Is it just us or is the constant Internet-themed conflict between institutions (namely, the state and corporates) and free Internet advocates (mostly, online communities) shaping into a Frank Miller-toned, post-apocalyptic plot? Hactivism, the perfect combination of ‘hacking’ and activism, is literally taking over the world. Fellow Skeptics, in case you still have not, ’tis high time you heard of Anonymous, a worldwide community of Internet activists who brought down FBI’s website along with the websites of the United States Department of Justice and, the Motion Picture Association of America. Last week’s rant that led to said attacks (or in Anonymous’ own words, “the single largest Internet attack in its history”) was fueled by popular file hosting/sharing website MegaUpload‘s noxious fall from grace, right after its founder Kim Dotcom‘s true Hollywood wet dream arrest in New Zealand. Just like every individual who has been to Sidereel at least once in his or her life, we are also grieving — with our sole consolation lying under the name Dotcom itself, or rather, a man who has once seen it fit to change his last name to Dotcom, which is pretty unacceptable unless you are a 30 Rock character.
Though it has become more apparent in the public eye within the last few months, Anonymous’ strong presence in the Internet goes all the way back to 2003. Their principals of operation share much with the most basic principals of Internet: Dismissal of hierarchy (hence, the no-leader flag), accessibility (you don’t even have to know how to hack in order to be a hacker) and anonymity. With rumors of an Anonyupload to succeed MegaUpload going live on January 25, and a juicy video that invites all the Anons out there to take down Facebook on January 28 (seriously, what better contemporary equivalent to Gunpowder Plot?) we are truly excited for the days to come.