"When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are ruled by criminals." - Anonymous
Anti-heroes are the most realistic of all heroes and don’t receive as much credit as they should. Imagine a modern-day anti-hero; a virtually faceless person whose mind functions through programming by an assembly of tech-savvy people. That is how Anonymous accomplished it’s goals which consist of making wrongs right. In fact, you’ve probably seen the anti-heroes’ Guy Fawkes masks that were worn by the protagonist in the movie V for Vendetta. The mask portrays a white face with an over-sized smile and wide mustache upturned at ends, red cheeks and a thin vertical pointed beard. They symbolize the collaboration that is run by a group of volunteers. It’s time to put away the traditional cape and make way for the digital one. The stronger will protect the more vulnerable to provide some sort of equality. It’s the foundation of a community. On a larger scale, it is the foundation of our global community. And that’s what Anonymous is here for.
The anonymous collaboration is a notorious international network of hacktivists, which is a hybrid between hackers and activists. They fight corruptness that is mainly but leads back to politics. Member Jeremy Hammond from Chicago is a political activist and computer hacker who stole 60,000 credit card numbers and the personal information of 860,000 customers of Stratfor (the intelligence contractor Strategic Forecasting) and other government, law enforcement and military suppliers' websites and forwarded the information whistle-blowing website Wikileaks. The 2000GB worth of data from companies and government agencies such as the US Army, the Department of Defense, Coca Cola, Dow Chemical and Bank of America. As a result, Anonymous donated at least $700,000 to charities and personally didn’t gain any profits. Hammond received the maximum sentence of 10 years in US Federal Prison. The group has been active for 10 years and despite some more recent drifts from their primary objective (due to “hacking tutorials” on YouTube), they have restored justice via the ways of the Internet. They hack for greater political good and have also targeted big names such as Sony, PayPal and the governmental institutions.
I witnessed the incredible aid Anonymous has given to millions of Turkish people who couldn’t properly and accurately inform themselves on current news due to government censorship that particularly affected social media. What started as a beautiful peaceful protest, later led to a more deep-rooted problem in Turkey over the past summer. The modern “democracy” lacks freedom of speech completely and hides the crimes (e.g. brutal police violence, excess use of tear gas) committed by people in governmental positions against the Turkish people. Anonymous’ reaction was to launch operation #OpTurkey, which aimed to attack the Internet and communications assets of the Turkish government. They have made way for Turks to be up-to-date with current concerns about corruption, police violence and protests.
What sets Anonymous apartis its great determination and impressive organizational skills. Its members have been in the game for a long time and know how to play their cards right. Perhaps most importantly, it’s a leaderless collective. There are no headquarters in Silicon Valley and missions might as well be carried out in front of computer screens in pajamas while sipping on a cup of tea.
The volunteer-based collaboration might not look like the average professional, but they know how to get the desired message across. They mainly target governments, banks, corporations and occupy movements. The US government calls them an “alleged cyber terrorism group.” While it may be easy to think of them as a group of punk troublemakers raising hell online, they do it for the common good.
Operation DarkNet was a campaign against child pornography in October 2011. Pornographers were effective at using technology to hide their business. Bad luck; Anonymous used technology to put perverts out of business.
There are thousands of other successful campaigns, but some argue that the collaboration participates in illegal activity and exposes private information. Nevertheless the information is mostly already on the Internet. If you really would pursue a private life, then don’t accept the “terms and conditions” or “cookies.” Anonymous is criticized for civil disobedience, and that’s a good thing. Civil disobedience allowed women’s right to vote, maintained the Civil Rights Movement and endorsed the Boston Tea Party.
So here he is, the modern anti-hero. He actively blows the whistle and even though not everyone accepts the abstract means by which he defeats his mission, these ways are vital for him to ensure our freedom of the Internet and knowledge. He represents the hidden face of the 99 percent and defends breaking into secure systems, violating personal information and bringing down massive servers. And most importantly, he reminds us to question authority.