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Thousands of U.S. hackers have declared "war" on the U.S. government and select businesses due to their crackdown on Wikileaks and the pending charges against Wikileaker Bradley Manning. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (pictured) is a hero to Anonymous and has vocally advocated anarchy and attacking the government in the past.  (Source: CNN)

Anonymous is looking to personally attack U.S. Military members serving at the Quantico, Virginia base for alleged mistreatment of Bradley Manning. Its attacks look to publish personal information on the members and their families.  (Source: Reuters)

The group's spokesperson acknowledges that the group promotes breaking the law and that its members DO break the law. But he says the attacks are ethical because they are in response to wrong-doing.  (Source: YouTube)
Group says the attacks are revenge for mistreatment of Wikileaks and Bradley Manning

Wikileaks has fallen on hard times.  According to site founder Julian Assange, he needs twice the budget of Wikipedia -- $31.2M USD a year -- to keep the site going or he may just shut it down.  And Mr. Assange's key U.S. government source, Bradley Manning, is sitting in federal prison awaiting a pile of new charges.

Amid this backdrop, hacker group Anonymous has pledged to expand its cyberwar to include attacks against key U.S. government offices and businesses.  The group claims its attacks on the federal government's and businesses are designed to free Bradley Manning and aid Wikileaks in its quest to eliminate "corruption" in the U.S. government.

I.  Anonymous Conducts Personal Attacks on the U.S. Military Members

Barrett Brown, 29, calls himself senior strategy officer for the group.  He recently was interviewed by MSNBC and explained why his group is looking to attack critical U.S. institutions.  He states, "It's a guerrilla cyberwar — that’s what I call it. It's sort of an unconventional, asymmetrical act of warfare that we’ve involved in. And we didn’t necessarily start it. I mean, this fire has been burning."

While the young man doesn't have much experience in formal ethics theory, he is a fervent "propagandist" (in his own words) who preaches a philosophy of breaking the law to fight perceived injustices.  He states, "Our people break laws, just like all people break laws. When we break laws, we do it in the service of civil disobedience. We do so ethically. We do it against targets that have asked for it."

Mr. Brown's latest effort is to personally attack and "harass" military personnel, law enforcement officials, and staff at the Quantico, Virginia military base where Bradley Manning is imprisoned.  Anonymous members try to hack into the peoples' personal accounts and attempt to post personal information and embarrassing details on internet message boards and other outlets.  

The attacks are known as "doxing" to the group.  They include trying to post details about the individuals' families such as the names of their children and their home addresses.

The group is also attempting to accomplish a "complete communications shutdown" of phone lines and internet to the military base.  He was careful to stress that he calls himself a "journalist" and is not involved personally in these attacks.

II. Who are Anonymous?

The group Anonymous is mostly composed of young U.S. hackers.  The group shares a common interest in the image-board site 4Chan, which is where the group originally became active.  The members’ skill levels and social positions vary wildly.

While the group ostensibly claims to be trying to "protect" morality and the law, its actions trend closely to anarchism.  This is perhaps unsurprising in that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, considered a hero by many Anonymous members, penned a seminal work in the 90s glorifying "hactivism" in the name of anarchy.

Anonymous' declaration of "war" against the governments of U.S. and Britain has brought intense law enforcement scrutiny on its members.  In Britain, multiple members of Anonymous were arrested and detained.

By contrast the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations is executing a more patient investigation.  It has raided many Anonymous members homes and is reportedly preparing a case that may name dozens of members.

One trouble spot for Anonymous may be in its use of botnets.  While the group publicly claims to only use first-party distributed denial of service attack tools like "Low Impact Ion Cannon" (LOIC), some members of the group have reportedly taken to supplementing these attacks with botnet spamming from networks of infected computers.

While first party denial of service attacks are somewhat of a legal gray area, infected peoples' machines and using them to attack businesses and the government is a much more blatant violation of federal computer laws.

III.  Anonymous Says Business are Also on Its List of Targets

In its fight to "aid" Wikileaks, Mr. Brown says Anonymous is planning lots of attacks on businesses, in addition to the aforementioned attacks on federal entities and military personnel.

In response to businesses like Paypal, MasterCard, and Visa restricting funds to Wikileaks on the grounds that the site is supporting illegal activity, Anonymous is sending threatening letters. 

One such letter reads:

We politely ask you to finally stand up and show some backbone. Unfreeze the [Wikileaks] account, or release the funds, so Bradley Manning and his lawyers can access it. Otherwise you prove you are nothing but a puppet of a criminal government, which is violating the Geneva Convention and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution…We are Anonymous. We do not forgive. We do not forget.

In addition to "politely asking" for changes in a threatening manner, it is also using DDoS attacks, and attempting even nastier hacking attacks to drive home what it says is its message.

Another recent victim of Anonymous was HBGary.  Emails illegally obtained from Anonymous appear to show the firm being contracted by the Bank of America and possibly U.S. government officials in a campaign to discredit Wikileaks.

Additionally, Mr. Brown claims that the business had a copy of the "Stuxnet" virus, which the U.S. government is rumored to have used to infect and sabotage an Iranian nuclear facility.  He states, "Yeah, its dangerous software. Shouldn’t have been floating around like that."

HBGary officials have complained that members of Anonymous are personally harassing employees posting names and pictures of their children, among other person details.  They say that some employees even have received death threats.

States Greg Hoglund, the CEO of HBGary and founder of HBGary Federal, "These are not hacktivists. They are criminals. They are breaking into computer systems and stealing information — and that violates multiple federal statutes. Anonymous is not what people think. They are vicious individuals and they are having the time of their lives because of all the press they are receiving."

IV. War All of the Time

In the near future, Mr. Brown promises many, many more attacks in the U.S.  He states, "We can expose people. We can go to the media with things, we can give them scoops. We can give them information about companies and their wrongdoing. We can organize protests —anywhere across the globe. We can get the attention of the national conversation if we need to."

He adds, "I can tell you that our capabilities are such that, we can, for instance, go into the servers of a federal contracting company … take those servers down, delete backups, take all internal emails, take documents, shut down the websites of the owners of those companies, take everything from those websites, ruin the lives of people who have done it wrong … harass them, make sure they’ll never work again in this particular industry."

With regards to the vicious personnel attacks on federal employees and contractors that his group is executing, Dallas, Texas native Mr. Brown joins other infamous Texans who fought the government, such as Branch Davidians at Waco, Texas.  

But rather than bullets, their weapons are technology and information, which, when properly applied, can be almost as damaging.  For his part, though, Mr. Brown shows no remorse -- even when his group members personally attack the families of U.S. Military members.  In his mind, it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing".

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it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By cjohnson2136 on 3/9/2011 11:20:05 AM , Rating: 5
Ok so the US screws up sometimes but I dont think it is right to use that payback against the wives/husbands and children of military families. Why not just hack the Pentagon or CIA or NSA or Defense Contractors. Why attack personal families. I think that is absolutely horrific.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By Joz on 3/9/2011 11:27:29 AM , Rating: 2
Attacking persons is much more effective tactic then attacking corporations or entities of government.

Essentially; Anon is attacking those corporations and entities through the private individuals through active fear-mongering (aka: cyberterrosim; attacking civilian level; as opposed to military, government and corporate levels.

I do not support or condone Anonymous; Asange, Bradly; the US Military or Government; or any other person, object or group.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By cjohnson2136 on 3/9/2011 11:30:26 AM , Rating: 5
I understand attacking civilians is much easier and more effective but to say its "payback" is most certainly false. IMO payback has to be given back to the person/entity that did you wrong, in this case the US government. I hope the FBI finds them all and locks them up for attacking innocent civilians.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By dsx724 on 3/9/2011 11:44:57 AM , Rating: 1
Collateral damage to getting "the job" done? We have no problem using that excuse when the military accidentally bombs places not sheltering terrorists, dictators and other criminals and then add insult to injury by spinning it in the media. Your own medicine hurts. I'm not saying that it is right but parallels can be drawn here.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By cjohnson2136 on 3/9/2011 11:47:18 AM , Rating: 2
Again I completely agree that this happens even with our Gov't but I still don't agree with.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By B3an on 3/9/2011 3:06:00 PM , Rating: 1
I'd just like to point out this is a very bias (as usual) Mick article. A lot of this article is false. And Anonymous are certainly not mainly composed of hackers. Most of them have no clue about hacking.

So before you all start making comments based on a bias and misleading article it would be a good idea to actually find out what is really going on here.

It's very obvious that Jason has something against Wikileaks, every article he writes tries to put it in the worst possible light.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By dsx724 on 3/9/2011 3:25:44 PM , Rating: 2
5 Stars?

Anon are a bunch of kids that post nasty stuff and download programs from 4Chan written to DDOS sites. They just collectively do it and many of them are underage goons having a fun time.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By heffeque on 3/9/11, Rating: 0
RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By Argon18 on 3/9/2011 9:30:52 PM , Rating: 4
you're drunk and/or insane.

By flyingpants1 on 3/10/2011 6:29:17 AM , Rating: 2

By heffeque on 3/10/2011 6:40:14 AM , Rating: 1
That's your reply? I'm impressed.

By Parhel on 3/12/2011 12:28:45 AM , Rating: 4
As someone who is currently drunk, I'm quite offended that you placed him in the same category.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By tastyratz on 3/10/2011 10:44:15 AM , Rating: 3
Manning would have been had he released pertinent documents to us wrondoings. We are not immune to these things and I think dirty laundry SHOULD be aired for ANY government to keep a clean nose. The difference here is that he endangered and most likely cost innocent people lives by leaking NON pertinent documents of our allies and confidential sources. Assange is just as guilty.

The idea of wikileaks is novel and I support the concept... run by someone else. Assange is after anarchy and destruction of the united states.

Anonymous is a terrorist group, not an activist group. They immortalize this false idol, and terrorize families to achieve a goal. You have a problem with an organization and the decisions of its high ranking officials? You focus on said high ranking officials and organization.

I absolutely think standing up should be done where standing up is due, but this does not mean through terrorism. If you ask me, Anonymous = al-qaeda

Sacrificing the many for the few...

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By snyper256 on 3/10/2011 4:12:46 PM , Rating: 2
"Terrorism" doesn't even have a definition anymore, does it?

By roykahn on 3/10/2011 5:45:30 PM , Rating: 1
The definition has changed over the past 50 years or so. It used to mean the terrorizing of a population of part of the population by the state. It was then transformed into meaning the terrorizing of the state by individuals or a group of indivuduals. The definition has been twisted since its original meaning so that it describes what others do to us rather than what we do to others. It's the same concept as war crimes. Definitions are changes so that crimes only apply to others.

Although I can't remember the exact details, the US has a history of manipulating its list of terrorists. When making additions, it basically means that they want enemies to suffer economically or by force. When removing friends, it can then provide financial and military aid. Basically, it's all BS.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By Digimonkey on 3/9/2011 1:15:32 PM , Rating: 5
Collateral damage is damage that is caused unintentionally. Causing damage to targeted individuals to scar them so your demands are met is called terrorism. Right or wrong, call it what it is.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By Nutzo on 3/9/2011 1:35:58 PM , Rating: 5

The US military goes out of its way to avoid civilians, even to the point of putting its own personnel at risk, whereas terrorist hide behind or intentionally target civilians.

There is nothing moral or ethical about using terrorist tactics by targeting civilians, so this a major fail on the part of Anonymous.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By PReiger99 on 3/9/11, Rating: -1
RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By Ammohunt on 3/9/2011 2:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
posting personal information about certain military personnel familys puts them at risk of violence not to mention those that expose are not at risk of being involved in violence since i am pretty sure any group or person that risks the families of our Military personel can be guaranteed military retrobution i.e. the anon folks better stay hidden behind their monitors.

By Ammohunt on 3/9/2011 2:16:11 PM , Rating: 3
wow proof read fail lets try again

Posting personal information about certain military personnel’s families puts them at risk of violence not to mention those that expose are also at risk of being involved in violence since i am pretty sure any group or person that risks the families of our Military personnel can be guaranteed violent retribution i.e. the anon folks better stay hidden behind their monitors.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By MrBlastman on 3/9/2011 2:16:05 PM , Rating: 5
Wrong. Completely, utterly wrong.

Unless there is violence involved (or threats implying violence), it's not terrorism.

You fail to understand what Terrorism truly is. Let me deconstruct part of the word for you... "Terror" is the causing or instance of fear. "ist" corresponds to...

a person who practices or is concerned with something, or holds certain principles, doctrines, etc.:


You do not have to subject violence upon a person to conduct terrorism. You simply need to create fear within them.

THIS is what Anonymous is trying to do. They are trying to make the servicemen fear being part of the U.S. Military. They are doing this through seeking to make public information about themselves, their families and various intricacies involving their lives and those around them. In addition, they are threatening to cut off the base from the world via phone and internet. This isn't violent--this is action with the intended result of creating fear. They want the people to be scared

They _are_ terrorists in this situaton. They are not at all simply engaged in vanilla "harassment."

I'm sorry, but Anonymous has finally gone to far. This is over the edge. I really hope that our government hunts every single one of them down and holds them accountable under U.S. laws pertaining to terrorist acts on our soil.

The Constitution clearly provides us for our right to free speech. It also stipulates that this protest should be "peaceful" and not with ill-intent. The great document does nothing to protect Anonymous from the furor they will face over this.

By The Raven on 3/9/2011 3:02:41 PM , Rating: 2
French harasser, from Middle French, from harer to set a dog on , from Old French hare, interjection used to incite dogs, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German hier here — more at here First Known Use: 1617
Sounds like terrorism to me. PReiger99 got it right and wrong apparently. He's right that it is harassment but wrong that harrasment is not violent/terrorism... etymologically speaking that is ;-)

But more to to his actual point, they would not be fearing for their physical safety as a result of the Anon actions if I am not mistaken. They are worried about financial consequences and such. That is different than actually being afraid for your life in all fairness. Though I would call it terrorism in my book.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By PReiger99 on 3/9/11, Rating: -1
RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By MrBlastman on 3/9/2011 5:02:39 PM , Rating: 2
Humiliating someone for what they did isn't terrorism, it's a fair game that all politicians and celebrities have to endure on a daily basis. The only reason why no one

These people are't politicians. They aren't actors. They aren't leaders. They aren't public figures. They are private employees not involved at the highest, executive level.

In their job decription they applied for (or were assigned to), nowhere did it mention that their lives will be scruitinized in minute detail and available for the world to see.

These are your standard enlisted people. They deserve to be treated with respect.

By MrBlastman on 3/9/2011 5:03:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry--private, yet public (as they work for our country), but you should be able to comprehend what I mean.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By techcurious on 3/10/2011 5:28:45 AM , Rating: 1
@ MrBlastman

So, by your logic, every member of the US armed forces is a terrorist and every piece of military machinery is a tool for terrorism, because they instill fear in the enemies of the US.
And a really huge football player is a terrorist too, because the opposing team fears for their life, or at least for their limbs, while on the same field as him.

We need to draw a line somewhere and stop using the term terrorism/terrorist every time we want to describe someone as simply negative.

Any member of the US armed forces should already be dealing with some fear for being a part of a military force. Duhh.. that goes with the territory. Warfare is not meant to be safe.

By mcnabney on 3/10/2011 10:51:55 AM , Rating: 2
But this is a different kind of 'front'.

If there is ever going to be a 'great firewall of the United States', it is crap like this that will cause enough outrage in the general public to demand it.

Also, those pastey and doughy nerds of Anonymous might want to consider how they would do in PMITA prison before undertaking this. There won't be any jury nullification when you are caught attacking the families of soldiers. I imagine spending 10 years as a prison commodity hasn't crossed their minds, but it should.

By jamesjwb on 3/9/2011 3:35:14 PM , Rating: 1
Hmmm, when the USA in the past has funded and supplied rebels in other countries for its own reasons and agenda, who then go and murder the civilians you tell me they apparently go out of their way to avoid like the good guys they are, what exactly is that then? And in absolute knowledge of what's going on, i might add. There is one official story of what goes on, and then there's the truth, and it's not pretty. If you people knew what has been done in your name, you'd be disgusted, it's just you don't have a damn clue.

I'm sorry to say, but most of you guys who pretend the united states is an honourable force spreading democracy out of the good of their hearts are deluded.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By dsx724 on 3/9/2011 6:12:03 PM , Rating: 1
The video released by Manning show otherwise. I'm not saying that these types of videos justify what the spokesperson wants to do. However, sweeping those videos under the rug, although convenient, isn't buying the military establishment any cookie points either.

It was in a time of war and accidents do happen but accidents must be scrutinized as to prevent ignorance, abuse, and war crimes. However, the last thing anyone wants is blatantly ignorant/abusive individuals representing this country with a M16 or bomb or bad plans and harming foreign civilians. We can either play as world police or no police, but never as American Police.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By Solandri on 3/9/2011 7:45:25 PM , Rating: 2
The video released by Manning show otherwise. I'm not saying that these types of videos justify what the spokesperson wants to do. However, sweeping those videos under the rug, although convenient, isn't buying the military establishment any cookie points either.

That's just it. The video wasn't swept under the rug. It was sitting in a JAG's folder as part of an ongoing investigation. JAG. Judge Advocate Generate - the legal branch of the military who does things like investigate possible war crimes. They were already investigating the video as a possible war crime.

Then Manning and Wikipedia got a hold of it, spread it all around the world, and cited it as evidence that the military was suppressing war crimes? How does that make sense? If they were actually trying to cover up the video, they would have deleted it at the first opportunity. Manning never would've been able to copy it, Wikipedia never would've been able to distribute it, and you wouldn't be citing it as evidence of a coverup. They very fact that you can cite it is proof that it wasn't being covered up.

Remember the Abu Gharib prison torture scandal? The military broke that story. A newspaper got whiff of it and when they questioned the military about it, the military held a full press conference detailing what the ongoing investigation had found up to that point. They could do that because they had already been investigating it for possible war crimes, not covering it up.

By dsx724 on 3/10/2011 9:21:16 PM , Rating: 1
The video was taken in July 2007. Reuters filed a FIA that was denied. Washington Post has the video in 2009 but did not disclose it. It was not until 2010 did Wikileaks release the video. That is three years! It was swept under the rug based on Rules of Engagement pretext from the start. Nowhere did I mention any cover up.

Killing clearly unarmed good samaritans is not legal under international law. They were not posing any threat and was merely helping an unarmed injured man who called out for help. The van was not part of the group of men that had weapons and pull up after the shooting had occurred.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By dsx724 on 3/9/2011 3:01:06 PM , Rating: 1
Collateral damage can be damage that is caused unintentionally.

Fixed. Collateral damage can be incidental.

Incidental: happening in connection with or resulting from something more important; casual or fortuitous.

Use your language carefully.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By Digimonkey on 3/9/2011 3:21:10 PM , Rating: 2
If you dissected every word that's part of a definition of another word you could construe anything you want. Yes words in the English language can have multiple meanings, however I was referring to the context in which the word collateral was given.

I will admit being wrong on the terrorism part, as the most widely adapted definition includes the act or threat of violence. In this case violence was never implied.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By dsx724 on 3/9/2011 3:36:42 PM , Rating: 1
Collateral damage is damage that is caused unintentionally.

Except it's not. Collateral damage can be intentional. Doesn't that destroy the very foundation of your argument?

If I want to get to A and you stand between me and A and I have every intention of getting to A including to kill you, you are collateral damage.

I'm not arguing about the principle of what is happening. Good intention people like military families always get caught in the middle of bad things. Just like there were Japanese people who were against war who died the Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It would be a real tragedy if anything happened to those families as a result of this but Anon would legitimize it as collateral damage to their goal of more openness in government.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By Digimonkey on 3/9/2011 5:21:46 PM , Rating: 2
"If I want to get to A and you stand between me and A and I have every intention of getting to A including to kill you, you are collateral damage."

Sure, unfortunately that is not the case here in which the individuals are "A".

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By dsx724 on 3/9/11, Rating: 0
By Digimonkey on 3/10/2011 11:46:12 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah I got it that you don't understand the phrase collateral damage.

By SlyNine on 3/10/2011 12:07:00 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong, They primary objective maybe to aid Wikileaks. But the means of achieving that goal is clear, To attack Military families.

You have never heard the US Government say its goal is to get rid of Sadam, through threatening the families of its military personal.

Sorry but your connotation of the word " Collateral Damage" Is being used very different the US Military's meaning when they use it. Even if in a very broad term of the word (and it seems you have to twist it some at that) Fits.

You are being very pedantic, and getting connotation confused with denotation. The literal meaning of the word is not in question here, it's how you are choosing to use the word that's being challenged. You are implying the US military is using the word in the same way you are. They simply are not. The connotation of the word is vastly different.

By smackababy on 3/9/2011 4:46:39 PM , Rating: 2
Collateral damage is not always unintentional. There are occasions where it is acceptable and unavoidable. If an enemy is using a power plant or factory as a manufacturing facility for weapons, it is well within LOAC to destroy the building. This might kill civilians working there. They're deaths would be collateral damage but the "greater good" would prevail.

I am not saying that is right, but it is legal.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By Strunf on 3/10/2011 7:52:46 AM , Rating: 1
Why would civilians that support the US actions be all immune to any attack, isn't it too easy to support something bad without any consequences? But then again I didn't see you Americans all that ashamed when you put the embargo on Cuba and elsewhere knowing clearly that it would mostly affect the civilians...

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By SlyNine on 3/10/2011 12:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
That's a very narrow and shallow view don't you think. All countries take certain action, and no country is perfect.

Besides that we are not targeting their civilians in anyway. We owe them nothing, and by not giving them something we are not the ones hurting them.

Your taking, "well if you're on the side of the road I'm not going to help you." and saying its the same as saying "If I see your ass on the side of the road I'm gonna put my foot in it.".

By Strunf on 3/11/2011 8:10:10 AM , Rating: 2
You may not target civilians but the fact remains it's them who suffer the most.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By NellyFromMA on 3/9/2011 4:07:17 PM , Rating: 1
You're a disgrace.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By dsx724 on 3/9/2011 4:53:55 PM , Rating: 1
You believe in an one sided coin.

By NellyFromMA on 3/17/2011 3:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, no. Someone stating opinions based on opinions based on distorted facts, that doesn't qualify to me as a valid 'second side' of a coin. I like intelligent conversation and debate, not ridiculous and potentially damaging commentary. Big difference.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By nafhan on 3/9/2011 11:49:28 AM , Rating: 3
Attacking persons is much more effective tactic then attacking corporations or entities of government.
That's exactly why terrorists do it...

The reason for that tactics effectiveness is generally because it's easier and has a disproportional (with the level of effort) emotional effect.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By dsx724 on 3/9/11, Rating: -1
RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By Wererat on 3/9/2011 12:30:21 PM , Rating: 5
I think it would be best to stop misusing "terrorism" as synonymous with "anti-government activity" and instead reserve it for those actions which have as their goal to cause terror and disrupt an entity's (state, nation, etc.) operations through application of fear.

I really don't think breaking up and ruining a tea shipment counts as "terrorism." Although it was definitely intended to cause economic harm, I don't recall the families of the crew or officials in England fearing personal harm.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By HrilL on 3/9/2011 6:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
These people were labeled as committing terrorism and were called terrorists at the time. While you think hey its just some tea others see lost profits and the government considered it terrorism.

Our government commits acts of terrorism and so does Anon. Does this make either of their actions correct? or Just? Not at all and both should be labeled as terrorism because that is in fact what it is.

There is such a thing as economic terrorism as well...

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By Wererat on 3/9/2011 7:10:27 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I'm going to assert that words mean things, and that "terrorism" should only mean acts intended to cause the emotion of terror, fear of personal physical harm, and intended to influence behavior/policy by terror.

I wasn't attempting to pick on the poster I replied to: all media outlets and the present and prior U.S. administration misuse the term in the same way.

The current misuse makes "terrorism" just a catchword causing an emotional reflexive response and deprives it of actual meaning.

Now even given a correct definition of terrorism, one could make cogent arguments that the wearing of uniforms in conformance with the Geneva convention, or not as in asymmetrical warfare, doesn't distinguish an act as being terrorism or not. I do: putting people in uniform in a regular military force means that you can determine responsibility up the chain of command and to the CinC.

At least the people who worked that out and the 194 countries who signed it in the aftermath of a very terrible war, which killed 50-70 million in toto, believed that that made a difference.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By SlyNine on 3/10/2011 12:23:03 PM , Rating: 2
You're forgetting that there is connotation and denotation of words. Literal meanings and how words are commonly perceived.

If you're not going to be a completely pedantic (in my opinion) idiot then you have to understand how the term was used.

Yes, Speech isn't as easy as picking up a dictionary and trying to pick every word apart, If you do that you're going to get things vastly wrong. In politics and in your social life.

It's the same reason people 1000years from now will have a hard time understanding us, even though they will have our movies to watch. The same reason even translators screw up. Decoding language is very very hard, even though we (Humans) seem to have an uncanny ability to do it.

By foolsgambit11 on 3/14/2011 12:35:03 PM , Rating: 2
Mainly because we assume we know what the other person means when they use a word, even though we often don't know exactly what they intended to mean - as this discussion aptly demonstrates.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By MastermindX on 3/9/2011 1:06:03 PM , Rating: 3
Indeed. The winners write history.

George Washington would probably be known today as nothing more than a terrorist traitor had Britain won the independance war. Instead, he's a respected figure of USA's history.

Had Hitler won the 2nd world war, all history books today would read "And this is how Hitler saved the world from the Jewish threat".

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By JediJeb on 3/9/2011 2:47:09 PM , Rating: 4
George Washington would probably be known today as nothing more than a terrorist traitor had Britain won the independance war. Instead, he's a respected figure of USA's history.

Only if someone promotes an improper definition of terrorist. George Washington led an army against another army, not against innocent civilians. If anything the British would have been the terrorists since they used tactics of invading homes at random to try to scare (place terror on) communities to not join the rebellion. Anon wants to do the same thing here, go after the families of soldiers to try to frighten the soldiers into not doing their duty of protecting the US or to free Manning.

The British could list George Washington as a traitor and be telling the truth because he broke from the British side to join the American side. But being a traitor does not make you a terrorist.

It is only my opinion but I believe any terrorist, from the members of Anon (if they pursue the families of the soldiers) to Osama Bin Laden are simply cowards to use such tactics instead of going head to head with the army.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By MastermindX on 3/9/2011 10:48:54 PM , Rating: 2
According to various news report I see from the United States, families of soldiers aren't called innocent victims, but rather collateral damage... Or do they call them this way only when they are not on their side?

By MastermindX on 3/9/2011 10:58:48 PM , Rating: 2
With that being said, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm supporting that kind of tactic. Quite the opposite.

I wish we'd be in a world were such atrocities wouldn't exists. But then again, like Jack Handey said better than I could ever do.

I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

By Skywalker123 on 3/9/2011 11:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
Bin Laden has said a long time ago that he would be glad to fight the Americans and Zionists straight up. Just give him a fraction of the Military aid supplied to Israel. The Israeli's used terror before they became a state (and they still do). Remember the King David hotel?

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By nafhan on 3/9/2011 1:08:21 PM , Rating: 2
Go ahead and quote stuff you don't really understand... "Patriot" and "terrorist" aren't mutually exclusive. It's possible for an individual to be either, neither, or both. Terrorist is a term related to actions and methods while patriot has more to do with ideology.

Also, I think patriot (someone who feels strong support or love for their country) is not the right term (even if you agree with the methods and goals) to use for a group that does stuff for "teh lulz". Targeting individuals to cause fear - on the other hand - is basically the definition of terrorist.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By dsx724 on 3/9/2011 5:02:17 PM , Rating: 2
So you are disagreeing with agreeing with me by repeating to me what I just implied through the quote? There is a duality in that we assign two labels to the same coin. Thanks for the support :)

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By nafhan on 3/9/2011 5:50:05 PM , Rating: 2
Your quote implies that the labels are opposites of each other, relative, and defined merely by POV; I made the assertion that that the two terms are not any of those things in relation to each other. So, no I'm not agreeing with you at all, unless... you are now disagreeing with your original assertion by agreeing with my assertion and subsuming your disagreement in an agreement with my disagreement.

By dsx724 on 3/9/2011 6:19:31 PM , Rating: 2
How much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

Your quote implies
I implied that they are two different labels for the same thing and that some people here are judging this thing based on the labels they adhered to it. I don't see how it can imply any other logical statement. You interpreted what I implied incorrectly.

By dsx724 on 3/9/2011 6:28:01 PM , Rating: 2
The labels specifically have very contrary implications. Terrorists are usually viewed as anti-state and patriots are viewed as pro-state. So in that sense they are opposites. I never stated that they can't be both. The fact that I stated that they were two sides of the same coin indicates that I acknowledged that they can be both and are not mutually exclusive. Are we really petty-ing over this? And yes, I know petty-ing is a made up word.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By SlyNine on 3/10/2011 12:29:14 PM , Rating: 2
There's no use trying , He thinks he's being cleaver by purposely misinterpreting your words. When in reality everyone is starting to see through it.

Its just a cloud of confusion he wants to illicit, He will bend words forever, because for every meaning you can lay out he can knowingly interpret it differently, even if he gets your meaning and understands it.

Argument at that point should stop, there is no point to it when he's playing games with semantics.

By dsx724 on 3/10/2011 8:58:07 PM , Rating: 2
I posted the quote
One person's terrorist is another person's patriot.

indicating that one person can be personified as a patriot and as a terrorist.

Nafhan responds
"Patriot" and "terrorist" aren't mutually exclusive. It's possible for an individual to be either, neither, or both.

as if I'm saying that the "patriot" and "terrorist" are mutually exclusive which I clearly did not do in any shape or form and quite the opposite! What is so difficult to understand?

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By Flunk on 3/9/2011 11:31:14 AM , Rating: 2
For the LOLs of course. Anonymous doesn't have any specific morals. It's just a group (or groups) or people that do whatever they feel like.

They don't hack the pentagon because then the government would chase them down and convict any US citizens involved of treason.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By JasonMick on 3/9/2011 11:45:55 AM , Rating: 1
For the LOLs of course. Anonymous doesn't have any specific morals. It's just a group (or groups) or people that do whatever they feel like.

That's inaccurate. Anonymous -- like other dissident movements, such as Al Qaeda or the Taliban -- is loosely organized for sure, but it has a handful of dedicated spokespeople organizers that organize the thousands of "members" to action.

Recent large scale actions referenced in this article have had hundreds if not thousands of organized participants.

If members of Anonymous don't like those actions, they may want to avoid being in the group, because for better or worse the entity IS acting as a de facto group.

They don't hack the pentagon because then the government would chase them down and convict any US citizens involved of treason.

Err... they did attack U.S. gov't and business online presences extensively in recent months. Tracking down and gather evidence against hundreds of anonymous (no pun intended) individuals is hardly an easy task even for the big bad gov't.

I would expect the FBI to issue some arrest warrants in coming months surrounding this activity, so your statement may prove prophetic yet.

By Flunk on 3/9/2011 1:24:18 PM , Rating: 2
You missed the entire point of my comment. I never argued that it wasn't a group, just that that group doesn't do things for moral reasons.

Also, there isn't any evidence that Anonymous has hacked any high security systems such as those employed by the Pentagon. There is a big difference between hacking public websites for state and federal agencies and defense systems.

Also gov't isn't an acceptable contraction, it just makes it look like you forgot how to spell government.

By zmatt on 3/9/2011 2:22:56 PM , Rating: 2
That is a massive amount of fail right there. I would assume a member of a tech blog would know better, but for some reason it is physically impossible for journalists to get their heads around the concept of Anon. They have no leaders, they are hardly organized, and their raids don't even reflect the sentiments of all of it's members. There are a few members with some clout on the IRC, but anyone who is claiming to be a spokesman is trolling and you should know better.

They say it best themselves, they are "legion". A mass of faceless who act together. There is no leader, and there is no agenda. Someone proposes a raid and is either met with support or "anon is not your personal army" simple as that. 5 minutes on /b/ would tell you this. Do some research.

By marvdmartian on 3/9/2011 3:29:04 PM , Rating: 1
Difficult, yes. Impossible? NO.

I guarantee, given the opportunity, the NSA (No Such Agency) would have these guys tracked down in a short period of time, and we'd suddenly see the FBI doing raids all across the country.

Anonymous is only that when they keep it low key, and pick on the little guys. Start messing with the feds, and they'll find out how quickly the lights get turned on, so to speak, and they are found out.

And honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if a bunch of parent's basements are raided. ;)

By theapparition on 3/9/2011 11:34:05 AM , Rating: 4
They're as misguided as those wackos who protest at fallen soldiers funerals.

Anyone know why those nutjobs are protesting? Not because of the war, it's because they blame the government for not hunting down and killing gay people. And because the government tolerates gays, US soldiers getting killed in war is punishment from God. So they go celebrate it. Talk about fked up logic.

But back to Anon, they have some talented individuals who are extremely misguided thinking they are going to do anything. Get Bradley Manning released? Please, not going to happen. They think the scortched earth policy of going after everyone is going to get thier message across. Think again. And this idiot PR guy claims basically everything under the sun, like they know how to bring the internet down, etc. All scare tactics. Do it already or shut the hell up.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By JasonMick on 3/9/2011 11:34:26 AM , Rating: 4
While I really tried to avoid passing any judgement or interjecting any opinion in this article, personally I'm against ANY attacks on individuals who are just doing their job, regardless of whomever is right in the Wikileaks debate.

"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."
-- Gandhi

"Ohhh. Great warrior.Wars not make one great."
-- Yoda

Violence begets violence, sneaking and dirty attacks only breeds more of the same.

Anyone can attack someone else be it physically or digitally. It takes a strong man to stand up to abuse and injustice and not respond in kind. Sadly, such strength is missing here.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By dsx724 on 3/9/11, Rating: -1
RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By dsx724 on 3/9/2011 11:53:13 AM , Rating: 2
*south asia* but I guess east is a relative term.

By rcc on 3/9/2011 3:34:42 PM , Rating: 2
rather like the U.S Midwest. It's sorta Mid, but it sure isn't West.

By IntelUser2000 on 3/9/2011 1:10:00 PM , Rating: 3
Wha... what...? I don't even know what to say. You could have the worst people in the world, but if they have done even one good thing in their life, that aspect of the life should be congratulated.

You obviously aren't helping to make it better. The final results shouldn't always validate what was done along the way.

By dreddly on 3/9/2011 12:09:43 PM , Rating: 3
Thanks for doing that.

Blogs are for opinion and journalism should provide information. Too many of the wikileaks articles on anandtech read like the former instead of the latter.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By The Raven on 3/9/2011 1:01:32 PM , Rating: 2
While I get your point, the Constitution clearly states that it is "We the People" who are supposed to be running the show here. Just because we continuously try to set up a gov't that will make our choices and protect our rights for us, doesn't divorce us from the responsibility of governing ourselves.

Traudl Junge (who is known as Hitler's secretary during the 'final days') said the following (the first and last lines in the movie Downfall) which illustrate to me that I am not absolved of responsibility through our gov't:
Traudl Junge: I've got the feeling that I should be angry with this child, this young and oblivious girl. Or that I'm not allowed to forgive her for not seeing the nature of that monster. That she didn't realize what she was doing. And mostly because I've gone so obliviously. Because I wasn't a fanatic Nazi. I could have said in Berlin, "No, I'm not doing that. I don't want to go the Führer's headquarters." But I didn't do that. I was too curious. I didn't realize that fate would lead me somewhere I didn't want to be. But still, I find it hard to forgive myself.

Traudl Junge: All these horrors I've heard of during the Nurnberg process, these six million Jews, other thinking people or people of another race, who perished. That shocked me deeply. But I hadn't made the connection with my past. I assured myself with the thought of not being personally guilty. And that I didn't know anything about the enormous scale of it. But one day I walked by a memorial plate of Sophie Scholl in the Franz-Joseph-Strasse. I saw that she was about my age and she was executed in the same year I came to Hitler. And at that moment I actually realized that a young age isn't an excuse. And that it might have been possible to get to know things.

We are responsible for what our gov't does and especially if we are supposedly self governed. And if we have a problem with what they are doing we need to do something about it even it it means hardships or even death.

Take Manning for example. Whether you or I agree with his belief, he saw the US gov't as a threat (to whom I don't know). Did he think that he could possibly be executed because of this? I hope he did. But that is the risk - nay the price of civil disobedience. You are not exempt from the existing laws. When you participate, you are essentially saying, "Go ahead and lock me up kill me or whatever. I will not stand idly by and tolerate law 'X' because I believe it is morally wrong." It is the hope that the gov't a.k.a fellow citizens will come to a knowledge of what you are pushing and change the laws before or after you are dead.

So in summary: screw Anon and screw the gov't

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By InfinityzeN on 3/9/2011 1:12:35 PM , Rating: 4
Manning did not do it out of some belief that the gov't was a threat. He did it to get back at having his SGT strips taken away from him. He was demoted in rank, pissed off, and did it to "Get Back At The Man".

By The Raven on 3/9/2011 2:49:21 PM , Rating: 1
While I also have heard that story, I doubt that that was the only reason for him to act out this way. It may also have been the "don't ask don't tell" policy in the military or any number of 'reasons'. But at most his loss of rank might have been the straw (well, maybe more than a straw) that broke the camel's back.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By Shadowself on 3/9/2011 1:27:53 PM , Rating: 5
THE big difference here is that Manning signed the secrecy order documents in order to get his clearances. He was briefed on the consequences *before* he was given access to that information. This is absolute fact.

What is alledged is that he wilfully violated those agreements. He agreed to NOT disclose any of the information to which he had access. It is alledged he broke that agreement. This was/is not a trivial "cross my heart and hope to die" kind of promise. This one has life and death consequences for people who've done nothing wrong -- in many cases people just working to make the world better. If it is proven he broke the agreements he should be prosecuted the the fullest extent of the law.

Think the latest issue with an agent in Pakistan -- who in a round about way was implicated then attacked by Pakistani agents then who defended himself and is now sitting indefinitely in a Pakistani jail -- has nothing to do with the leaked information? Think again.

Manning was/is NOT "whistle blowing". Not even close. Manning was/is NOT righting some huge injustice.

"We the People" voted in persons who created our laws. Literally signing up to those laws and then willfully breaking them has consequences. Yes, Manning had a responsibility to govern himself. He had the responsibilty to do what he agreed to to. If it is proven he violated that he needs to be punished accordingly.

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By The Raven on 3/9/2011 2:44:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think you missed my point regarding Manning (which may have been my fault). I'm saying the same thing as you. There are consequences for his actions (be they justified or not) and he needs to be prepared to face them because we are a civilized nation of laws.

My point is more to the OP who feels that these citizens who Anon are planning to attack are somehow divorced from what their gov't is doing. Private citizens are responsible for public services. Let your gov't get out of hand and you might be targeted. How many private citizens were killed when the bombs were dropped on Japan because of the war they were led into by the gov't? How many private citizens are killed while we are at war in the middle east because they don't eliminate the terrorist threats on their own? How many inner city citizens are mowed down because they won't rat on the gang members in their neighborhoods?

These people are responsible for their own fate. If they want to enjoy the virtues of the gov't and associate themselves with it then they have to take the criticism that comes the gov't's way too. Whether that is justified or not. It is just part of being a citizen. I am proud to call myself an American when I look at the Constitution and think of our history. But then I am ashamed when I see Republicans and Democrats running the show and think of our future.

With freedom comes great responsibility. If the people of N Korea attacked us tomorrow, would I blame those people? No, because they did not have the freedom to speak out against the gov't. If California attacked New York, it would be a different story though. The people of California should know better (thanks to a freedom of info) than to let things get that far out of hand and have the freedom to expression that they could use to stop such a wacky action.

This all said, I disagree with Anon's planned action against private citizens or even soldiers. They are playing god with others' lives yet at no risk to themselves. That is cowardly and seems insincere. Why can't they just make their case for Manning's release and get people to join them based on that? This could be done through civil disobedience where they can make their point (if they have one). These threats just make them terrorists which discredits their legitimate efforts.

By dsx724 on 3/9/2011 6:57:07 PM , Rating: 2
You're making too much logical sense. Down rate ;)

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By BrightMoon on 3/9/2011 7:51:57 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, no. People in democratic regimes aren't responsible for the actions of their government. During elections, the "people" delegates power to certain individuals.

If I lend my car to a friend and he runs over someone, would I be put in jail?

By The Raven on 3/10/2011 12:16:07 PM , Rating: 2
If you lend a friend a car and cut the brake cable and he runs someone over, then yes, you are responsible.

That is more like what we are talking about though I don't think it is exactly right. But anyone who knows what 'drives' politics in this country would get what I'm saying.

Have you never seen bumper stickers that say, "Don't blame me. I didn't vote for Clinton...or her husband" (Or any less humorous ones)? ;-)

RE: it's all "payback" for U.S. "wrongdoing"
By Fritzr on 3/9/2011 10:12:05 PM , Rating: 2
Clear and concise argument. Lets see if I have it right...

*The US government is doing something I dislike.
*You are a US citizen
*The government is embodied in the citizens of the US
*Therefore it is reasonable to attack you in any manner I like and inform the individuals actually making decisions that I will continue to attack you and other *members of the US government by virtue of citizenship* until such time as they obey my commands.

That seems to summarize your arguments. Of course not all those military personnel and dependents will be US citizens, but that is irrelevant to the argument.

In this particular case Anonymous is saying that they do not like the United States military charging United States military personnel with a crime when the only wrongdoing involved was distributing Top Secret documents in such a manner as to ensure that they would be delivered to enemies of the United States.

Of course that should not be a crime. The enemy should always have access to any information they may find useful about the force they are facing. Also in the interests of a fully informed public the names, locations and missions of all unregistered agents need to be available to all US citizens so they can make fully informed decisions about those actions...the fact that this hands the information to unfriendly forces is immaterial.

Fact: Top Secret documents were given to a foreign agency for the purpose of distribution in a manner not authorized by the US gov't.
Fact: There is evidence that Pfc Manning was responsible for the unauthorized release.
Fact: Any personnel who receive a TS clearance have agreed to be subject to penalties that range from loss of access to classified material to the death penalty. The person who released those documents knew in advance that the penalty would involve many years in prison at a minimum if they were identified.

Anonymous had better hope their security is very good. There have already been breaks. A member of the group has already identified his girlfriend & their spokesman IS in touch with other members of the group. Both of these can and likely will be used to locate members of the group.

The innocent family and friends of military personnel have now been threatened solely on the grounds that they are connected to military personnel whose only connection to Pfc Manning is that they have been assigned by the US military to the base where Manning is being held while the investigation continues.

Any members of Anonymous who are publicly identified should take measures similar to the Witness Protection Program and cut all ties to others in the group. Failure to become truly anonymous innocent civilians once more will leave them subject to the --uhm-- disapproval of US military personnel worldwide who do not appreciate having their friends and family threatened.

By The Raven on 3/10/2011 1:15:52 PM , Rating: 2
*Therefore it is reasonable to attack you in any manner I like and inform the individuals actually making decisions that I will continue to attack you and other

I did not call for this or say it is reasonable. In fact detailed what Anon should do instead. I just said that if someone does this we can't hide in our gov't and claim that we are not responsible as citizens.
Fact: Top Secret documents were given to a foreign agency for the purpose of distribution in a manner not authorized by the US gov't. Fact: There is evidence that Pfc Manning was responsible for the unauthorized release. Fact: Any personnel who receive a TS clearance have agreed to be subject to penalties that range from loss of access to classified material to the death penalty. The person who released those documents knew in advance that the penalty would involve many years in prison at a minimum if they were identified.
I stated clearly that Manning should be prepared to face the consequences of his crime regardless if he (or Anon) thinks that it is not right.

By v9s on 3/10/2011 3:34:17 AM , Rating: 2
Think the latest issue with an agent in Pakistan -- who in a round about way was implicated then attacked by Pakistani agents then who defended himself and is now sitting indefinitely in a Pakistani jail -- has nothing to do with the leaked information? Think again.

LOL. This tidbit shows that you're clueless about the whole raymond davis affair.

By DanD85 on 3/9/2011 2:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe you feel horrific, but on the efficient effect aspect, this is very effective, when you revenge someone, if you only kill that person, it's too easy for them, and the one suffer most will be their close one. So, you make their close one "pay" and the person you hate will be immersed in pain as long as they live.

Very satisfying if you ask me...

By slickr on 3/9/2011 9:37:36 PM , Rating: 1
because they deserve it.
Change has to come from yourself and best way is to threaten the individual family in order to wake him up and force him to review his legions.

Lets call a spade a spade
By michal1980 on 3/9/2011 11:35:46 AM , Rating: 4
anonymous is now a terrorist group.

By cjohnson2136 on 3/9/2011 11:39:05 AM , Rating: 3
agreed send them to cuba with all the other terrorists LOL

RE: Lets call a spade a spade
By SublimeSimplicity on 3/9/2011 11:47:44 AM , Rating: 3
I just logged into my FTP server as anonymous, thus reserving my cell at Guantanamo Bay.

RE: Lets call a spade a spade
By roykahn on 3/10/2011 5:50:11 PM , Rating: 1
Brilliant :)

You are now officially labeled an enemy combatant :-P Prepare for some US-style torture. Perhaps some very loud country music would make you confess to your crimes?

RE: Lets call a spade a spade
By lamerz4391 on 3/9/2011 12:27:29 PM , Rating: 1
If anyone in our military is harmed due to the actions of these fucks, we need to start hunting them down and destroying them like the dogs they are.

RE: Lets call a spade a spade
By FITCamaro on 3/9/2011 2:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
I just say throw them in Gitmo.

RE: Lets call a spade a spade
By EricMartello on 3/9/2011 2:54:27 PM , Rating: 1
Yet you don't share that sentiment for the asses in Washington who are actively putting our military personnel into harms way for reasons that largely amount to personal gain, maintaining their office or some other agenda that is not primarily protecting/defending the USA.

You may not like the methods of Anonymous but at least they're doing more than sitting around and posting on forums. The real enemy now is Washington and it's many bloated organizations, departments and "shadow" ops that aren't even on record...and it has been this way for a long time.

The people calling the shots in our country have deviated too far from the US Constitution, the power they wield is too consolidated and the net effect is what we have today - a country that is torn and dying from the inside.

RE: Lets call a spade a spade
By michal1980 on 3/9/2011 4:32:42 PM , Rating: 2
I couldn't post for a while... I hear black helicopters over head. o

RE: Lets call a spade a spade
By cmdrdredd on 3/9/2011 4:52:22 PM , Rating: 2
Lets move away from this x-files style secret organization, conspiracy theory crap. You watch too many movies. Really, there will always be people looking for personal gain in political office. Always has been. However, to say that the government as a collective is now the "enemy" is both unfair and honestly very misguided. There's a great number of people who work for the various branches of government who really strive to preserve this great nation. The way you talk about it seems like you hate it and you should leave, and if you are not here thank you and stay where you are we don't want you. Now, these people I mentioned serve with pride and integrity. They know that millions of citizens count on them to do the right thing. The problem is not them. The problem is boss. What do I mean boss? Well, take the Democratic Party Chairman for example. He can basically force you to vote a specific way and if you refuse, he will pull funding from your state and it would be called your fault. know it happens. Vote with the party or face the consequences. It happens on both sides. The really big problem is the ones with the balls to stand up and say "no, this is not right!" are never heard and will never advance enough to be heard.

RE: Lets call a spade a spade
By EricMartello on 3/10/2011 4:40:12 PM , Rating: 1
You're wall of text, while showing off the highlights of the government-imposed US educational standards, makes little sense. What you refer to as "boss" is not much different from what I refer to as the government.

It's no secret that the US government is bloated and corrupt. The prevalence of lobbyists in Washington is a very apparent sign of corruption. Our government has gotten too big and there are too many self-serving interests with too much power. Political party affiliations do not matter as they are just variations on the same theme - the members of said parties really only care about themselves at the end of the day, and living "above" the law in their own version of the world.

The problem is that the millions of citizens have become so complacent that they will not do anything when something needs to be done. Instead they just wait, complain and hope things fix themselves.

The USA was founded on war, rebellion and an independent spirit. Our founding fathers were regarded as "terrorists" by the world power at that time - Britain...but since they won the fight, they go down in history as heroes.

What is Anonymous?
By MozeeToby on 3/9/2011 11:33:00 AM , Rating: 5
The group Anonymous
You have this several times in your article and it exposes a lack of understanding of what Anonymous is. It isn't an organized group. There's no membership card, no hierarchy, no leaders. There's no requirement to join or to leave. You or I or anyone else could post something to the internet and claim, rightfully and fairly, to be Anonymous.

The upshot of this is that just because someone posts something claiming to by a member of Anonymous doesn't mean that it's anything more than the rantings of a lonely troll living in his mother's basement. So... what is this article about again? Change every instance of "The group Anonymous" to "An anonymous (not the lowercase) individual" and you have a much more accurate, but of course, much less interesting (and therefor profitable) article.

RE: What is Anonymous?
By JasonMick on 3/9/2011 11:39:55 AM , Rating: 2
The upshot of this is that just because someone posts something claiming to by a member of Anonymous doesn't mean that it's anything more than the rantings of a lonely troll living in his mother's basement. So... what is this article about again? Change every instance of "The group Anonymous" to "An anonymous (not the lowercase) individual" and you have a much more accurate, but of course, much less interesting (and therefor profitable) article.

Anonymous has spokespeople who organize the group. If you are familiar with Anonymous, surely you know this.

Anonymous can claim to be a bunch of independent individuals, and to an extent they are. But at the end of the day, nothing would get done without organizers, and a handful of organizers are the glue binding the thousands of "members"/"activists".

You can label it whatever you like, but observation offers conclusive evidence that this is a group that by-and-large acts in unison on common campaigns.

Is Mr. Barrett a true spokesperson for the group? I would hope MSNBC verified this sufficiently (I would assume so). Ultimately, that's of trivial consequence, though -- the key thing here is the group is acting out what he is describing.

They are executing personal attacks against business and government employees. And they are attacking the businesses as well.

Their actions speak far louder than words or labels.

In that regard I am quite confident that the story is accurate.

RE: What is Anonymous?
By Murloc on 3/9/2011 12:08:40 PM , Rating: 1
anonymous acts on small scale too.
If you find someone who is blatantly evil, like some old woman killing cats or a girl who crashed the car with a friend in it because she wanted to suicide without telling the friend (both of which I've seen) and post an article or some reference, if it looks like a right cause, then the group acts. Just spam it on /b/ and it will pick up steam.
If it's some personal revenge or bullshit, not your personal army gtfo.
On large scale it's usually organized by people who are good at writing DoS attack programs and creating an IRC chat, but it can be anyone.

RE: What is Anonymous?
By Acanthus on 3/9/2011 6:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
Anonymous has people who CLAIM to organize the group.

It is sickeningly naive to believe that a circle of people are pulling strings and giving orders on a website that is completely anonymous and easily falsified identities.



So much fail by the media in general on this one...

Then who was anonymous phone?

RE: What is Anonymous?
By Xonoahbin on 3/9/2011 7:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
You really don't understand at all. There might be small sub-groups within 4chan, but Anonymous is the entirety of /b/ at the least . What you're doing is called "allness." Anonymous is not an organized group and anyone who claims so is full of crap.

RE: What is Anonymous?
By dsx724 on 3/9/2011 7:44:06 PM , Rating: 2
Sup bro :)

This is why we can't have nice things
By Daverino on 3/9/2011 11:30:14 AM , Rating: 3
Arbitrarily attacking people tangentially linked to policies you don't like by exposing their personal information on the internet and causing them real harm. . . How counterproductive is that?

I do not understand how you are promoting openness and transparency by stealing and disseminating information on the internet. All it does it make the institutions we want to be open and transparent hide their information more deeply out of paranoia. Targeting individuals only heightens that paranoia and cuts against the use of information technology.

RE: This is why we can't have nice things
By SunLord on 3/9/2011 11:46:22 AM , Rating: 5
It's anonymous what do you expect they're like lil children of the internet trowing a temper tantrum cause they didn't get the toy or pony they wanted. They're not even that anonymous given several were arrested after the last outburst. It's far easier to attack defenseless women and children then large organizations after all.

They're kinda like lemmings most are mindless idiots who fire up easily traced attack tools and get the blame while the master minds just troll for more lemmings to direct off the cliff

RE: This is why we can't have nice things
By lamerz4391 on 3/9/2011 12:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
Like I said above ... if anyone in our military is harmed or killed by their actions, we need to hunt them down. When a couple of these bastards are taken out as a response, then let's see if they'll decide to man up or puss out.

RE: This is why we can't have nice things
By Cru on 3/9/2011 12:45:19 PM , Rating: 1
I'd be careful in how passionate you're speaking with your handle. They don't have to find you in person to give you a hard time.

By Scabies on 3/9/2011 1:18:36 PM , Rating: 2
I'm surprised anyone posted to this article at all.

Tit for tat
By Uncle on 3/9/2011 2:28:14 PM , Rating: 3
`States Greg Hoglund, the CEO of HBGary and founder of HBGary Federal, "These are not hacktivists. They are criminals. They are breaking into computer systems and stealing information``
After reading some of your emails, who are the real hackers. Just because the government funds you so you can write trogens,viruses or what ever you see yourself above the law. Get a real life script kiddie.

RE: Tit for tat
By morphologia on 3/9/2011 3:18:35 PM , Rating: 3
Speaking of "script kiddies"...your grasp of grammar reminds me of 4chan. What exactly is a "trogen"? Seth Rogen's evil twin?

By Shadowmaster625 on 3/9/11, Rating: 0
RE: Meaningless
By cmdrdredd on 3/9/2011 4:56:28 PM , Rating: 2
You're seriously the most retarded person who has responded to the article. Flouride does NOTHING to harm you and the benefits of it are well documented. There are no fucking're probably wearing a foil hat while typing too.

When I see people like you on the internet or elsewhere I can't help but wish your father would have pulled out and shot that load on a napkin instead.

RE: Meaningless
By Uncle on 3/9/2011 5:36:04 PM , Rating: 2
Hold on there. I went to a conference 30 yrs ago concerning fluoride in water. Check Seattle at the time and how the city figured it was going to cost them millions to re-do their concrete water lines. Turns out that fluoride is a corrosive and for years was eating away at the concrete. Small amounts is ok but when you ingest it by water, toothpaste, tea, etc etc, the body can only take so much.Problem is again, man thinks he knows everything. Find the research on what company benefited the most selling fluoride to the masses.

The helicopter video
By hemmy on 3/9/2011 10:07:59 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe I am just a cold hearted bastard, but in terms of "war" time crimes the stuff in that video was fairly tame.

I certainly do not believe the soldiers lied about what they saw just because they wanted to kill some innocent people. It is hard to judge exactly what the soldiers in the chopper experienced without being there.

RE: The helicopter video
By Strunf on 3/10/2011 8:01:38 AM , Rating: 2
I know very well what I would be thinking

spot assist +20 points
headshot +10 points
Air Warfare Pin +100 points

Even the army trains its troops with video games, it's no wonder they keep it going even in real scenarios.

Let's not forget.........
By Tony Swash on 3/9/2011 12:04:25 PM , Rating: 2
Let's not forget that the 'attack' on Julian Assange consists of an attempt by the legal authorities from Sweden, a country with a very strong reputation for respecting human rights and upholding due process, to get Julian Assange to answer some questions about two alleged sexual assaults. I have no idea whether Julian Assange is guilty or not and the only way to reasonably ascertain that is to let the due process of law unfold in Sweden. Clearly Julian Assange wishes to tie the allegations of sexual assault made against him to the issue of the leaking of cables by Wikileaks, because that generates a huge amount of support. But the two are not connected.

The attempt to extradite Julian Assange from the UK is in order for him to answer questions by the lead investigator in Sweden about the alleged sexual assaults.

I was not impressed by the fact that at the legal hearings to resist the extradition Julian Assange's lawyer was revealed to be lying on his behalf in claiming that Julian Assange had volunteered to be interviewed by the investigator in Sweden before he left the country. That at the very least indicates to me a low ethical standard and makes me think there may be fire behind the smoke.

Turnabout is fair play?
By Wererat on 3/9/2011 12:34:32 PM , Rating: 2
OK ... so targeting families of people who jail someone who (IMO) did violate military code and is therefore punished is OK in the eyes of "Anonymous" ... so therefore, if a member of "Anonymous" whether participating in this effort or not is revealed and HIS life disrupted, that must be fair too.

We may find that "Anonymous" is a misnomer.

By Cru on 3/9/2011 12:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
Time to stop visiting 4chan.

More opportunity
By Beenthere on 3/9/2011 12:43:16 PM , Rating: 2
This may be an excellent opportunity to catch, prosecute, convict and imprison the clowns that are "anonymous". The more of these fools they lock up, the better. Perhaps they can share a cell with Assange?

This was a last resort.
By RedemptionAD on 3/9/2011 1:06:37 PM , Rating: 2
When all formal and traditional avenues have been tried, the only option left is the unconventional. The American Revolution was one such event.

Sounds a little fishy to me..
By CList on 3/9/2011 1:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
Based on the stuff I've read about Anonymous recently - on sites like Salon, The Guardian UK, and ArsTechnica this interview on MSNBC sounds like FUD. It does not sound like the Anon's style to go after random innocent individuals.

In fact, since the mention of the Westboro Baptist Church already came up previously in these comments, it should be noted that Anonymous went after the WBC only after they were repeatedly goaded by the WBC. They didn't take the decision to go after a religious group lightly.

I'm also curious about where this piece of headline-grabbing info comes from:
Mr. Brown's latest effort is to personally attack and "harass" military personnel, law enforcement officials, and staff at the Quantico, Virginia military base where Bradley Manning is imprisoned.

...since the MSNBC interview never mentions it, and this Forbes article says they only have plans to go after two very specific individuals:

Look, I don't agree with the so-called morality of Anonymous' tactics, but this article sounds very biased to me.

(ArsTechnica, BTW, had really in-depth coverage of the whole HBGary affair and I highly recommend reading all of their investigations of it - absolutely fascinating from both a human interest as well as a technical/network security perspective)


The world is full of...
By masamasa on 3/9/2011 3:00:31 PM , Rating: 2
...idiots. That's one thing we aren't short of.

Less than honest
By morphologia on 3/9/2011 3:12:22 PM , Rating: 2
The most straightforward response to this that I can give is: "Two wrongs don't make a right."

Doing messed-up stuff in response to alleged messed-up stuff just makes both parties wrong. Being the last one to do it does not make you anything but an angry, spiteful child.

Furthermore, I doubt very much that any of this is really altruistic. It's more like Eric Cartman pretending he has Tourette's so he can go around spouting obscenities; they're just using the tired, overblown anti-US mentality as justification for getting their rocks off by messing things up.

They are hackers. Their motive and gratification is damage and confusion, that is all. If people are alerted to the shady doings of their alleged Big-Brother-esque government, it's a minor added bonus.

By stm1185 on 3/9/2011 4:18:58 PM , Rating: 2
Cause I would bet more then a few of them are found out by the FBI and sent to "pound me in my ass" prison.

Wait a minute..
By TexMurphy on 3/9/2011 5:15:07 PM , Rating: 2
" "Low Impact Ion Cannon" (LOIC)"

Seriously? I mean really?

Deja vu
By YashBudini on 3/10/2011 3:46:03 AM , Rating: 2
We do not forgive. We do not forget.

Sounds like Bank of America and their "fee du jour."

Come on, Anonymous
By Lerianis on 3/10/2011 7:53:36 AM , Rating: 2
Going after military families when a good number of them (I live near an Army Base and talk with the soldiers there) don't agree with the treatment that Manning nor Wikileaks is getting?

No, if you want to pick someone to go after (I will state this is illegal!), go after Obama and our Senators. If they would put their foot down on this issue and state that Manning is the epitome of a whistleblower/leaker worthy of protection, this stuff would stop.

Of course, most of them are unwilling to do that because:

1. They don't feel that he is a true whistleblower.
2. They are pissed off at the expanse of the whistleblowing.
3. They don't want to piss off their neo-con buddies or look 'soft on terrorism'.

online ID
By stilltrying on 3/10/2011 9:50:58 AM , Rating: 2
This is nothing more than a way to scare everyone so the govt can enforce online ids on everyone to track them. wait and see, i guarantee it.

My position on Wikileaks
By deathwombat on 3/10/2011 1:19:38 PM , Rating: 2
Fundamentally, ask yourself the question, "Why do we have a government?" Obviously we want to be free, and do not want to be ruled by anyone.

So, we the people have this country, and we need someone to run it for us. Basically, we need someone to coordinate our military so that our defense isn't compromised by groups of independent militias who have different strategies, and may not be efficiently sharing resources. We need courts to resolve our disputes. We need police protection and fire fighting services. We need inspectors to make sure that creators and distributors of food are following best health practices. We need a variety of regulatory and enforcement groups to prevent people from being ripped off, to prevent people from destroying our natural resources... well, we just have a lot of jobs that we need done.

So, we hire some people to run things for us. I must stress this point. We hire a board of directors and CEO, and if we don't like the job that they're doing, we can fire them at any time. Politicians need to stop thinking of themselves as being "in power" and start thinking of themselves as employees. And I don't want to ever hear a politician use the word "mandate" again. We may have given you a four year contract, but we can fire you earlier than that if we don't like the job that you're doing. Every level of government must have a recall mechanism so that underperforming politicians can be dismissed early. Your employment is NOT guaranteed for an entire term. We do NOT have to wait four years to terminate an employee who is damaging our company.

With the understanding that we are no longer ruled, but have hired people to do jobs that we need done, we are the government's employer, and we have an absolute right to know what our employees are doing. From that perspective, no document should ever be classified.

That said, there is such a thing as "national security". I can't have someone leaking our military capabilities and battle strategies to the enemy. That's where Julian Assange and I start to differ in our opinions.

I have no problem with whistleblowers exposing government wrongdoing. Stick to that kind of reporting and I applaud all efforts to keep the government's activities transparent. As soon as you start calling for anarchy, I have to disagree with you there. A country without a government is like a business without managers. Give that a shot and tell me how it works out.

And yes, America has done some terrible things, but claiming that individuals and their families are legitimate targets because they work for a corrupt government is exactly the same rationale that Al Qaeda uses to justify 9/11: all Americans are legitimate targets for electing a government that does criminal things. Once you start making the leap that anyone remotely associated with an organization is guilty of that organization's sins, you get into a level of fundamentalism that can become dangerous.

By Vinas on 3/10/2011 3:49:38 PM , Rating: 2
I find it funny that there is an article siting anything that he said, since he's not in Anon.

anonymous = fail
By Vinas on 3/10/2011 4:00:47 PM , Rating: 2
If anonymous try to take on the US Government, anonymous will lose. I guess they haven't meet their match yet and think that hacking HG Gary puts them in a league with the government. That's a false sense of reality.

I used to like what anonymous was doing. Now that they've lost popular support (because this is a very unpopular view) who will fight for them once they are brought to justice? I surely won't.

Bring it.
By JonnyDough on 3/15/2011 7:36:37 AM , Rating: 2
I am in the United States Air Force and am currently deployed in Texas. Feel free to test my awareness at any time. But you better be a pu$$y like the rest of your terrorist friends and strike from a distance because if I can see you, I can catch you. You won't care for the end result. The fact that we know about you probably means you should be watching your back too.

ethics ?
By Maiyr on 3/9/2011 5:00:34 PM , Rating: 1
The guy talks of ethics while discussing "attacks" on people whom had no involvement in any of the activities he is discussing. That would be like attacking me because the company I work for screwed up on your bill. What an idiot. This exposes the mindset of these types. Just shoot them all and lets move on. The other hilarious item is that the idiots that call for anarchy really have zero idea what they are asking for. You know the second it happened and the country shutdown they would be like WTF, I need my BigMac, why isn't McDonalds open.

It's anarchy asshole... no more BigMacs for you !


Oh really???
By karielash on 3/10/11, Rating: 0
Propaganda 101
By shikigamild on 3/9/11, Rating: -1
RE: Propaganda 101
By morphologia on 3/9/2011 3:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
I think I read about this on the same page that claimed the Easter Bunny conspired with Lex Luthor to perpetrate 9/11, in order to retrieve Nazi gold from beneath the WTC.

RE: Propaganda 101
By chagrinnin on 3/11/2011 3:17:53 AM , Rating: 2
? Do you believe...? :P

RE: Propaganda 101
By chagrinnin on 3/11/2011 3:31:17 AM , Rating: 2
Awwww,...musical notes show up in the preview but not in the post. Oh well,...sounded like a Dr. pepper commercial. :P

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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