Dr. Dawg


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Here’s an informative article about the “collective” that prowls cyberspace, looking for suitable targets among the 1% and their servitors. No civilians have ever been harmed during its well-planned assaults.

I place “collective” in quotation marks because it appears that most if not all of the brilliant hackers comprising “Anonymous” are unknown to each other. With their salients they have appropriated the category of “leaderless resistance,” once a neo-Nazi notion made relatively famous with the publication of the Turner Diaries.

The article is worth reading, not only because it provides a capsule summary of the many activities of “Anonymous,” but for the trepidation it betrays, and the anxious reassurance the author appears to be seeking from authorities. It’s a force that’s out of control: who’s next? Could it become a network of thieves instead of a loose grouping, at best, of progressive “hacktivists?”

“I think we’ll see the political hacktivist and cyber-criminal thieves come together and share information,” [former RCMP officer Gene] McLean said. “It’s a natural evolution. And if that happens, then they will be propelled to another level - to a criminal empire.”

About as much chance of that, I suspect, as of the Cosa Nostra turning its attention to global warming, but then I’m an optimist and a progressive, not just another “expert” fanning the flames of fear.

I like these guys and gals, I have to say, in spite of my own reservations about anarchistic behaviour. They offer the ultimate in non-violent resistance, and they’re playful about it. With the exception of a few who have been tracked down and arrested here and there, they’re also cutting-edge enough to be one step ahead of the Man, and I admit that I often find myself cheering their exploits. I may not personally approve of everything they do, as though that matters a damn, but generally they’re right on target, and without a drop of blood being spilled.

The well-known DDoS attacks on PayPal, VISA and Mastercard were in retaliation for those companies refusing to process donations to Wikileaks. As Pfc. Bradley Manning nears his second year in prison without a trial, and Julian Assange’s relatively untortured confinement without charge approaches its 500th day, a little righteous retaliation does seem in order, “due process” appearing, somehow, to have failed to function.

But there is a more global issue to consider. American journalist Glenn Greenwald has pointed out the dangers of the loss of privacy for individuals living under the eye of the surveillance state. The fight for privacy, however, not to mention human rights in general, requires a constant battle to render less “private” the workings of that state.

Governments have no difficulty surveilling us, but they dislike it intensely when we surveil them back. Hence the massive resources ploughed into tracking down “Anonymous,” reaching new levels of absurdity here in Canada with the Vic Toews affair—no pun intended.

Countless people with cell phones and videocams have already changed the rules of the game when it comes to exposing police brutality, establishing more of a level playing field. Ordinary citizens have created their own panoptical gaze: police are now uncomfortably aware that they may no longer be able to lie their way out of trouble and charge their victims with “resisting arrest” and the like when they indulge in thuggery against them.

By the same token, “Anonymous” provides a wide-ranging service to the citizenry, as a complement to Wikileaks. It jams the system seemingly when it feels like it, and has its own information to impart as well. It’s an ally of the Occupy movement, too. The latter consists of countless individuals, mostly anonymous themselves, who feel called upon to resist the monstrous imbalance of wealth and power that currently exists at home and around the world.

Those who yearn for order in all of this creative and joyful chaos are out of luck. The current order, after all, is the target. The 99% are in no hurry to impose another one, and in that lies their strength. Their very amorphousness keeps the authorities off-balance. They reveal the plans of the 1% without the need to formulate one in response, which would be time- and energy-consuming, and ultimately divisive.

It’s all about checks and balances, in other words, with new ones being created spontaneously when the old ones simply aren’t up to the job. There’s an unstoppable democratic impulse at work. It’s definitely out of control, and for that I’m thankful.

Governments have made it impossible for us to say, “We are all Anonymous.” We aren’t. They know where we live. But those masked heroes with the skills to take the red pill and mess with the Matrix have my respect and admiration. With their proven commitment to humane values, their perseverance and, above all, their humour, they’re part of a growing carnival of resistance that we should all find ways to join before it’s too late.

Forces almost beyond imagining are arrayed against us. We can no longer afford to be mere spectators.

[H/t Richard of Chestnut]

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on April 16, 2012 12:47 PM.

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