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Thread: Internet coup?

  1. #1
    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    Internet coup?

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news...acks-Anonymous

    Anonymous is said to be a non-centralized, democratic group of hackers that doesn't have any real generals, just a bunch of soldiers that enact operations based on support by other soldiers. A "rogue admin" named "Ryan" is said to be behind the seizure of these Anonymous sites due to his belief that Anonymous members were taking leadership positions and focusing operations on acquiring media attention.


    Speaking to Thinq, Ryan said that certain Anonymous admins such as "Owen" began to abuse their roles, in fact creating a leadership hierarchy where there wasn't supposed to be one. Ryan launched a "coup d'etat" of sorts, taking control of AnonOps.net and AnonOps.ru and also leaking the IP addresses of Anonymous members. "There is a hierarchy. All the power, all the DDoS - it's in that channel," Ryan said.
    Huh.

    You know, a few years ago, I'd have snorted and rolled my eye at this kind of thing.

    Now, though, it's a lot less funny. The internet has become a connective glue for a large portion of the planet. Just look at what happened when Egypt shut down it's internet and it's entire economy collapsed.

    Annon and groups like them are deals. They might not be BIG deals, but they're not nothing.
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  2. #2
    Prodigiously Hanged
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    If it's possible for one person to cause significant trouble, your operation clearly isn't decentralized enough.

  3. #3
    Revolutionize the World kuwisdelu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
    You know, a few years ago, I'd have snorted and rolled my eye at this kind of thing.
    Eh, I don't think Anon is anything to roll our eyes about. In many ways, they represent one of the better prospects of our future, IMO. Everyone is already connected, but the extent to which we have control over our net selves and the extend to which we are known absolutely over the net (i.e., how anonymous we are) is yet to be decided. At the moment, few individuals outside of large corporations or the highest levels of government wield the level of influence that international groups like Anon wield.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoombie
    Now, though, it's a lot less funny. The internet has become a connective glue for a large portion of the planet. Just look at what happened when Egypt shut down it's internet and it's entire economy collapsed.

    Annon and groups like them are deals. They might not be BIG deals, but they're not nothing.
    They're a big deal. They're a glimpse into one possible path of our future net selves. Ultimately, a fully connected world is going to come about. How democratic that future wired-and-wireless world is has yet to be decided, and in many ways Anon (or Anon as it aspires to be) represents the ultimate goal in the way of democracy. You are judged solely by the merit of your words and your ideas. (So they're like to think.)

    But of course, in the real world, it's very difficult to keep such a democracy alive. In the real world, as Ars points out:

    Though Anonymous is often described as leaderless, factions like AnonOps by necessity have a loose structure; servers must be paid for, domain names must be registered, chat channels must have at least some moderation.
    As for the internal structure that resulted from this inherent hierarchical structure that the internet imposes, I think one Anon nails it:

    Why did we leave the comforts of the womb of anonymous imageboards, and end up in name-fagging circlejerks controlled only by a few? Why?
    While m00t could certainly wield his own power, he rarely does, and the named reality of IRC chats as opposed to the nigh-true anonymity of places like /b/ seems to have taken its toll on Anon.

    One lingering question, of course, is whether this will impact Anon in the long run. Personally, I don't think so. While the internal politics of Anon have become high-profile in the media lately, particularly with such hijinks as caused by HBGary, etc., there are simply too many skilled young minds at work that will be willing to take up the task of administrating the collective gathering points of the Anon hivemind.

    One problem, as always, is how many of those minds have access to ISP's and servers beyond the US's control.

    *sigh*

    article

  4. #4
    Lagrangian LOG's Avatar
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    In the grim darkness of the future, there is only...internet war!

    (I'm only partly joking)
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  5. #5
    Company Man MattW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LOG View Post
    In the grim darkness of the future, there is only...internet war!

    (I'm only partly joking)
    Or it's the unwise that think that physical force is the only way to wage war. See the attack on Iran, multiply by 10, and then coordinate with financial viruses, and intentional currency destabilization. Any mega-corp should be able to function as a nation-state on its own.

    To which actual nations might respond with GPS munitions from satellites, telecom denial, and stealth insertion of special forces into board meetings.

    I fell like I've read this before...
    "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." -- Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    Lost in School Work icerose's Avatar
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    Anon and its current rumblings is a good example of why anarchy doesn't work. There are always those who will seek power and control and those that will fall in line. With the sort of power Anon has and the potential damage it could do, it could very well rise to be the newest crime organization and perhaps even the most dangerous. Information is power, and as their numbers swell, you give normally outcasts (or anyone else for that matter) a line of power and control over people's lives and you're asking for trouble. Everything is built on information. I feel like Dune "He who controls the spice, controls the universe." though in this case it is very much information.
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    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    It doesn't work with anonymity and distance. Which, fortunately or unfortunately, our society has way too much of.
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  8. #8
    Man on a Mission. Sam I Am's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icerose View Post
    Anon and its current rumblings is a good example of why anarchy doesn't work.
    I wouldn't just so far as to say that. It could easily be implemented, certainly in a grassroots, locally-based way. The problem with Anon and other internet groups is the lack of accountability. There is no one to challenge anyone else; everyone is simply a screen name, a specter, a simple IP address. It's not like real life, where there are real, physical consequences for your actions.

  9. #9
    Revolutionize the World kuwisdelu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icerose View Post
    Anon and its current rumblings is a good example of why anarchy doesn't work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
    It doesn't work with anonymity and distance. Which, fortunately or unfortunately, our society has way too much of.
    Eh, ultimately, we've yet to see how this will play out or how much it will actually affect Anonymous. Despite its troubles, it seems to me that Anonymous has been very effective

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
    The problem with Anon and other internet groups is the lack of accountability. There is no one to challenge anyone else; everyone is simply a screen name, a specter, a simple IP address. It's not like real life, where there are real, physical consequences for your actions.
    I'd say that's part of the beauty of it.

    Though it actually goes much further than that.

    The lack of accountability goes hand-in-hand with the anonymity, and the ideal behind the anonymity is that your ideas and your work are judged solely by their merit. You can't be judged on reputation or history, because there isn't any. But that's part of the downfall of the IRC servers over the imageboards. Because you do have a screen name, it becomes an avatar of real life, and you can begin to judge people on their post history, on their past successes and failures.

    Everything else aside, I think there's a lot to be said for the advantages of anonymity that goes beyond screen names. On 4chan and similar imageboards, you don't even have a screen name. Without a handle, people can be judged solely by the content of what they have to say, and I think that's a very interesting way of doing things. Even if it didn't stay that way forever, in Anon's case, but we'll see they might go back to that model, after all, after this.

  10. #10
    On Mac's double secret probation. Dommo's Avatar
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    I think to be honest Anonymous, if it survives the threats to internet anonymity, could become the first "Stand Alone Complex". It's basically a phenomenon when a collection of similar, but unrelated, behavior by unconnected individuals creates a seemingly concerted effort (pulled this definition from urban dictionary, and I felt it fit really really well).


    Basically with an entity like anonymous, it provides a place where ideas can literally take on a life of their own. One person suggests something, then all of the sudden a snowball effect happens, and the next thing you know HBGary is being Pwned and their dirty laundry is available for all to see.

  11. #11
    Revolutionize the World kuwisdelu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dommo View Post
    I think to be honest Anonymous, if it survives the threats to internet anonymity, could become the first "Stand Alone Complex". It's basically a phenomenon when a collection of similar, but unrelated, behavior by unconnected individuals creates a seemingly concerted effort (pulled this definition from urban dictionary, and I felt it fit really really well).
    http://myanimelist.net/anime/467/Gho..._Alone_Complex

    Notably, I had said show in mind while composing my earlier posts.

  12. #12
    Lagrangian LOG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dommo View Post
    I think to be honest Anonymous, if it survives the threats to internet anonymity, could become the first "Stand Alone Complex". It's basically a phenomenon when a collection of similar, but unrelated, behavior by unconnected individuals creates a seemingly concerted effort (pulled this definition from urban dictionary, and I felt it fit really really well).


    Basically with an entity like anonymous, it provides a place where ideas can literally take on a life of their own. One person suggests something, then all of the sudden a snowball effect happens, and the next thing you know HBGary is being Pwned and their dirty laundry is available for all to see.
    The anime kuwisdelu links is the source of that term, afaik, although I believe the concept also exists in similar forms under different names in philosophy/social theory.
    Here's a more in-depth examination of it if you're interested.

    And appropriately enough
    In what is perhaps one of the first examples of this phenomenon to emerge in real life, Project Chanology, an Internet-based protest against Scientology, was formed by a loose association of individuals calling themselves Anonymous who frequent certain image-based bulletin boards. Bill McEllwain writes:

    "We are thus dealing with a true Stand Alone Complex, probably the first substantive one the net has ever seen. There was no original person who launched and organized this battle, but at the same time, it’s not accurate to call everyone who is participating in it mere copycats, because they are the entirety of it. This battle will continue raging for some time, and it’s about damn time. Scientology is truly dangerous like many other cults and religions, yet their litigious nature has effectively hamstringed the news media from covering these issues (except in Germany). So it makes sense that a fluid, faceless group should take root on the Internet to oppose them. After all, the threats of lawsuits only make sense if they can actually find you to sue you. Now you understand the meaning of 'Anonymous.'"—Ben McIlwain,"A real life Stand Alone Complex emerges against Scientology"
    "Watch your thoughts, they become words.
    Watch your words, they become actions.
    Watch your actions, they become habits.
    Watch your habits, they become character.
    Watch your character, it becomes your destiny."
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  13. #13
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuwisdelu View Post
    While the internal politics of Anon have become high-profile in the media lately, particularly with such hijinks as caused by HBGary, etc., there are simply too many skilled young minds at work that will be willing to take up the task of administrating the collective gathering points of the Anon hivemind.
    It's about knowledge, skills and ability; you can't fake it for long. This is part of the culture that developed at MIT, in the model rail road club, and it's stayed close to its roots in a lot of ways.

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  14. #14
    Revolutionize the World kuwisdelu's Avatar
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    I am the Laughing Man.

    Wait, what?

    ETA: Make sure you have a good firewall barrier on your cyberbrain. You don't want to get ghost-hacked.
    Last edited by kuwisdelu; 05-12-2011 at 11:42 AM.

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