Feeds

back to article ANONYMOUS: Behind the mask, inside the Hivemind

On a frigidly cold morning in early 2008, two dozen complete strangers arranged to meet for the first time. They had travelled from all over the metro area, some taking over two hours to reach their destination. Coffee and doughnuts were sacrificed to the ritual of placing online handles to faces. The first meeting of the …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Right..

..so basically, it's a big umbrella for people to hide behind.

4
8
Silver badge

Rather like

Amnesty International or CND or Green Peace or Out Rage then.

9
5
Trollface

...or

...or for people to gather under? Guess it depends what you're doing with said umbrella, and who's on the other side...

11
1
Silver badge

Not really,

as Amnesty et al. tend to have rather public faces.

Anonymous appears to exist in the same way that Schrödinger's cat is alive.

6
1

No, because..

..there's a difference between 'belonging to' and 'hiding behind'.

3
5
Meh

Perhaps there's some deep, deep irony..

..rather than idiocy in your comment that I'm just not smart enough for.

1
3
Anonymous Coward

or PETA...

or NAMBA

1
0
Anonymous Coward

(sp)?

I think you meant NAMBLA, but I kind of hope you didn't.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Or even the penguins umbrella....

Gas Umbrella would be awesome

0
0
Anonymous Coward

I'm Brian

and so's my wife!

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Almost

I'm brianfag and so's my wife.

4
1

This post has been deleted by its author

Silver badge
Facepalm

RE: hmmm

There was a cake? Sorry, I didn't see past the baps.

11
0
Coat

I'm Anon - well sometimes

I prefer the dumplings!

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Indeed

There's a cake in that picture, I didn't spot it.

3
0
Holmes

Nice Charlies

I didn't even see the cake.

2
0
Joke

... yes ...

... the cake ...

Of course.

0
0
Angel

milk cake

that's what it is mmmmmmmm

0
0
Coat

The cake is a lie

All right, I'm out.

1
0
Trollface

Cake

I like the cake on the pic ;->

0
0
Happy

Needs a musical accompaniment.

This http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKTKkpWBHdI, and cake? Perfect!

0
0

old idea?

"This is a reincarnation of an old idea ...From slaves fighting for freedom or the fragmentation of religions to "no taxation without representation", there have always been people willing to agitate, gather en masse, and even die for the right to speak their piece."

And what has distinguished those people is that they were NOT anonymous. From anti-slavery campaigners, to Tianemen Square and after, the courage of the protesters can be seen because _we know their names_.

Anonymity is the cowardly shield of the balaclava-clad yobs thowing petrol bombs, versus the visible, sometimes uniformed, courage of those who stand up to them.

9
25
Alert

Damned resistance

Damned resistance fighters staying anonymous during the Axis occupation of mainland Europe! How dare they! Cheeky cowards they are!

See how crazy your argument is? There are plenty of reasons to stay anonymous, for good or for bad. Its all about perspective.

11
3
Silver badge
Trollface

Recheck That

That's a big general statement there pal... In many cases, some of the most famous in recent history in fact, the people involved were anonymous.

The U.S. Decleration of Independance wasn't even signed when they rolled it out for fear of reprisal (it took almost a year to get the original framers to actually sign it).

What was the name of the tank guy in Tienemen square?

The Boston Tea Party was held by protestors disguised as Mohawk Indians. No one is sure who participated or started it.

The list goes on. Many, many of history's most famous protests have been by anonymous freedom fighters. We DON"T know who they were.

8
2
Bronze badge

Re

I've rarely heard anyone refer to Tianemen Square Guy by name. I'm sure I could look it up, but its hardly a common name.

History picks out a few names for us to know about things like the underground railroad, but in truth there were hundreds of unnamed Anons running those ops as well.

4
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: Damned resistance

"Damned resistance fighters staying anonymous during the Axis occupation of mainland Europe! How dare they! Cheeky cowards they are!

See how crazy your argument is? There are plenty of reasons to stay anonymous, for good or for bad. Its all about perspective."

There is no comparison at all. No matter how hard you try you will not justify your attempt.

1
14
Bronze badge

Re: Damned resistance

"Damned resistance fighters staying anonymous during the Axis occupation of mainland Europe! How dare they! Cheeky cowards they are!

See how crazy your argument is? There are plenty of reasons to stay anonymous, for good or for bad. Its all about perspective."

Just to make sure that you have a little light reading, in which to have (as Douglas Adams once put it) 'some sense of perspective':

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violette_Szabo

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/army-obituaries/5048954/Captain-Charles-Upham-VC-and-Bar.html

'Stupid boy'. (/girl)

3
0
Silver badge

Name the co conspirters of

Guy Falks

0
2
Trollface

dubs get

"There is no comparison at all. No matter how hard you try you will not justify your attempt."

1
1
Stop

Null pointer exception: title

What about the tomb of the unknown soldier, then? The epitome of bravery, or so I'm told.

2
1
Anonymous Coward

"There is no comparison at all. No matter how hard you try you will not justify your attempt."

Autotranslate: I can't coherently argue with you so I will just state you are wrong Because I Said So (TM).

4
1
Silver badge
FAIL

The co-conspirators of Guy Fawkes?

That would be Robert Catesby, Thomas and Robert Wintour, Robert Keyes, John Grant, Francis Tresham, Robert and Thomas Winter, John and Christopher Wright, Thomas Percy, Sir Ambrose Rookwood, Sir Everard Digby and Thomas Bates. I can also spell "conspirators" and "Fawkes".

Anonymous protesters don't wear the Guy Fawkes mask because the Gunpowder Plotters were anonymous. They wear it because the character V in "V For Vendetta" wore it, and the most important thing about V is that it didn't matter who he was.

5
1
Silver badge
Happy

RE: The co-conspirators of Guy Fawkes?

"Anonymous protesters don't wear the Guy Fawkes mask because.... character V in "V For Vendetta" wore it..." And because they desperately want to be fantasy freedom fighter heroes rather than just the dull, boring bunch of wannabes they are.

3
1
Bronze badge

Re: Re

"I've rarely heard anyone refer to Tianemen Square Guy by name. I'm sure I could look it up, but its hardly a common name.

History picks out a few names for us to know about things like the underground railroad, but in truth there were hundreds of unnamed Anons running those ops as well."

It is correct to say that this is a difficult problem of identity. Even the Wikipedia entry's writer is cautious. Wang Weilin seems to be the most consistently named individual:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_Man

Whether or not his name is a common one I do not know. I have not seen the stats.

Certainly none of the 'lulz' and Anonymous twits have been as brave and as defiant as him.

In the case of Capt. Charles Upham (VC & bar), if anyone read the article (and I seriously doubt it from the votes on my first response), they will have seen in the closing paragraphs that he *sought* anonymity after the war, was self effacing and probably suffered badly for his experiences, including multiple serious injuries in a number of battles. There is utterly no comparison between the French Maquis, or any other fighting force in any physical war and the behaviour of self appointed anonymous digital vandals without popular/electoral mandate or authority, *none*.

The act of popping up out of a Tor exit node, proxying and then attacking, probably using an unregistered cell phone connection can hardly be described as better than the act of a vandal and coward trying to avoid the consequences of their behaviour, one prepared to overlook the RL consequences of their acts on other people in meat space.

Moreover, comparing the underground railroad to stealing personal data and releasing it into the public space, defacing websites, DDoS, SQL attacks, no matter how elegant and well executed is risible, vain, childish and would appear to indicate a lack of both insight and lack of a sense of proportion. The people who ran the underground railroad were doing something honourable, selfless and humane [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_Railroad ]. Destroying business, personal confidentiality [...] is no more honourable than any other form of vandalism. I hardly think that even a substandard troll is capable of believing this.

2
2
Bronze badge

Re: "There is no comparison at all. No matter how hard you try you will not justify your attempt."

"Autotranslate: I can't coherently argue with you so I will just state you are wrong Because I Said So (TM)."

Insightless response. Demonstrate how they scale up alongside one another, making reference to (e.g.) Violette Szabo and other members of the Maquis, who put their lives on the line and ultimately died in concentration camps and other vile places.

As I said, there is no comparison between the Maquis and anonymous vandals who take elaborate precautions to maintain a gulf between their meatspace persona and their digital activities, to say nothing of what the Maquis were legitimately opposing. If you can find anything remotely resembling a comparison produce it. Show me how damn smart you are, that you are not merely an emitter of weak, risible easily iterated clichés.

I'm calling you out and, as I do, I note that you have offered no data at all, merely a reflex, that you have overlooked the examples that I cited.

Sloppy thinking. Anonymously, of course.

2
3

@Scorchio!!

The only thing that you have accomplished with your rants is to prove the old adage that one man's freedom fighter is another's terrorist, and another adage, history is written by the victors....

0
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: @Scorchio!!

"The only thing that you have accomplished with your rants is to prove the old adage that one man's freedom fighter is another's terrorist, and another adage, history is written by the victors...."

No, that is a non sequitur conclusion and precisely what I am not saying, since I oppose cultural relativism, which you would understand if you read my words on logic, epistemology and axiology. Read again carefully; I am clearly saying that the Maquis, engaged in legitimate self defence, in contradistinction to internet vandalism/'lulz'. So your attempt at sophism/intellectual sleight of hand is failed.

The OP has effectively put the Maquis into the position of being terrorists when they opposed an aggressive, adventurist, barbaric and murderous enemy shared by most of Europe. (Perhaps you are not aware of what happened in mid 20th century Europe, though that stretches even my imagination to snapping point.) This is an exercise in cultural relativism and sophistry that a) enables others to claim that by (say) hunting you down and killing you they are fighting for a cause, b) enables states to hunt down and kill whomever they choose (other than cultural relativists who thought that destroying the WTC was 'good terrorism' and acted on said thoughts), and c) makes concepts in jurisprudence and law relative to the perceiver (this sort of argument allows for, say, Muslims to beat their wives, female circumcision, male subincision, judicial murder [...]). That you did so by employing the argumentum ad hominem, interpolating in an exchange where someone was called out and challenged to justify their response, failing to provide any data that would defeat the status of my argument, shows that you recognise the argument to be a failure and that you are trying to distract me from the original point. Calling reason a rant, and not focussing on the argument itself - the argumentum ad hominem - is piss poor logic/epistemology and a weak technique for justifying failure to address the facts. It leaves me feeling convinced that you know the indefensible has to remain undefended, finding the argumentum ad hominem an easier task. Oh, but that would be a troll, wouldn't it?

You can address this by dealing with the original point; demonstrate how people who do DDoS, SQL attacks, deface web sites, publish confidential information about other internet users [...] are as brave as, for example, Violette Szabo who died in Ravensbruck concentration camp.

So now I am calling you out too. Address the point; how do you compare internet vandalism with the Maquis and Violette Szabo's death in Ravensbruck conentration camp? Freedom fighters? Inane.

0
2
Alien

In summation...

... People are people. Dogs are dogs and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri are REAL small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.

7
0
Silver badge
WTF?

Que?

".....We found enough money to pay his bills for 6 months. All he did for 6 straight months was watch Fox News and debunk them online....." So, what you're saying is the backbone of Anon is a load of bored lefties with too much time and money on their hands? Why don't they do something really useful like some charitable work that would actually help real people and/or the environment, rather than pretending to do so?

This sounds like the type of over-educated sheeple that used to join CND, the Greenpeckers, or turned out to support the Miners' Strike (despite never having done a day's manual labour in their lives) or the Poll Tax protests, simply because it was the hippest bandwagon to jump on in their day. Whilst I'd give them a thumbs up for their efforts against cults like Scientology, the rest of their activities seem to be mainly mindless vandalism or posturing. If they seriously think there would be "Worldwide rioting" if they got "v&" then they need to think again.

9
24
Boffin

You didnt ask for my opinion, but here it is anyway!

I believe that debunking Fox News, or any other major news outlet is a really valuable thing! I think this should be encouraged, when done correctly. Why not consider it to be like the peer review process?

Many people base their worldview and decisions unquestioningly on the authority of the goggle box.(Not to be confused with the Google box; the content of the Google box is completely fine to unquestioningly base all decisions on.)

As the news outlets have so much power, and as we all know they are being selflessly run for the spread of truth and wellbeing of all, I would expect them to applaud and encourage the army of unpaid volunteers checking their 'facts' for the lulz... er...I mean: mistakes.

As a final note, Thanks for publishing this article El Reg, liked it a lot - good job!

12
0

This post has been deleted by its author

FAIL

Que?

"Greenpeckers"? With your choice of insult you reveal your own ignorance.

11
0
Anonymous Coward

@Matt Bryant: lay off the 'Big Society' FlavorAid and try THINKING for yourself

The State kept right out of the voluntary sector when there was full employment. Along came Mrs Thatcher, unemployment at 3 million and, hey presto, we suddenly discovered that what we *really* needed was for people to work for nothing.

.

But, if so much needs doing, why keep people out of work?

5
1

This post has been deleted by its author

FAIL

@Bullseyed

Really? I demand to know where my inheritance is, forthwith. Since you seem so very sure that I should be getting it.

echo 'Bullseyed' | sed -e 's/eyed/hit/g'

There, I fixed it for you. Now back to work I must go; oh wait according to you I don't do that either.

3
1
Anonymous Coward

businessmen are self made?

"They hate corporations because businessmen are self made, while libs get money passed down to them that their great grandparents earned."

Really? Then leave them naked in a deserted island and see how rich they will get. I didn't know the Koch brothers, for example, were libs either!

Anon since I think I've never posted Anon before, and this is the obvious article to do it... For the lulz, of course.

3
1
Silver badge
FAIL

RE: @Matt Bryant: lay off the 'Big Society' FlavorAid and try THINKING for yourself

Oh, I do lots of reading, plenty of thinking for myself, and I even know a bit about history. A damn more than you, by the looks of it.

"The State kept right out of the voluntary sector when there was full employment...." When was there full employment? If you mean in the years immediately before Thatcher, then I suggest you go read up on the Winter of Discontent. I think you'll also find there were plenty of charitable organsiations long before Margaret Thatcher was even born.

"......why keep people out of work?" You say it like there was some grand plan to keep a certain number of "the poor" unemployed. The fact is there are plenty of unemployed that simply choose not to work because they think menial jobs are below them. For example, the BBC has an article on its website about squatters (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14030336), and talks to one called Biz, an art graduate, who chooses to squat and stay unemployed as she wants to find a job "she enjoys". Personally, I think she needs a good kick in the pants. As a graduate, she must be smart enough to do any number of office jobs, she just seems to assume they are too "mundane" for her.

4
7
Anonymous Coward

History??

Those who have actually been awake have noticed a major shift of power away from people to the corporations. We are still allowed to vote, but not to have it make much difference when we do. The boot has very firmly been on the other foot since the 1980s. If you want people to be slaves in work, the threat of unemployment is a very useful instrument. Karl Marx (or, indeed, anybody with a mortgage to pay!) could have told you that.

7
1
Silver badge
FAIL

RE: Que?

".....With your choice of insult you reveal your own ignorance." Really? I think not. I used to date a girl back in the day who was hardcore and very engaged Greenpeace activist, which meant mingling with a load of her activist friends. To say the common theme was self-deluding, leftie nonsense would be an understatement. Of all those I met, 90% were great at parrotting the soundbites released by the core, but couldn't actually articulate a reasoned argument to support any of their views. Don't get me wrong, there were some core members that were both clever and eloquent, and welcomed debate of both the science and statistics, and many of those few passionately believed what they preached, but the vast majority were simply sheeple riding the bandwagon. Once they'd run out of soundbites, the sheeple got very uncomfortable if you started digging any deeper into their "reasoning" or lack thereof. It seems Anon are strikingly similar, just without the get-up-and-go to actually go out in the mud and the rain to protest.

2
5
Silver badge
FAIL

RE: History??

"Those who have actually been awake have noticed a major shift of power away from people to the corporations...." Oh please, do back that up with some detail, even a tiny smidgen of fact to go with the blathering paranoia.

"....We are still allowed to vote, but not to have it make much difference when we do....." What you mean is you cannot find a political party that represents your point of view, becuase your POV is so rediculously unpopular it simply doesn't gain traction amongst the electorate. The Communist Party of Great Britain is still trundling blindly along, isn't it called Charter 88 nowadays? Go ask them about the failure to gain popular support as they've been failling since the early 1920s. If your POV did resonate with the electorate then you would already be celebrating success at the polls.

"....The boot has very firmly been on the other foot since the 1980s...." Try 1649. Read up on some people called the Diggers. The corporations of their day were the landlords and landed gentry farmers. The Diggers were probably the first real "communists" in the UK. Your lack of a view prior to the '80s (don't tell me, it's all Maggie Thatcher's fault, right?) is just the short-term revisionism of the Labout Party. Please go read up on the Winter of Discontent that was caused by a Labour government and allowed the Torys to get the popular support to get Maggie into No.10. In fact, please just go get some real knowledge rather than just repeating soundbites spoonfed to you.

".....anybody with a mortgage to pay...." Yup, got one of them, had a few over the years, and I think you're talking out of your rectum. At least you are a resounding success as an example of monumetal fail predicated by a blinkered outlook and a lack of knowledge.

1
7

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.