– Satyakam Ray
Despite the international ban on hunting whales, it was a widespread practice in Iceland to hunt them down for profits. Icelandic company HValue made a massive amount of money through this illicit practice of whale hunting. The magnitude of the brazen activity was that the infamous (or famous) group of hackers known as Anonymous came into the picture in 2015. They have taken down the govt websites and the Hvalue’s website for nearly 13 hours in solidarity with the dying whales. According to Anonymous, the whales didn’t have any voices, and that’s why they would be a voice for them.
The whale incident and the unknown hacker group are also responsible for taking down almost 20,000 malicious tweets of the ISIS terrorists and staging an online war against the Islamic organization. The group’s activity is notoriously aimed at taking down government-run websites and publicizing the names, numbers, and addresses of many officials accused of oppressing the voiceless. Though the group was formed in the early 2000s, the group was most active at the advent of the 2010 decade. After a long silence of 5 years, anonymous resurfaced online in the Black Lives Matter protest threatening the police department that was responsible for the brutality.
Anonymous call themselves the legion. In their language, we are anonymous. We represent freedom. We oppose oppression. We are simply an evolution of the technological system. Where liberty is at risk, expect us.
Wearing the Guy Fawkes masks in style portrayed in the graphic novel and film V for Vendetta, the members of anonymous (known as anons) work in a decentralized manner. They often target the government organizations of various countries and the church of Scientology if they smell a little bit fishy going on. They are more competent individuals who know how to sneak into any network and collect data at will. They understand how the internet operates. Unsurprisingly, many anonymous members are active in the darknet, and the ex-anonymous hackers work as private security consultants or with the government.
It is unknown how the hackers operate in sync to carry out the massive hacks. They may be citizens of different countries. But they come up with a similar ideology of defending the freedom of speech on the internet. As the group interacts with the media often to spread their principles, they wear masks with paired-up hoodies. Their voices are altered by using different computer voice techniques so that the real identities of the hackers are not revealed. Shrouded by mask covers, these intelligent groups of people can damage an entire country or govt than the whole army can do with modern weapons. In the digitalized world, the work done by anonymous is not only controversial but also essential to create balance.
Many think of anonymous as the free saviors of internet freedom, advocate freedom of expression, and consider them heroes. The FBI, CIA, and other security agencies consider anonymous as security threats for apparent reasons. Understandably so, considering Anonymous openly supported WikiLeaks and has previously targeted companies like Mastercard and PayPal.
The recent targeting of Tesla CEO Elon Musk didn’t go well for the anonymous group. After calling the SpaceX maverick narcissistic for influencing the cryptocurrency market, the Anonymous group was mocked by the latter by using a meme where Elon musk hilariously called Hannah Montana is Miley Cyrus. It will be interesting to see how the hacker group reacts to the meme derision of Elon Musk.
In the past, an anonymous group has also done many creditworthy hacks that impacted the country’s functioning. In Tunisia, the group was instrumental in removing the autocratic leader by defacing many govt portals and providing tech among the rebel leaders to oust the ruler. The list of hacks goes on and on.
Discussing the implications of such activity in the world order is imperative. It is not a secret that many influential world leaders have their secret societies (not proven). That group decides the world order. A lot of wealth and power is accumulated in the hands of a few persons, and censoring the internet helps them suit their agenda. The advent of anonymous groups augurs a new era of internet activism that pledge the freedom of information at any cost. The modus operandi is questionable as it is illegal, but the intent is quite good in most cases. In some cases, the group is held responsible for the death of some individuals and breaching the criminal justice system. However, the group has remained unfazed all these years since 2003.
The highly-intelligent group shrouded by the masks telling the world, “We are anonymous,” is fictional to many non-believers. But they are authentic, for sure. Someday we might be able to see the unmasked geniuses! For now, let them mask up and sneak up sensitive information for innocent citizens about the surveillance world they are living in.