People always try to paint Anonymous as the bad guys or the good guys. Myself, I think they are both. The very nature of anonymity allows for a large
amount of non-accountability and as humans I doubt there are many who can resist that kind of temptation. The fact of the matter is that the type of
knowledge this group shares with itself could pose a real threat to a lot of innocent people. That said I also believe Anonymous has some genuine full
blown heroes, they just happen to be criminals.
Catherine Solyom of Postmedia News interviews Christopher Doyan aka Commander X who is now a fugitive on the run from the FBI.
Doyon, who readily admits taking part in some of the highest-profile hacktivist attacks on websites last year — from Tunisia to Orlando, Sony to
PayPal — was arrested in September for a comparatively minor assault on the county website of Santa Cruz, Calif., where he was living, in
retaliation for the town forcibly removing a homeless encampment on the courthouse steps.
The “virtual sit-in” lasted half an hour. For that, Doyon is facing 15 years in jail.
Or at least he was facing 15 years in jail, until he crossed the border into Canada in February to avoid prosecution, using what he calls the new
“underground railroad” and a network of safe houses across the country.
Thanks to his indictment, Doyon is one of the few Anonymous members whose real name is now publicly known.
I'll paste a few q&a's that I find really interesting below.
Q: What do you say to people who believe Anons are just cyber-terrorists?
A: Basically I decline the semantic argument. If you want to call me a terrorist, I have no problem with that. But I would ask you, “Who is it
that’s terrified?” If it’s the bad guys who are terrified, I’m really super OK with that. If it’s the average person, the people out in the
world we are trying to help who are scared of us, I’d ask them to educate themselves, to do some research on what it is we do and lose that fear.
We’re fighting for the people, we are fighting, as Occupy likes to say, for the 99%. It’s the 1% people who are wrecking our planet who should be
quite terrified. If to them we are terrorists, then they probably got that right.
“Information terrorist” – what a funny concept. That you could terrorize someone with information. But who’s terrorized? Is it the common
people reading the newspaper and learning what their government is doing in their name? They’re not terrorized – they’re perfectly satisfied
with that situation. It’s the people trying to hide these secrets, who are trying to hide these crimes. The funny thing is every email database that
I’ve ever been a part of stealing, from Pres. Assad to Stratfor security, every email database, every single one has had crimes in it. Not one time
that I’ve broken into a corporation or a government, and found their emails and thought, “Oh my God, these people are perfectly innocent people, I
made a mistake.”
The paradox here is that while Anonymous is criminal according to most national laws, typically they expose criminal behaviors and actions of members
of "the elite". It's very difficult not to romanticize that, I admit.
Q: Anonymous started out as online pranksters but has gotten a whole lot more serious in the last two years. What happened?
A: I believe Egypt was really a turning point for us emotionally in Anonymous. Obviously there was always that sort of prankster edge to us. But
people often ask me, “Why are you so mean nowadays?” It started in Egypt – when you work for days to set up live video feeds and the first thing
you watch through those feeds is people killing your friends with machine guns – that becomes personal. And then it’s not just Egypt, it’s
Libya, Tunisia, over and over again these Freedom Ops are really what gave us a sort of take-no prisoners attitude. We get to know these people. It
may not be the same as you and I sitting here, but when you Skype with people and spend hours and hours talking with them on IRC (Internet Relay Chat)
and they share their hopes and their dreams with you for their country, their future, when they tell you how they’re risking their lives so their
children can have a better future in some far-off land, you bond with those people and they become your friends and family.
I feel that way often myself about the friends I have made online, sometimes it just happens...I can only imagine that it happens more frequently with
a group such as this. Hopefully those bonds keep the majority from getting drunk on power. It gives me hope that what pushed them to getting serious
are the same things that snapped me awake.
Q. What’s next for Anonymous?
A: Right now we have access to every classified database in the U.S. government. It’s a matter of when we leak the contents of those databases, not
if. You know how we got access? We didn’t hack them. The access was given to us by the people who run the systems. The five-star general (and) the
Secretary of Defence who sit in the cushy plush offices at the top of the Pentagon don’t run anything anymore. It’s the pimply-faced kid in the
basement who controls the whole game, and Bradley Manning proved that. The fact he had the 250,000 cables that were released effectively cut the power
of the U.S. State Department in half. The Afghan war diaries and the Iran war diaries effectively cut the political clout of the U.S. Department of
Defence in half. All because of one guy who had enough balls to slip a CD in an envelope and mail it to somebody.
Now people are leaking to Anonymous and they’re not coming to us with this document or that document or a CD, they’re coming to us with keys to
the kingdom, they’re giving us the passwords and usernames to whole secure databases that we now have free reign over. … The world needs to be
If this isn't all boast and hype from a group of kiddies that are capable only of brief DoS attacks then I pray they don't lose sight of who they
claim to be, for now they mostly have my support. The criminals in control of the world need to be brought to justice. The problem is they have bought
justice so it isn't through our current systems that we the people will see justice, but apparently there is another way.