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May 9th
12:16 PM

Everything you know about Anonymous is wrong

Gabriella Coleman »

By painting Anonymous as so inchoate we not only empirically misrepresent them; we drift inevitably into hyperbole, exaggerating the extent to which people find them threatening, adding to the air of mystery surrounding hackers who fly under that banner, feeding into the hysteria that law enforcement (and the defence contractors selling security and “anti-hacker solutions”) self-consciously seek to cultivate….

The more immediate danger in portraying Anonymous as a diabolical, nebulous hydra is that fallacious arguments such as this will only serve to strengthen the arguments of those who seek stiffer legal penalties against protest activity. Alternatively, we could face the current, depressing realities of the state of surveillance - and the surveillance state - and inspire individuals to join the fight against efforts to undermine individual freedoms, while we still can.  >continue<

March 3rd
10:45 AM

Juan Cole: Top 5 Stratfor Revelations



1. Up to 12 Pakistani active-duty and retired officers from the Inter-Services Intelligence agency knew that Usama Bin Laden was in Abbottabad and were in regular contact with him. The Pakistani chief of staff is denying the report.

2. Dow Chemicals hired Stratfor to spy on activists in Agra who continue to protest over the Bhopal environmental disaster that blinded many workers and destroyed their health. I.e., Stratfor was not just doing analysis but was involved in private intelligence operations against civil society groups that had a right to protest.

3. Stratfor Vice President Fred Burton, a former State Department official involved in counter-terrorism, lamented that in the old days the US would simply have assassinated Venezuelan leftist leader Hugo Chavez and Bolivian leftist leader Evo Morales. The internal emails also suggest that Stratfor had placed a female asset in Venezuela, who was having sex with an officer and pumping him for information. The officer was said also to be “working with Israel.” Chavez is known for his criticism of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians.

4. Russia sold weapons to Iran but turned around and gave their security codes to Israel.

5. The fifth revelation is that often Stratfor analysts did not know what they were talking about and had an extreme rightwing bias. For instance, this memo on the revolution in Egypt attempts to argue that the officer corps was behind the revolution against Hosni Mubarak and that the masses were insufficiently mobilized to account for it. It is alleged that only 750,000 people came out in Tahrir Square, a small number for a country of 82 million. But in fact that was only in Tahrir. People demonstrated elsewhere in Cairo. And they were in the streets in Alexandria, Suez, Asyut and other cities. Even small towns saw burnings of police stations and HQs of the National Democratic Party. This memo makes a grassroots revolution that shook Egypt from Alexandria to Aswan into an officers’ putsch. While the officers tacked with the wind and did end up siding with the demonstrators against Mubarak, they were clearly playing political catch-up. It was revolutionary groups like April 6 that made the revolution in the cities, and the Muslim Brotherhood in the rural areas. The memo is frankly obtuse and if this is what Booz Allen was paying $20,000 a year for, they should demand their money back.

This fifth point, about the one percent interpreting the world for the one percent as being about the one percent, is a dire problem in our information system, since the one percent has the resources and can try to overwhelm reasoned analysis that recognizes the agency of the people…. >continue<

February 12th
1:48 AM

…the highest act of reason, which, in that it comprises all ideas, is an aesthetic act, and that truth and goodness are united like sisters only in beauty - The philosopher must possess just as much aesthetic power as the poet. The people without aesthetic sense are or philosophers of the letter. The philosophy of spirit is an aesthetic philosophy. One cannot be clever in anything, one cannot even reason clearly in history - without aesthetic sense. It should now be revealed here what those people who do not understand ideas are actually lacking - and candidly enough admit that everything is obscure to them as soon as one goes beyond charts and indices.

Poetry thereby obtains a higher dignity; it becomes again in the end what it was in the beginning - teacher of the human race because there is no longer any philosophy, any history; poetic art will alone outlive all the rest of the sciences and arts.

… Monotheism of reason and the heart, polytheism of the imagination and art, that is what we need!

—  Das älteste Systemprogramm des deutschen Idealismus
November 14th
10:21 AM

Anonymous attacks Muslim Brotherhood sites

"The Muslim Brotherhood has become a threat to the revolution Egyptians had fought for, some with their lives. They seek to destroy the sovereignty of the people of Egypt as well as other nations including the United States.   We will not allow this to happen."  >continue<
The video goes on to compare the Muslim Brotherhood with aspects of Scientology and Free Masonry, seemingly targeting an embrace of principles aligned to a personality cult insulated from free expression and reason. The press release/video also takes care to draw a distinction between the Muslim Brotherhood and Islam.
November 2nd
12:36 PM

Anonymous retreats from Mexico drug cartel confrontation | The Guardian

Plans by the hacker collective Anonymous to expose collaborators with Mexico’s bloody Zetas drug cartel – a project it dubbed “#OpCartel” – have fallen into disarray, with some retreating from the idea of confronting the killers while others say that the kidnap of an Anonymous hacker, the incident meant to have spawned the scheme, never happened.

The apparent climbdown by the group came as one security company, Stratfor, claimed that the cartel was hiring its own security experts to track the hackers down – which could have resulted in “abduction, injury and death” for anyone it traced.

it is unclear how widespread support is within Anonymous for the original plan to expose “collaborators” – allegedly including police, taxi drivers and journalists – who work with the Zetas. >continue<

October 14th
2:42 PM

Anonymous Calls On Occupy Wall Street To Form A New Political Party



Anonymous central just posted a notice on its website calling for the Occupy Wall Street Movement to avoid a full blown revolution and put its weight behind forming a new political party.

The statement says a vote for either party is a vote for the status quo and the two party system is entirely insufficient to carry the country through its problems and into the future.

This new party would work in the interests of th 99%.

The full proposal is below.


July 21st
11:38 AM

In Open Letter, Anonymous Taunts FBI


We are not scared any more. Your threats to arrest us are meaningless to us as you cannot arrest an idea. Any attempt to do so will make your citizens more angry until they will roar in one gigantic choir. It is our mission to help these people and there is nothing - absolutely nothing - you can possibly to do make us stop.

“The Internet has become so important to so many people that we have to ensure that the World Wide Web does not become the Wild Wild West.”

Let me ask you, good sir, when was the Internet not the Wild Wild West? Do you really believe you were in control of it at any point? You were not.

That does not mean that everyone behaves like an outlaw. You see, most people do not behave like bandits if they have no reason to. We become bandits on the Internet because you have forced our hand. The Anonymous bitchslap rings through your ears like hacktivism movements of the 90s. We’re back - and we’re not going anywhere. Expect us.

As Michele Bachman might say, these folk have “choots-pah”.

July 19th
10:25 AM
Banned from Google+, Anonymous creates AnonplusCurrently there&#8217;s just one webpage with the Anonplus name

This initiative is an odd one because it jibes with what Anonymous is all about: getting things done anonymously. Still, it is technically possible to build a social network that doesn&#8217;t share anything with anyone unless you specifically give it permission to. In fact, Anonplus will probably not encourage sharing information like your full name and location. Either way, the goal appears to be to build a social network where you can say and do anything you want.  &gt;continue&lt;

Banned from Google+, Anonymous creates Anonplus
Currently there’s just one webpage with the Anonplus name

This initiative is an odd one because it jibes with what Anonymous is all about: getting things done anonymously. Still, it is technically possible to build a social network that doesn’t share anything with anyone unless you specifically give it permission to. In fact, Anonplus will probably not encourage sharing information like your full name and location. Either way, the goal appears to be to build a social network where you can say and do anything you want.  >continue<

June 11th
3:41 PM

I.M.F. Hit by Sophisticated Cyberattack

The International Monetary Fund, still struggling to find a new leader after the arrest of its managing director last month in New York, was hit recently by what computer experts describe as a large and sophisticated cyberattack whose dimensions are still unknown.

The concern about the attack was so significant that the World Bank, an international agency focused on economic development, whose headquarters is across the street from the I.M.F. in downtown Washington, cut the computer link that allows the two institutions to share information.  >continue<

It’s not presently clear if this is related to Anonymous calls to target the IMF. But as Arab Spring-esque demonstrations bloom across Southern Europe, incited in part by austerity measures - prompting some in Greece to call for a return to the drachma and default on the IMF’s “insupportable debt”, we may be witnessing an unparalleled form of blowback.

The IMF’s official job sounds simple and attractive. It is supposedly there to ensure poor countries don’t fall into debt, and if they do, to lift them out with loans and economic expertise. It is presented as the poor world’s best friend and guardian. But beyond the rhetoric, the IMF was designed to be dominated by a handful of rich countries – and, more specifically, by their bankers and financial speculators.

Johann Hari: It’s not just Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The IMF itself should be on trial

Somebody’s not waiting for the official proceedings to begin.

June 9th
5:04 PM

Anonymous Warns NATO Not To Challenge It

Nobody in the 80&#8217;s would have taken this kind of science fiction very seriously.


Anonymous Warns NATO Not To Challenge It

Nobody in the 80’s would have taken this kind of science fiction very seriously.

February 22nd
2:27 PM

UPDATED: The HB Gary Email That Should Concern Us All


As I also mentioned yesterday, in some of the emails, HB Gary people are talking about creating “personas”, what we would call sockpuppets. This is not new. PR firms have been using fake “people” to promote products and other things for a while now, both online and even in bars and coffee houses.

But for a defense contractor with ties to the federal government, Hunton & Williams, DOD, NSA, and the CIA -  whose enemies are labor unions, progressive organizations,  journalists, and progressive bloggers, a persona apparently goes far beyond creating a mere sockpuppet.

According to an embedded MS Word document found in one of the HB Gary emails, it involves creating an army of sockpuppets, with sophisticated “persona management” software that allows a small team of only a few people to appear to be many, while keeping the personas from accidentally cross-contaminating each other. Then, to top it off, the team can actually automate some functions so one persona can appear to be an entire Brooks Brothers riot online.

Related: How HBGary wrote sophisticated back doors for the government

February 15th
1:26 AM

New information emerges on anti-WikiLeaks plot


Tech firm [Palantir] suspends employee involved in plan to attack WikiLeaks and Salon’s Glenn Greenwald

Here’s where a new wrinkle in the story comes into play. Anonymous has now published a new batch of thousands emails hacked from executives at HBGary. And the emails appear to contradict Palantir’s claim that it had nothing to do with developing the anti-WikiLeaks plan.