Anonymous Research Essay

Anonymous ( used as a mass noun ) is a slackly associated hacktivist group. It ( is estimated to hold ) originated in 2003 on the imageboard 4chan. stand foring the construct of many online and offline community users at the same time bing as an lawless. digitized planetary encephalon. [ 2 ] It is besides by and large considered to be a across-the-board term for members of certain Internet subcultures. a manner to mention to the actions of people in an environment where their existent individualities are non known. [ 3 ] It strongly opposes Internet censoring and surveillance. and has hacked assorted authorities web sites. It has besides targeted major security corporations. [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] It besides opposes Scientology. authorities corruptness and homophobia.

Its members can be distinguished in public by the erosion of conventionalized Guy Fawkes masks. [ 7 ] In its early signifier. the construct was adopted by a decentralised online community moving anonymously in a co-ordinated mode. normally toward a slackly self-agreed end. and chiefly focused on amusement. Get downing with 2008. the Anonymous collective became progressively associated with collaborative. international hacktivism. They undertook protests and other actions in revenge against anti-digital buccaneering runs by gesture image and entering industry trade associations. [ 8 ] [ 9 ] Actions credited to “Anonymous” were undertaken by unidentified persons who applied the Anonymous label to themselves as ascription. [ 10 ]

They have been called the freedom combatants of the Internet. [ 11 ] a digital Robin Hood. [ 12 ] and “anarchic cyber-guerrillas. ” [ 13 ] Although non needfully tied to a individual online entity. many web sites are strongly associated with Anonymous. This includes noteworthy imageboardssuch as 4chan. their associated wikis. Encyclop?dia Dramatica. and a figure of forums. [ 14 ] After a series of controversial. widely publicised protests. distributed denial of service ( DDoS ) and website disfigurement onslaughts by Anonymous in 2008. incidents linked to its cell members have increased. [ 15 ] In consideration of its capablenesss. Anonymous has been posited by CNN to be one of the three major replacements to WikiLeaks. [ 16 ] In 2012. Time named Anonymous as one of the most influential groups in the universe. [ 17 ]

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The name Anonymous itself is inspired by the sensed namelessness under which users post images and remarks on the Internet. Use of the term Anonymous in the sense of a shared individuality began on imageboards. [ 14 ] A ticket of Anonymous is assigned to visitants who leave remarks without placing the conceiver of the posted content. Users of imageboards sometimes jestingly acted as if Anonymous were a existent individual. The construct of the Anonymous entity advanced in 2004 when an decision maker on the 4chan image board activated a “Forced_Anon” protocol that signed all stations as Anonymous. [ 14 ] As the popularity of imageboards increased. the thought of Anonymous as a collective of nameless persons became an Internet meme. [ 18 ] Anonymous loosely represents the construct of any and all people as an nameless collective.

As a multiple-use name. persons who portion in the “Anonymous” nickname besides adopt a shared online individuality. characterized as hedonic and uninhibited. This is intended as a satirical. witting acceptance of the on-line disinhibition consequence. [ 19 ] “| We [ Anonymous ] merely go on to be a group of people on the cyberspace who need—just sort of an mercantile establishment to make as we wish. that we wouldn’t be able to make in regular society. …That’s more or less the point of it. Make as you wish. … There’s a common phrase: ‘we are making it for the lulz. ’| ”| —Trent Peacock. Search Engine: The face of Anonymous. February 7. 2008. [ 19 ] | Definitions tend to stress that the construct. and by extension the collective of users. can non be readily encompassed by a simple definition. Alternatively Anonymous is frequently defined by aphorismsdescribing sensed qualities. [ 2 ] One self-description. arising from a protest picture targeted at the Church of Scientology. is: We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do non forgive. We do non bury. Expect us. [ 20 ]


“| [ Anonymous is ] the first Internet-basedsuperconsciousness. Anonymous is a group. in the sense that a flock of birds is a group. How do you cognize they’re a group? Because they’re going in the same way. At any given minute. more birds could fall in. go forth. skin off in another way wholly. | ”| —Chris Landers. Baltimore City Paper. April 2. 2008. [ 2 ] | Anonymous consists mostly of users from multiple imageboards and Internet forums. In add-on. several wikis and Internet Relay Chat webs are maintained to get the better of the restrictions of traditional imageboards. These manners of communicating are the agencies by which Anonymous dissenters take parting in Project Chanology communicate and form approaching protests. [ 21 ] [ 22 ] A “loose alliance of Internet inhabitants. ” [ 23 ] the group bands together through the Internet. utilizing IRC channels [ 21 ] and sites such as 4chan. [ 21 ] [ 23 ] 711chan. [ 21 ] Encyclop?dia Dramatica. [ 24 ] and YouTube. [ 3 ] Social networking services. such as Facebook. are used for to mobilise groups for real-world protests. [ 25 ]

Anonymous has no leader or commanding party and relies on the corporate power of its single participants moving in such a manner that the net consequence benefits the group. [ 23 ] “Anyone who wants to can be Anonymous and work toward a set of goals…” a member of Anonymous explained to the Baltimore City Paper. “We have this docket that we all agree on and we all coordinate and act. but all act independently toward it. without any privation for acknowledgment. We merely want to acquire something that we feel is of import done…” [ 2 ] Anonymous members have antecedently collaborated with hacker group LulzSec. [ commendation needed ]


It is impossible to ‘join’ Anonymous. as there is no leading. no ranking. and no individual agencies of communicating. Anonymous is spread over many mediums and linguistic communications. with rank being achieved merely by wishing to fall in. [ 26 ]

Commander X and the People’s Liberation Front

A individual known as Commander X provided interviews and pictures about Anonymous. [ 27 ] In 2011. he was at the centre of an probe into Anonymous by HBGary CEO Aaron Barr. who claimed to hold identified him as a San Francisco nurseryman. Interviewed following the onslaught on HBGary Federal. Commander X revealed that while Barr suspected that he was a leader of the group. he was in his ain words a “peon. ” However. Commander X did claim to be a skilled hacker and founding member of an allied organisation. the Peoples Liberation Front ( PLF ) . [ 28 ] Harmonizing to Commander X. Peoples Liberation Front. a collective of hactivists founded in 1985. acted with AnonOps. another sub-group of Anonymous. to transport out denial-of-service ( DDOS ) onslaughts against authorities web sites in Tunisia. Iran. Egypt. and Bahrain.

Explaining the relationship between Anonymous and the PLF. he suggested an analogy to NATO. with the PLF being a smaller sub-group that could take to choose in or out of a specific undertaking. “AnonOps and the PLF are both capable of making immense “Internet ground forcess. ” The chief difference is AnonOps moves with immense force. but really easy because of their determination devising procedure. The PLF moves with great velocity. like a scalpel. ” [ 29 ] On September 23. 2011. a homeless adult male in California named Christopher Doyon was arrested and stated by functionaries to hold used the Commander X screen name. [ 30 ] He pleaded non guilty. [ 31 ]

Low Orbit Ion Cannon

Chief article: LOIC

The Low Orbit Ion Cannon is a web emphasis proving application that has been used by Anonymous to carry through its DDOS onslaughts. Individual users download the LOIC and voluntarily lend their computing machine to a bot cyberspace. This bot cyberspace is so directed against the mark by AnonOps. [ 32 ] Joining the bot cyberspace and volunteering one’s resources for the usage of the group is therefore one manner of being a “member. ” a construct that is otherwise difficult to specify.

The Pirate Bay

In April 2009. after The Pirate Bay codefendants were found guilty of easing extended right of first publication violation “in a commercial and organized form” . Anonymous launched a co-ordinated DDoS onslaught against the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry ( IFPI ) . an administration responsible for safeguarding entering artists’ rights. [ 33 ] When co-founders lost their entreaty against strong beliefs for promoting buccaneering. Anonymous once more targeted the IFPI. labelling them “parasites. ” A statement read: “We will go on to assail those who embrace censoring. You will non be able to conceal your farcical ways to command us.


On January 19. 2012. Megaupload. a website supplying file-sharing services. was shut down by the US Department of Justice ( DOJ ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation ( FBI ) . [ 36 ] In the hours following the shutdown. hackers took down the sites of the DOJ and FBI. every bit good as the Motion Picture Association of America ( MPAA ) . the Recording Industry Association of America ( RIAA ) . and Broadcast Music. Inc. ( BMI ) utilizing distributed denial-of-service ( DDoS ) onslaughts. [ 37 ] Barrett Brown. described as a interpreter for Anonymous. called the onslaught “the individual largest Internet onslaught in [ Anonymous’ ] history. ” [ 38 ] With the protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act ( SOPA ) protests merely a twenty-four hours old. Brown stated that cyberspace users were “by-and-far ready to support an unfastened Internet. ” [ 38 ]

Although the actions of Anonymous received support. [ commendation needed ] some observers argued that the denial of service onslaught risked damaging the anti-SOPA instance. Molly Wood of CNET wrote that “ [ I ] f the SOPA/PIPA protests were the Web’s minute of animating. non-violent. hand-holding civil noncompliance. # OpMegaUpload feels like the unsettling moving ridge of car-burning bullies that sweep in and motivate the riot part of the drama. ” [ 39 ] Dwight Silverman of the Houston Chronicle concurred. saying that “Anonymous’ actions hurt the motion to kill SOPA/PIPA by foregrounding on-line anarchy. ” [ 40 ] The Oxford Internet Institute’s Joss Wright wrote that “In one sense the actions of Anonymous are themselves. anonymously and unaccountably. baning web sites in response to places with which they disagree. ” [ 37 ]

Government web sites

Anonymous claimed duty for taking down authorities web sites in the UK in April 2012 in protest against authorities extradition and surveillance policies. A message was left on Twitter stating it was “for your Draconian surveillance proposals. ” [ 41 ]

Occupy motion

Anonymous militants merged with Occupy Wall Street dissenters. Anonymous members descended on New York’s Zucotti Park and organized it partially. After it became known that some Occupy dissenters would acquire violent. Anonymous used societal networking to press Occupy dissenters to avoid upset. Anonymous used Twitter tendencies to maintain protests peaceable. [ 42 ] A similar protest occurred outside the London Stock Exchange in early May 2012 during a May Day Occupy protest. [ 43 ]

Internet paedophilia

Alleged Internet marauder Chris Forcand. 53. was charged with child sexual and firearm discourtesies. [ 44 ] A newspaper study stated that Forcand was already being tracked by “cyber-vigilantes before police probes commenced. [ 45 ] A telecasting study identified a “self-described Internet vigilance man group called Anonymous” who contacted the constabulary after some members were “propositioned” by Forcand. The study stated this was the first clip a suspected Internet marauder was arrested by the constabulary as a consequence of Internet vigilantism. [ 46 ] In October 2011. “Operation Darknet” was launched as an effort to discontinue the activities of kid porn sites accessed through hidden services in the deep web. [ 47 ] Anonymous published in apastebin link what it claimed were the user names of 1. 589 members of Lolita City. a kid porn site accessed via the Tor web. Anonymous said that it had found the site via The Hidden Wiki. and that it contained over 100 Gs of kid erotica. Anonymous launched a denial-of-service onslaught to take Lolita City offline.

Cyber-attacks and other activities

The group is responsible for cyber-attacks on the Pentagon. News Corp and has besides threatened to destruct Facebook. [ 54 ] In October 2011. Anonymous hackers threatened the Mexican drug trust known as Los Zetas in an online picture after one of their members was kidnapped. [ 55 ] In late May 2012 alleged Anonymous members claimed duty for taking down a GM harvests website. [ 56 ] In early September 2012 alleged Anonymous members claimed duty for taking down GoDaddy’s Domain Name Servers. impacting little concerns around the Earth. [ 57 ] In mid-September 2012. Anonymous hackers threatened the Hong Kong authorities organisation. known as National Education Centre.

In their on-line picture. Anonymous members claimed duty for leaking classified authorities paperss and taking down the National Education Centre web site. after the Hong Kong authorities repeatedly ignored months of wide-scale protests against the constitution of a new nucleus Moral and National Education course of study for kids from 6–18 old ages of age. The new course of study came under heavy unfavorable judgment and international media attending. as it does non present pupils based on how much factual information is learned. but alternatively classs and evaluates pupils based on their degree of emotional fond regard and blessing of the Communist Party of China. about in unsighted brain-washing manner. [ 58 ]


In response to Operation Pillar of Cloud in November 2012. Anonymous launched a series of onslaughts on Israeli authorities web sites. Anonymous protested what they called the “barbaric. brutal and ugly intervention of the Palestinian people. ” [ 59 ]


On November 30. 2012. the group declared an operation to close down web sites of the Syrian authorities. in response to a cyberspace blackout the old twenty-four hours believed to be imposed by Syrian governments in an effort to hush resistance groups of the Syrian civil war Reaction from jurisprudence enforcement bureaus


“| First. who is this group called Anonymous? Put merely. it is an international faction of condemnable hackers dating back to 2003. who have shut down the web sites of the U. S. Department of Justice and the F. B. I. They have hacked into the phone lines of Scotland Yard. They are responsible for onslaughts against MasterCard. Visa. Sony and the Governments of the U. S. . U. K. . Turkey. Australia. Egypt. Algeria. Libya. Iran. Chile. Colombia and New Zealand. | ”| —Canadian MP Marc Garneau. 2012 [ 67 ] |

In December 2010. the Dutch constabulary arrested a 16-year old for cyberattacks against Visa. MasterCard and PayPal in concurrence with Anonymous’ DDoS onslaughts against companies opposing Wikileaks. [ 68 ] In January 2011. the FBI issued more than 40 search warrants in a investigation against the Anonymous onslaughts on companies that opposed Wikileaks. The FBI did non publish any arrest warrants. but issued a statement that take parting in DDoS onslaughts is a condemnable discourtesy with a sentence of up to 10 old ages in prison. [ 69 ] [ 70 ] In January 2011. the British constabulary arrested five male suspects between the ages of 15 and 26 with intuition of take parting in Anonymous DDoS onslaughts. [ 71 ] Matthew George. a Newcastle. New South Wales occupant. concerned with forthcoming Australian cyberspace filtration statute law. was arrested for his engagement in Anonymous DDoS activities. George participated in Anonymous IRC treatments. and allowed his computing machine to be used in a denial of service onslaught associated with Operation Titstorm. Tracked down by governments. he was fined $ 550. though he was non to the full cognizant that his actions were illegal. and believed his engagement in Operation Titstorm had been a legal signifier of civil protest.

His experience left him disillusioned with the potency of on-line namelessness. warning others: “There is no manner to conceal on the cyberspace. no affair how difficult you cover your paths you can acquire caught. You’re non unbeatable. ” [ 72 ] On June 10. 2011. the Spanish constabulary captured three purported members of Anonymous in the metropoliss of Gijon. Barcelona and Valencia. The operation deactivated the chief waiter from which the three work forces coordinated DDoS onslaughts. This peculiar group had made onslaughts on the web waiters of the PlayStation Store. BBVA. Bankia. and the web sites of the authoritiess of Egypt. Algeria. Libya. Iran. Chile. Colombia and New Zealand. The operation revealed that their construction consisted of “cells” which at any given clip could organize onslaughts through the downloading of package ; the decision-making procedure to assail occurred in confab suites.

The Spanish national constabulary stated that this operation corresponds to the fact that the Spanish authorities and NATO considers this group of hackers a menace to national security. [ 73 ] On June 13. 2011. functionaries in Turkey arrested 32 persons that were allegedly involved in DDoS onslaughts on Turkish authorities web sites. These members of Anonymous were captured in different metropoliss of Turkey including Istanbul and Ankara. Harmonizing to PC Magazine these persons were arrested after they attacked these web sites as a response to the Turkish authorities demand to ISPs to implement a system of filters that many have perceived as censoring. [ 74 ] [ 75 ]

During July 19–20. 2011. every bit many as 20 or more apprehensions were made of suspected Anonymous hackers in the US. UK. and Netherlands following the 2010 Operation Avenge Assange in which the group attacked PayPal. every bit good as assailing MasterCard and Visa after they froze Wikileaks histories. Harmonizing to US functionaries statements suspects’ places were raided and suspects were arrested in Alabama. Arizona. California. Colorado. Washington DC. Florida. Massachusetts. Nevada. New Mexico. and Ohio. every bit good as a 16 twelvemonth old male child being held by the constabulary in south London on intuition of transgressing the Computer Misuse Act 1990. and four being held in the Netherlands. [ 76 ] [ 77 ] [ 78 ] [ 79 ]

On February 28. 2012. Interpol issued warrants for the apprehensions of 25 people with suspected links to Anonymous. harmonizing to a statement from the international constabulary bureau. The suspects. between the ages of 17 and 40. were all arrested. [ 80 ] On September 12. 2012 ; Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown was arrested at his place in Dallas on charges of endangering an FBI agent. Agents arrested Brown while he was in the center of aTinychat session. [ 81 ]


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