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Censorship Your Rights Online

Anonymous Organizes Global Protests For WikiLeaks 275

Posted by samzenpus
from the sun-it-burns-us dept.
pafein writes "Internet collective Anonymous launched a global protest for January 15 in support of beleaguered WikiLeaks. Anonymous has a history of defending Internet freedom, beginning with Project Chanology against the Church of Scientology. The group gained recent attention for itself with DDOS attacks on Mastercard, Visa, Paypal and the government of Tunisia."
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Anonymous Organizes Global Protests For WikiLeaks

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:10AM (#34822096)
    I'm a coward.
  • It's sad. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:16AM (#34822122)

    I think it's a sad comment on modern reality that my response to anything counter-culture or pro-liberty and freedom for the past 30+ years would have been a fist in the air and a "fuck yeah!" and, today, my gut response is "some people are going to be disappeared" and "better to keep my mouth shut and not even give vocal support or encouragement to anything which might seen to dissent from my government, because I can't afford the hassle of being eyeballed or investigated or put on a list somewhere". Not just for this, but things with even more credibility.

    Hell, it's almost to the point where it feels like calling yourself a "libertarian" or - worse - being a registered libertarian, is potentially as risky as calling yourself a communist or socialist in the 1950s.

    • Re:It's sad. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ifiwereasculptor (1870574) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:27AM (#34822198)

      To be fair, that shift of perception is usually a sign of getting older.

    • Re:It's sad. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Moryath (553296) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:32AM (#34822236)

      Say again?

      The Libertarian party is alive and well. Actual libertarian-focused groups like the EFF do just fine, too.

      The problem you've got is that the Libertarian platform got co-opted by the other "big two" parties in such a way that Libertarians can't find a focus to get their foot in the door. Either they focus on social issues and get lumped in with the extremist wing of the Democrat party, or they focus on a number of law and tax issues and get lumped in with the extremist wing of the Republicans.

      It'd be far better if we abolished the "direct election" of the US Senate and re-instituted state legislature appointment or even better, turned the Senate into a parliamentary body where the smaller parties (green, libertarian, etc) could actually get a minority voice with real representation present for debate. But that won't happen because the republicrats and demicans (who the fuck can tell them apart most days anyways while they betray their constituents?) don't want to give up their institutional stranglehold on the election process.

      The difference between the US's "democracy" and the Chinese "democracy" isn't as great as we think these days. The Chinese get to vote in elections with only one candidate, US citizens get to vote in elections where both candidates are the two faces of the same fucking coin. The illusion of "choice" is about all we get.

      • by kellyb9 (954229)

        The problem you've got is that the Libertarian platform got co-opted by the other "big two" parties in such a way that Libertarians can't find a focus to get their foot in the door.

        Nothing new here. This has been happening for years (and by years, I mean centuries). It used to be the purpose of a 3rd party to have their platform adopted by one of the two big parties, now it seems the two big parties exist to trivialize the platforms of smaller more relevant parties. People simply assume that they need to either vote republican or democrat based on social policy that isn't going to change or tax issues that are just going to get worse. It's really a perception that needs to change pron

      • It'd be far better if we abolished the "direct election" of the US Senate and re-instituted state legislature appointment or even better, turned the Senate into a parliamentary body where the smaller parties (green, libertarian, etc) could actually get a minority voice with real representation present for debate.

        It would be even better if the smaller parties stopped trying to leap tall buildings in a single bound when they are barely capable of stepping over a wad of gum on the sidewalk.

        Seriously, 9

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I’m Canadian, so what happens in the US doesn’t directly effect me, however the shit that happens “down there” tends to roll back up here so this stuff tends to make me nervous.

      What really disturbs me is that I suspect all these "slippery slope" arguments are about to be put to the test. The recent twitter thing is just the start. All the privacy issues that paranoids have been spouting about for years are becoming a reality. Admittedly I’ve made several snide “oh get a l

      • You might find it a bit easier to rest knowing that Internet Policies are one section that Canada has stemmed away from the States, in that we have simply put a tax on blank media to cover costs for artists who might feel they've lost sales through digital downloads of copyrighted material. This mostly keeps the RIAA and MPAA out.

        I haven't personally read a news article where any member of Anonymous has been arrested for their activities online, but I can almost guarantee Canada won't be the place where it

    • Re:It's sad. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:45AM (#34822336) Homepage

      Hell, it's almost to the point where it feels like calling yourself a "libertarian" or - worse - being a registered libertarian, is potentially as risky as calling yourself a communist or socialist in the 1950s.

      Have you ever been fired for being a suspected libertarian? Have you ever been fired, and then all your potential employers informed that they shouldn't hire you because then they might be suspected as being libertarians too? Have you ever been called up in front of a congressional investigative committee for being a libertarian? Have libertarian leaders been imprisoned? All those things were happening to suspected communists during the 1950's: For instance, my grandfather went from being a highly respected academic musicologist to teaching a dozen piano students in his living room.

      And if you want to know what the most risky group to be affiliated with right now in the US, it's not libertarianism, its Islam, which subjects you to regular harassment at airports, hate crimes, and in a few cases being disappeared.

      • by couchslug (175151)

        Considering what Islamic countries do to those not, or insufficiently, Islamic, there really is logical ground to oppose people affiliated with it and consider them enemies. There is zero evidence, anywhere, I defy you to find it, of Islamic governments enhancing freedom by ensuring secular law and trying to keep religion out of government.

        There is an ideological imperative in some quarters to consider religion "different" so one can ignore the outcomes its believers produce when they run the show.

        Want a ta

        • by blueg3 (192743)

          So because we disagree with the laws in Islamic countries, we should ignore the rights of Muslim citizens of the U.S.?

          It seems the same argument could be applied to support Japanese internment camps. Or hunting down and persecuting Communists and socialists.

        • by dkleinsc (563838)

          Are you familiar with the tu quoque [wikipedia.org] fallacy?

          Just because group A does something does not justify group B behaving the same way. If I commit a robbery and get arrested, "the other guy committed a robbery too, and he wasn't arrested" is not a valid defense.

        • by Artemis3 (85734)

          Islam does tolerate Christianity and Judaism as long as they don't try "converting heathens", because they are "peoples from the book". What Islam doesn't really like is atheism...
          A non-secular state won't make much difference which religion is backing it. There is plenty of historical/recent misdoing under "Christian/Jewish" rule...

          The current islamophobia is promoted by the US/Israel gov because it suits their current interests, since the "communistphobia" faded away; and they need a faceless enemy to dri

      • by Seumas (6865)

        I said it was almost to the point where it feels that way. Intentional hyperbole aside, I think it's clear that dissent of all flavors (particularly against actual government positions and actions) are slowly being vilified. Refer to recent Napolitano (and others) quotes over the last two months as an example of where they're headed.

        Anyway, I'll see your Islam and raise you an Atheist.

        + Atheists are the least electable persons in the country (source: 2007 Gallup poll). [gallup.com]
        + Atheists are the least trusted people [umn.edu]

    • by Magada (741361)

      Howzabout if you try and grow a pair? Yeah some people are going to be disappeared. Yeah you might be one of them and once you go through the mirror the best you can hope for is to one day be dumped back, naked and stark raving mad, on some roadside in outer Albania. So? You're losing your freedoms because you're not using them. Being afraid won't help.

    • "Hell, it's almost to the point where it feels like calling yourself a "libertarian" or - worse - being a registered libertarian, is potentially as risky as calling yourself a communist or socialist in the 1950s.

      No, its not even close. Been a lifelong Lib and I've never felt threatened.

    • by Xest (935314)

      Where do you live, North Korea?

      Christ I live in CCTV land (the UK) and don't share these concerns. Things aren't good, but they're certainly not that bad.

    • Then, you are part of the problem.

      Nope, no buts. If you know of something, and you let it pass silently and without protest, you are agreeing to it. If you think it's wrong, speak up. Now if you're truly at risk from doing so, by all means, speak up quietly and don't put yourself at unneeded risk. But don't be afraid to put yourself at needed risk.

      I'll say it right here, and I've said it by writing to the President and Congress under my own name. What Wikileaks did was correct and necessary. We have every

    • i don't understand what you are trying to say. all i see is someone who has grown ashamed and cowardly about their own views

      real life tyrants depends upon the reaction you seem to have developed recently

    • the only thing your post tells me is that a prerequisite for being a libertarian is having a persecution complex

      NO ONE IS AFTER ANYONE IN THIS COUNTRY FOR BEING A LIBERTARIAN

      (now i will get responses saying it is true, thus proving me correct about strange weirdos with persecution complexes calling themselves libertarians)

  • Please don't. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dangitman (862676) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:17AM (#34822128)

    It would be better if Wikileaks, which actually serves a valuable (although controversial) role, is not associated with Anonymous and their juvenile DDOS attacks and Rick-rolling.

    • and ? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by unity100 (970058)
      anonymous is people. wikileaks serves people. anyone who tries to separate people with what serves them, are against people.
      • by dangitman (862676)

        anonymous is people. wikileaks serves people. anyone who tries to separate people with what serves them, are against people.

        Oookaaaay... would you like some Soylent Green with that? I have my copy of "How to Serve Man" right here if you want to refer to it.

      • by kellyb9 (954229)
        I don't buy it. Anonymous serves themselves and whatever issue happens to be the flavor of the week. They protest in favor of wikileaks this week, next week they'll be back to DDoSing Scientology and Gene Simmons. I can speak for myself just fine, thanks.
        • I buy it. Anonymous is just a name for a bunch of people who are doing as they see fit. Anonymous isn't necessarily the same people each time. It may help if you replace "Anonymous" with "a bunch of people who feel strongly on the subject".

          The issue some of them are currently fighting against is the censorship of the Wikileaks website. The issue they were fighting against in the Scientology case was the Church's efforts to censor and shut down websites. I see no "flavour of the week" flip-flopping, they're

          • by kellyb9 (954229)

            DDoSing might not be the most subtle, mature or democratic method to achieve their goals but it does seem to work. It also has the bonus of attracting a lot of attention which, when you're trying to expose internet censorship, is a helpful thing.

            So, if I'm understanding this right, the end justifies the means. Isn't that the same argument people who support the US Govt use against wikileaks? Anonymous does attract a lot of attention, but you make the assumption that they speak for the unheard majority. Well if the unheard majority actually went out and voted, things might change. One can only assume that the unheard majority didn't vote, or they simply didn't vote for who you and anonymous wanted them to.

            • by unity100 (970058)
              the end justifies the means, when the people are prevented from using any means, but this. that's that. if you push people to a situation in which the only practical and doable thing they can do is ddos, they will ddos.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Eraesr (1629799)
      I think the initial statement by Anonymous by attacking Mastercard and Paypal and such was a powerful one. However, the problem is that with a decentralized entity like Anonymous which lacks any chain of command or hierarchy to speak of, is that it always tends to go rogue. Maybe not even under the Anonymous banner.

      In the Netherlands, the website of the ministry of justice has been attacked because police arrested a scriptkiddy that was involved in DDoS attacks. It is arguable that Anonymous' attacks on M
      • Being born in 4chan, Anonymous is much like a great party: it has no definite direction, no leader and will just keep on rolling as long as the people in it like what happens. Given that, Anonymous will continue having an impact for as long as it will, and after that everybody goes home and remember the good time they had.

        The fact that Anonymous exists is a relief, because it shows that there is still a part of the people that can not only see that we have taken a wrong turn, but will act to change the co

        • by Eraesr (1629799)
          I understand the nature of anonymous in that it is not a definable group of people. Anonymous is basically everyone that cares to act.

          However, a herd can also be defined as the sheep that decide to stick around. As long as the sheep decide to bite the farmer's hands when he tries to "steal" their wool, it's understandable and maybe even a noble effort. However, when the sheep start stampeding Mr. Joe's shop because he sold the sacks the farmer uses to store the wool, then the sheep have gone too far.

          At
    • by Seumas (6865)

      Unfortunately, no matter how tenuous or even non-existent the association, it's trivial for the government and media to link them in the mind of the public.

      • by jasonditz (597385)
        Since WikiLeaks was already being called a "terrorist" organization by high ranking US officials before Anonymous started its DDoS attacks how much more damage was there to do?
    • Re:Please don't. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by sznupi (719324) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:39AM (#34822270) Homepage

      It would be even better if Wikipedia wasn't associated with this - its 10-year anniversary will be celebrated at the very same day [wikipedia.org]

      Such coincidence seems like a purposeful effort at creating confusion...

    • This.

      The whole "Anonymous" group is a bunch of idiot fourteen year old superhackers that downloaded a portscanner and used it to DDOS someone by having five of their friends run it with nmap -T5.

      I have met these people on the net. They are basically huge assholes. The fact that scientology attracts huge assholes both as members and as bitter enemies does not change this. They're jumping on any big issue they can whine about so they can cry for attention.

  • To be honest, it means that (if nothing else) it'll make non-governmental attackers of the site a bit wary. After all, who want's to be DDoS'd into oblivion? I'm not sure what anon are going to do about the US Government though.
  • by prezkennedy.org (786501) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:23AM (#34822168) Homepage Journal
    I thought they had a history of DDoSing anyone they disagree with.
  • *sigh* (Score:5, Informative)

    by Haedrian (1676506) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:29AM (#34822212)

    I hate it when people say "Anonymous" are doing X. It makes it sound like its some sort of static group with a single leader who determines what the group will be up to this week.

    Its never as simple as this. Anonymous are a bunch of individuals who decide whether doing X 'for the lulz' is a good idea or not. Who their leader is changes and doesn't really matter as much as in other cases.

    Its pretty much a case of a totally distributed system which forms links on the fly.

    The person who decided on the DDOS, and the people who followed him/her could be totally different from the people who will be out protesting.

    • by Seumas (6865)

      Not to mention, I don't see anything in the page this submission links to that mentions DDoS. I see a video full of people in Guy Fawkes masks protesting in meatspace with signs, like every other group has been allowed to do (though, some of them relegated to "free speech cages", recently). As far as I know, protesting with signs on the street is still legal (though I thought wearing a mask in public -- especially in an assembled protest -- was illegal in most places in America, now).

      I guess that's the next

    • by ledow (319597)

      But flying under the banner of a group by your own admission (as many people do) is basically adjoining yourself to that group and (partly) condoning their actions and (certainly) being tarred with the same brush as everyone else in the group.

      I don't support Anonymous because (apart from the fact that I think they are all idiots and follow pretty much only idiotic causes) if, tomorrow, they all decide that the issue of the moment is that nobody should have central heating, and they start DDoS'ing my energy

      • [..] But *joining* that group or *condoning* that group (or even acknowledging it's existence as anything other than a vague moniker under which to attack people) is *recognising* that group and thus agreeing with its policies and actions to some extent.[...]

        WTF? If I recognise existence, I agree to its policies? Care to elaborate?

        It's just a convenient moniker for doing shit that you want to hide.

        I am not sure if you have noticed, but that kind of is the point of Anonymous. And I can support them or denounce them all I want, provided I point out for what exactly.

    • by openfrog (897716)

      Who their leader is changes and doesn't really matter as much as in other cases.

      Its pretty much a case of a totally distributed system which forms links on the fly.

      The person who decided on the DDOS, and the people who followed him/her could be totally different from the people who will be out protesting.

      Who takes charge DOES matter. Otherwise, your enemy may as well initiate any action in your name, that is, take charge and associate your cause with mob disorder. The aim and net effect of this would be to raise public opinion against your cause in order to push for web censorship policies...

      Oh wait...

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      Their leader is dynamic, in a sense. Not just dynamic in the sense of "Dynamic IP", but dynamic in the sense of "Dynamic personality." Think Dennis Leary's character in Demolition Man. He knows how to speak the language of the people he leads, even though he's not the "leader" per se.

      To get "Anonymous" to take action, all you need is the following:

      1) Willing and able bodies that can follow simple instructions. (They have this in large supply.)

      2) Someone who has the technical skill to coordinate an event. (T

    • Whenever I see "Anonymous is doing X" my mind auto-translates it into "A large group of random people on the Internet have agreed on doing X"

  • by AndGodSed (968378) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:34AM (#34822242) Homepage Journal

    But I did not DOS the government...

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      But I did not DOS the government...

      Should have done it the other way around.
      I mean, who's actually the sheriff? (hint: who tells you to kill it before it grows?)

  • by sourcerror (1718066) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:39AM (#34822274)

    Do what you want, ‘cause a pirate is free,
    YOU ARE A PIRATE!
    Yar har, fiddle di dee,
    Being a pirate is alright to be,
    Do what you want ‘cause a pirate is free,
    You are a pirate!

    Song [youtube.com]

  • hi there, Long time reader, first time poster... what the hell are Anon doing? Last night they took down the website of one of our political parties (Fine Gael), the replacement cover notice stating something about freedom and press and internet.. or something like that... But the party they targeted isn't even a member of the running government!! They are currently running quite high in the polls and will do better in the upcoming elections that the current party (Fianna Fail) "running" the place... A par
  • Said before (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jav1231 (539129)
    I've said it before. WikiLeaks lost the high ground when they started releasing the diplomatic cables for no other reason than retaliation. They decided to go to war. That Anonymous is supporting them is sad. The only thing I can say is that at least Julian Assange isn't hiding behind anonymity. Gotta give him props for that. I supported Anonymous' when they went after Scientology. But this time they're supporting a would-be journalist, attention whore who I hope gets what he deserves.
  • Why be anonymous? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Oxdeadface (1968100) on Monday January 10, 2011 @11:59AM (#34824628)
    So when is wikileaks going to publish the identities, phone numbers, and home addresses of all the members of anonymous? There's no reason that any organization should keep anything secret after all. Right?
    • So when is wikileaks going to publish the identities, phone numbers, and home addresses of all the members of anonymous? There's no reason that any organization should keep anything secret after all. Right?

      Well, you see, it's kind of hard to publish information that is not known -- even more difficult when the "organization" isn't one at all, and as such doesn't keep those types of records (let alone in a centrally accessible location).

      You'd have as easier time expecting Wikileaks to release the personal information of everyone who has visited an arbitrary IRC chatroom (one that doesn't require authentication, you know, because the users are "Anonymous"), considering that "members" of Anonymous congregate in

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