and popular task-force conceived to knock down the virtual services of big private institutions such as Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and American Bank, among others,  for censoring and boycotting. This super-consciousness composed by users of varying degrees of specialization, attached only by the beliefs of free-speech and knowledge is growing, and is a leading example of how this cyberwar is changing the parameters of political activism.

Categories: Articles, English
  1. TurboKitty
    December 21, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    The revolution will not be televised … welcome to the revolution … It’s a Wikileaks World NOW baby =)

    • Johnd190
      May 18, 2014 at 3:05 pm

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