Topic of the Week – (A)nonymous!

  • Posted on: 3 August 2015
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

In a world that is increasingly virtual, hacking and the internet (i.e. hacktivism or... direct hacktion?) seem like an appropriate angles of attack, or at least stand as options. Anonymous's decentralized and informal organization methods, black-bloc inspired mask-wearing (taken from self-proclaimed anarchist Alan Moore’s graphic novel V for Vendetta), and general distaste for authority hits many familiar notes among anarchists.

Those very things are also make it challenging (or impossible) to determine whether all the attacks that could be anarchist-backed, are actually motivated by anti-authoritarian actors though openly claimed targets vary in scope and supposed intent. Recently claimed actions include:

1. Hacking the US Census Bureau then posting leaks “on paste sites openly available on the web. They contain the database of the US Census Bureau’s website along with its password hashes, 3000+ usernames, IDs, phone numbers, full names and names of the agencies and most importantly thousands of email IDs belonging to US official from the military, IRS, Census Bureau, Department of Home Security, US Department of Education, National Nuclear Security Administration and other high-profile US government institutions along with their addresses.” http://anonhq.com/anonymous-hacks-us-census-bureau-leaks-confidential-data/

2. Releasing leaks to the National Post from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Canada’s spy agency a week after an alleged Anonymous member was shot by Canadian police while wearing their signature Guy Fawkes mask. http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/anonymous-says-it-hacked-canada...

3. Calling for a “day of rage” following the alleged police murder and cover-up of Sandra Bland, a black woman in Texas. https://youtu.be/A0F-MhNLyDo

4. Taking down multiple government and corporate sites as retaliation against the state taking down MegaUpload, including websites for the FBI, US Department of Justice, Recording Industry of America, Motion Picture Association of America, and Universal Music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8UFn0_62Yw

Despite liberal appeals for so-called justice, attempts to sway government policy, and perhaps a bit of questionable CSI-inspired DIY detective work, their tendency to lean towards anti-state and anti-capitalist targets is undeniable. It should be kept in mind also that those committing these acts and those producing the messages or call-outs do not necessarily have the same politics or interests in mind. Their capacity to attack potentially anyone who is plugged into the internet provides a variety of routes of attack from an anarchist position. Would their range of affect be more appealing if their goals pushed beyond liberal or left-oriented politics? What if their goal was to destroy the internet itself, and the spectacular digital culture along with it, or to become focused on infrastructural targets? Can digital blockades of commerce or state power be compared to real-world actions such as rail blockings or surveillance-camera destruction?

It's easy to see the benefit of creative, anti-authoritarian digital resistance, but is there something about virtual fighting that tends towards some of the problems that plague meat space actions (relationships that can't stand the test of repression, superficial understandings, ease of betrayal of former colleagues, etc)? What prevents a vanguard of more tech-savvy and skilled hactivists, or is that necessarily a bad thing? Is there a way for anarchists to interact with and learn from the skillz and strategies of Anonymous? What sort of creative interventions into this cascade of digital actions can anarchists inflict? Does the dawn of this digital terrain affect or potentially signal the end of long-employed tactics or real-world forms of resistance, or can creative hacking complement the struggle taking place outdoors and in the streets?

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Comments

Here's an important topic not covered in the above questions--the composition and agenda (generally speaking) of Anonymous differs in different parts of the world. In Poland, for example, where parts of the anarchist movement are still old-fashioned and labor-oriented, while right-wing nationalists and fascists have successfully appropriated some countercultural identifiers (think nationalist straight edge, or even the fascist black blocks seen in Russia), Anonymous has a right-wing reputation and has carried out right-wing actions.

In my view, this doesn't mean that Anonymous is bad or whatever, but rather that the position of being "the ones who act anonymously" (both online and in the streets) is extremely strategic now, and it is paramount that we secure this position before our enemies can. Incidentally, that is why I think that it is so important that black bloc tactics have been branded anarchist in much of the world (since those tactics are becoming more and more necessary for protest itself), and why the KKK claiming the territory of anonymous illegal action a few generations ago in the South set social struggles back a hundred years (setting the stage for the National Guard to be welcomed as the force of integration, not the oppressors who put down insurrections).

So yes, Anonymous is important, and what it is that people do anonymously is especially important. We need to create a situation where as soon as someone is pushed too far and takes their first steps of revolt, they must ask themselves, "Am I am anarchist too?" For surely, if we don't, fascists and nationalists will figure out how to do that, as they are in parts of Eastern Europe.

So totally agree. The neonazis and White supremacists are trying to recuperate Anon as we speak through their sites and comment sections, posting their same old conspirationnist and racist, xenophobic horseshit... It's time more than ever to show these mindfuckers the way out.

If we are going to be honest about Eastern Europe wouldn't we have to acknowledge that this is no surprise. That, there are simply more active racial nationalists in that area of the world? It is certainly a tool that can go either way, just like all revolt. That said, it seems like there is a crucial part of the struggle even with the uprising in Ukraine that immediately takes an anti-authoritarian character. The question of course is, how in a place like Ukraine could our politics, even active politics defeat well organized political and military nationalism? I have no doubt that it can in other places but Eastern Europe is a rough one.

And of course the Leftist Platformists and their kin the Fascists have an endless que of followers to swell their ranks in their binary shenanigans!

Yes, nationalism is powerful in Eastern Europe, hence the troubles there. In nations that have been effectively colonized by Russia for centuries, it's easy to understand why this would be the case. And yet it is most obvious of all in Ukraine, where a nationalist revolution recently triumphed, that nationalism cannot solve the problems people face: to thwart Russian intervention, there would have had to be a revolutionary movement in Russia, too, a necessarily anti-nationalist one.

You know what this actually resembles, in my view? Italy in the 1870s, where anarchism took form as an insurrectionary movement. Italy had been founded by revolutionary nationalism only a few years before (Mazzini, Garibaldi, etc.)... but the failure of that nationalism to deliver on its promises was patently obvious to poor workers and peasants in the rural south. Anarchism came about as a natural response to the failures of nationalism (and the efforts of Bakunin, et al.).

This is not to say anything like that will necessarily happen in the Ukraines of the world, or that it would be easy to achieve--only to underline that it is possible. History is full of reversals.

"In nations that have been effectively colonized by Russia for centuries"

Oh shut the fuck up, please. Especially for blaming it all on Russian imperialism, which is the typical memetic bs of the East Euro nationalists themselves. Russia did not colonize any place westward, Germans did, including Austrian Germans.

Did he touch a nerve?

You speak either from ignorance, or from nationalist bias yourself. Over the past hundred years, how much of that time has Ukraine been ruled by a government based in Russia, vs. a government based locally, vs. Austrian Germans? Hint--I listed them in order. Unfortunately, the Ukrainians after Makhno who struggled against Russian/Stalinist domination adhered to Ukrainian nationalism (rather than anarchism), to the point of allying with Hitler in the name of Ukrainian independence--which makes it clear that it was Russia they were reacting against, and how much that was the wrong way to frame things. Not a good turn of events.

Fuck all nationalisms, of course, but it's strange that you would change the subject from the possibility of a struggle against nationalism to quibbling over which nation was colonizing which. Perhaps you have a soft spot for Russian influence in Ukraine?

Whomever you are anonymous commenter I salute you. For saying what you did in a much nicer way than I would have.

Anyhow, I liked your response to mine regarding the reversals of the past. It was helpful in terms of the way I think about this particular region.

How 'bout your soft spot of Western corporate influence anywhere west of Mariupol? Or shall I say... a blind spot?

You said it... "fuck nationalism", indeed. That includes the nationalism used as phony anti-imperial resistance against "invaders" (Russians) who were there since the late Medieval era, all the while spreading a red carpet for Monsanto and the IMF to fuck up the country like Putin would never even dream of.

Fuck nationalism, yes.

But are you seriously trying to get us to agree that Putin is better than western capitalism? How about fuck all of them? I want to understand the context in any given situation, but I don't trust anyone who wants to focus on opposing the [even] worse opponent rather than producing our own goals and movements against them all.

No, definitely not. Putin's government is only one of those non-aligned regimes that the Wester corprorate vampires want to get rid of because, according to 20 years-old imperalist plans, it is in the way. Source: Zbigniew Brezinski (who's been very vocal about the political changes in Ukraine) and the rest of the CFR capitalists. If you wanna know your enemy read from its books, not from some Chomskies.

Russia still is a prison State, and the current regime has a wicked tendency of getting cozy with foreign (domestic) Third positionnist organizations, and the BRICS isn't really a humanitarian alternative to NATO. But Russia does not appear to have followed the same type of orwellian and especially biotech corporate dominion than most Western countries did, and is outside of the scope of this new wave of financial takeover that the TPP is (though maybe just a competition). THere is also some very good reason to believe, as several strong evidence points in that direction (I can explain if you want), that NATO has become somewhat of a return of the Nazi regime at an international level, and this is consistent and historically symmetrical with the new Eastern front that's been opening against Russia, with the exact same buffer countries being used as puppet regimes for further operations. Though maybe it's not going to work that well in Poland, who knows?

Anyways gotta go flirt some young cuties now... bb!

And still yet you didn't address your own issue (or ignorance) with the historical reality of Ukraine's geopgraphical redrawing over the last 100 years and beyond. It's never been the same territory, and Russia or Novorossya has been on a large part of this territory for a long time. Yeah I know Statist territorial politics, but it's also a lie saying that Russia has a long history of imperialism there, when it's actually it's very fucking origins. Russian imperialism went all the way East, not West. That's why it reaches the Bering strait now.

russia doesnt exist

Only I, the Anarch, does exist.

"uprising in Ukraine that immediately takes an anti-authoritarian character"

Nope. Even if the neonazi shock troops and Batallions appear to be decentralized, somewhat self-managed groups and that there's been this whole "autonomous" identity with regional fascist unions and paramilitaries, they're still authoritarian and racists as any other boneheads. They're also paid and commandeered by de facto baronz like Kolomoisky, so forget about the antiauthoritarian part.

Seconded. Let no one make any mistakes about what's going on in Ukraine being "antiauthoritarian."

Nah, you missed the point. The immediate character of the revolt was younger and decentralized. The latter point was the swift emergence of who you speak of at least in my opinion was inevitable considering the country/area it took place in. If this happened somewhere else say Spain, something similar to the Indignados, there would be no chance of Spanish fascists taking control.

Also, please don't do the leftist thing where "the Ukrainian revolt was led by nazis and the west from the beginning." It's not true and when you speak to young Ukrainian refugees you see in fact how insulting that dialogue is. I do understand how nice that rhetoric is though for authoritarian commies in Western Europe and the USA though.

It's true, we can't look at what you might call the raw materials behind the Ukrainian revolt as being fundamentally fascist. That means giving up on Ukraine, and maybe on revolt, in advance. I just mean that we have to be careful about what we endorse, since we are entering an era in which lots of different actors are going to be doing things "decentralized," including statists, fascists, etc.

You're attempting to make people here believe that EUROmaidan was this Occupy liberal Left thing 'till it got recuperated late by the fascist gangs, and the Western establishment just incidentally recycled the whole thing? har har har

It's been heavily documented all over the nets (not just by right-wing libertarians) that the whole movement was set up and steered by US and German agencies, and this was nothing new or out of nowhere since the country had been a playground for the competing capitalist blocs for decades. That's why there's been repeated policies of back and forth (de)privatizations, for an instance.

But plz tell me more about those non-nationalist young Ukrainian refugees.

Also that first paragraph reads like neonazi rhetoric... Ukraine was invaded by the Nazis during Operation Barbarossa and put under a regime similar to Vichy France. This is also in what is now Eastern Ukraine that the last decisive battle in the Eastern front between the Red Army and the Wehrmacht was fought. Badges of the Schutzpolicei of the Reichcommisariat were also the very same colors and with the same trident than on the current Ukrainian flag.

Hey settle down you 2, starting to sound like the Nuremberg trials here!

A great example of how completely irrational communists are. Love the USSR that no longer exists. Oh and primary sources of this information that are probably the shittiest blogger sites you've ever seen.

No nuance. Just some academic assumption. Fucking annoying.

THe only people who actually think Soviet Russia still exists are actually the Ukrainian neonazis and their Western supporters.

Digital isolation is absolutely terrible for analysis. Years ago, I was a confused kid from the sticks with some anti-authoritarian leanings and because there wasn't much local counter-culture to tap in to, I was mostly exposed to Alex Jones-type conspiracy bullshit online and everything else came from pop culture references (like the Guy Fawkes mask). These things had at least some value in developing my skepticism but it was nothing compared to moving to the city and actually exposing myself to hundreds/thousands of other people, talking, arguing and actually doing various forms of resistance.

My point is, you can get stuck at a certain stage of development if you try to substitute theory for experience. That's why the kids like Jeremy Hammond are too few. The digital isolation is something to be avoided and I feel strongly enough about this to recommend to even the nihilists (well, the younger ones) that they should risk exposing themselves to the dreaded, much maligned hippy leftism, rather than end up all socially and analytically retarded, right Einzige?

(I use that term literally but certain trolls around here do spring to mind).

I thought he Great Social Hatchet had already divided even the hippies from the Left... Not that I rooted for those "soft" authoritarians of the counterculture, but sure yeah, I suppose you're right in saying there are a few concessions or adaptation (not copromises) to make in order to empower and enrich ourselves eith bigger nets of friends or even accomplices.

Yeah, that's the long game for sure but my point was the particular sort of shitty liberal analysis that I've seen in too many communiques that allegedly came from factions of anonymous. They could just be pandering with their rhetoric I suppose but it seems more like your worldview and praxis suffers terribly from digital isolation. Go figure.

Aw that's I'll just stay in this horrible digital bubble away from a meat space coz nobody wants to hang out with me in this dogforsaken continent anyways. People are afraid that mental illness is contagious, and girls turn suddenly scared of me the moment I'm showing any sprak of interest. Birds, cats, crows and raccoons make better company and they don't give me a hard time finding the proper words to say...

Have fun in your society of deep hypocrites anyways, I'm off for another round of depression under the Sun, waiting to travel again to a more conflictual area on the planet.

the topic isnt about anonimity but about the phpbb redditors

so, go on? elaborate please!

I hate goyim and this hijacked, long overdue to end, 『joke.』

I also hate the goyim.

how could you tell i'm jewish?!?? lol

We all know who you are now. You are no longer anonymous.

I couldn't. This was a joke from an anonymous site, spamming and collapsing other sites and publishing personal info, shit like that, signed as anonymous cause that's was the default user name; it died about a decade ago. Idiots from non-anonymous sites picked it up, rather missing the point. Now they film themselves talking shit with those dumb masks on and upload it to youtube.

Shalom!

I totally didn't read any of the mother fucking comments but here is my mother fucking comment to add to the many others that will be forgotten in less than 3 days:

"Anonymous" is not anybody like stupid L33T fags try to get you to agree with. You can be anonymous today, but perhaps if a communication is issued, signing "anonymous" with a stupid mask means you are for populism. Sometimes right, sometimes left, always a fan of comic books and beating off in the basement of their parents' house, where they still live.

However, they have not only pressed anarchistic tactics forward, they have pioneered many by mixing with the oldfag IRL trolling methods into their watered down liberal populism. I loved it when the pedofags shot themselves in the face. That shit was funny. Tricking suicide on the suicidal only requires encouragement. Ask Courtney Love.

They offer video communiques, they offer graphics with those videos. They offer written communiques. They offer strong technique. Pretty much, ISIS has ripped them off a great deal because of how much further they have pushed the boundaries and they are at the same time largely ignorant of anarchists outside of thinking they might be allies on the streets, but largely unknown in the many other arenas they challenge.

The internet started with anarchists thinking freedom could be made or found in some way through it. If not an aid to utopia, then an aid to resistance or perhaps an aid to knowledge and personal struggle. It was hardly a negative thing when I was growing up and anarchists were among the loudest when the internet was stretching out socially. Only now do I realize that anarchists served a purpose on the internet that they do even today in real life. Anarchists are the pioneer gentrifiers of most cities. Friendly or they want to be genuinely friendly with POC, anarchists, white or not, serve the same role as artists and very often intermingle with this gentrifying force.

Our weakness is people can easily like us if they see us or know us on a real level. But this is not what anonymous is about. Anonymous is about not getting to know anyone. Rather, using this lack of knowledge to forward a *global* war against the forces of injustice from a populist liberal perspective, though sometimes also weird conspiracy shit populist crap that makes you want to drop goatse on their faces.

Anarchists are being coopted for some reason and the reason I brought it up to Anarchist News is because we aren't on the edge because of liberal and leftist tricks. Fuck them. Stop paying attention to them and the media. The mod has a small penis. We should be outdoing anonymous. Our cyberattacks should cripple counties if not regions. The biter rhetoric of anonymous prevents us from looking like anything other than posers in their world since we'd only be following them if our path was to seize our rightful place on the edge of radical destruction.

More importantly, stop associating with the left. I know. It is hard. It is almost like isolation at first, but look at it like you just quit your job and are looking to start a new one in a new field. It is an uphill battle, but anarchists are persistent fucks and we should give ourselves some props.

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