“We Are Legion” is a video that explains the origins of the hacktivist group Anonymous. Having not known much about Anonymous before the video, I found it intriguing and interesting to learn about how the group developed into such a large force. The video points out the major hacks and attacks that Anonymous has been the cause of, one of the first being against Hal Turner, a self proclaimed neo-nazi, radio show host, and blogger.
Turner published the home phone numbers of several prank callers from 4chan.org. Anonymous, having originated and operating through 4chan, decided that retaliation was necessary. They provoked Turner in many ways, including overloading his website and forcing him to pay a large amount of money to compensate for the bandwidth usage. Turner refused to back down and continued to provoke Anonymous, saying that they would pay for what they did to him. The reason for attacking Turner had transformed from retaliation for fellow 4chan members, to winning a war. The group needed to prove to Turner that they were a force to be reckoned with. This can be seen in most other initiatives led by Anonymous. The focus is to offend people simply because they can. They do not care who they are offending or why, but only that they are doing it.
Every person has different opinions on the war between Anonymous and Hal Turner. I was able to pick out three distinct opinions that I can relate to. There are of course people that share the neo-nazi beliefs of Turner and therefore are in support of him. I personally do not agree with that, but everyone is free to their opinions.
“Frankly, I have only admiration for you guys who fight back!..Getting mad and being able to do something about it is sometimes a very positive thing!” (Microdot 1/1/07)*
“Lemme get this straight, we hate haters who hate us but love to hate them back? Awful lot of hate involved here.” (Sepp 1/1/07)*
“What’s to stop them from targeting your bank’s website and hacking your account? Or hacking DoD computers and sending defense satellites spiraling into the ocean?” (Anchorage Activist 1/1/2007)*
Each comment above is unique, the first instilling support in the group. The second comment points out that we are fighting fire with fire, which doesn’t necessarily work all the time. However, I think that the people participating in the movement got their point across clearly. The last comment brings up a very important point. Anonymous can hack into any computer at any time, which could cause much more damage than we could ever dream of. Although I agree with the initial aim of Anonymous, the actions taken by the group have become over-the-top in a bad way. I am all for proving that you can disregard the rules of society and demolishing a terrible person’s reputation, but when it comes at the cost of ruining many people’s lives, it should be stopped.