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Censorship Australia Botnet

Anonymous Speaks About Australian Gov't. Attacks 235

daria42 writes "The loose-knit collective of individuals known as 'Anonymous' has broken its silence about the distributed denial of service attacks on the Australian government. An individual (who insisted he or she is not a spokesperson for the group) said the attacks were more effective at stopping the government's Internet filtering project than signing a petition, and that the attacks could go on for months." The site where some members of Anonymous are said to hang out, 4chan, got a visibility boost yesterday when its founder moot spoke at the TED conference.
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Anonymous Speaks About Australian Gov't. Attacks

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  • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Friday February 12, 2010 @12:52PM (#31114752)

    We are legion.

    Let's just check this box to post as AC and...

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We Are Anonymous
      We are legion.
      Let's just check this box to post as AC and...


  • Hmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12, 2010 @12:55PM (#31114802)

    I've never heard of this site, "fourchan". It seems like its a pretty cool activist site. Can someone tell me more about it? I'd go there, but my ISP is blocking it :(

  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Friday February 12, 2010 @12:59PM (#31114872) Journal
    It's more of an activity. Possibly a culture. It certainly doesn't have anyone who speaks for the group as a whole.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      Exactly. You can either think of it as a group of individuals who merely believe the same ideals and co-operate in order to do what makes each individual happy. OR they are a collective consciousness where they are all controlled by one will, but they simply don't know it. I think its the latter.

      • There is no one will in Anonymous, no more than there is a will in a beehive or in an anthill. There is simply a vast number of individuals, independently responding to stimuli based upon a common set of simple rules. These responses, however, do end up producing emergent behavior complex enough to be comparable to that of a unified will.
    • As cheesy as it is to take phrases from anime, I really can think of no better term for this.

      Anonymous is a Stand Alone Complex [], a group of individuals acting as copycats with no clear original, produced by the confluence of thoughts caused by mass exposure to similar media. This sort of thing is easily caused by the Internet in general, and especially the echo-chamber effect and high information volume on 4chan (and others, including Slashdot, though we tend to be less active about it).

      Also, though Anonym

  • by PingSpike ( 947548 ) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:00PM (#31114894)

    Pool's Closed.

  • Good Gravy (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr. DOS ( 1276020 ) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:00PM (#31114896)

    ...(who insisted he or she is not a spokesperson for the group)...

    ...because the “group” does not have a spokesperson. Remember the “loose-knit” thing?

    The site where some members of Anonymous are said to hang out, 4chan...

    Yeah, let me know when you see Anonymous on there. They're totally a bunch of black shadowy figures hanging out in /b/. Also, last time I checked, this was 4chan rule #4 []:

    The posting of personal information or calls to invasion is prohibited.

    4chan has a reputation for being a launchpad for this sort of thing, but it's not, at least, not any more. Go blame IRC, go blame any of the dozen clone boards, but it's not 4chan now.

          --- Mr. DOS

    • by stonewallred ( 1465497 ) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:21PM (#31115200)
      Ebaum's world is where all this stuff blamed on 4chan comes from. It is all Ebaum's World fault. And Gaia.
    • by qoncept ( 599709 )
      I'm sorry, did you just reference a rule as evidence of the activities from a website? I wonder what The Pirate Bay's rules say.
      • TPB doesn't have rules beyond the usage policy []. Contrary to popular opinion, 4chan does, and is (for the most part) moderated by them.

              --- Mr. DOS

    • Re:Good Gravy (Score:4, Interesting)

      by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:55PM (#31115718) Homepage

      The site where some members of Anonymous are said to hang out, 4chan...

      Yeah, let me know when you see Anonymous on there.

      "Anonymous" is on 4chan all the time. He also posts on this site quite a bit, but we've made it our official position to question his courage. "Anonymous" shows up everywhere, and that's exactly the point.

      We're not talking about a person or even a group called "Anonymous". The point is that it's a ad hoc collection of anonymous people. Are the anonymous on 4chan or the anonymous on Slashdot the same as the anonymous creating this attack? Well... not as a group. It's not like it's all the Slashdot Anonymous Cowards are a codified group somewhere making subversive plans. But I wouldn't be surprised to learn that someone involved in the Australian attack had posted here as AC at least once.

      • We're not talking about a group called “Anonymous”, but TFA is, and the group they're talking about no longer uses 4chan as their plan incubator. Spawning ground, sure, but it's not their war room.

              --- Mr. DOS

        • TFA is wrong, in talking about a group called "Anonymous." Gullible people who aren't so up on things need to stop giving this meme credibility.
  • Is going to be a rapid acceleration in the restriction and closing off of the Internet, greater activity by Governments in monitoring and repressing activity, and eventually a culture in which computer users are licensed and all computers outside the Government and academia run limited, crippled operating systems and applications.

    Way to go, guys. You need to learn some history and some sociology. Then you will understand that the most successful criminals DO NOT ADVERTISE their existence. At a certain nuisa

    • The most successful criminals are actually those in government and big business, some of which are in very visible roles.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by T Murphy ( 1054674 )
      By making attacks like this, they can grab headlines. Any good news reporter tries to get input from both sides, which means anonymous can potentially get their complaints into mainstream newspapers. Obviously, attacking a few websites will not make politicians back down, as they would look weak. Raise enough public interest in the issue, and politicians will listen. Like with most tech-related issues, I do not realistically expect a large public response, but you cant say anonymous isn't trying.
  • by Herkum01 ( 592704 ) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:11PM (#31115064)

    It is an appropriate response to a figurehead politician making these rules, because it is a bunch of anonymous peons that are implementing them. The peons hide behind the facade of a government which they don't have to take responsibility for their actions.

    Governments love when an individual speaks out, because they can release a bureaucratic horde of government employees to crush them. An individual who cannot be expected to address numerous rules, regulations and pressures a government can bring against them.

    So Anonymous vs the government, as far as I am concerned is a fair fight.

    • Very well put.

      If the individuals in government can't be held accountable for their actions, neither should any individuals part of any collective group.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by silverbax ( 452214 )

      That's an interesting take, when I read the section about how the group flooded the emails of politicians and DDoS'd their websites, my first thought was of politicians who don't even know they have a website and don't know how to use email. So basically, an anonymous, faceless group sending massive digital attacks against email boxes that never get checked and websites nobody reads.

      It brings into full discussion the group's claim that attacks are more effective than petitions...are they actually more effec

      • Question is - were you aware of the attacks of Anonymous on the Australian government before this article?

        A large number of us were. This article is merely a badly formed follow up.

        I would agree that even if the digital attack does nothing to the governments operability, its bringing light to the issues that they are against. That alone makes it more effective than a petition. This way - they don't have to form the petition, the public is informed and if its truly an outrage THEY will form a petition

  • Inconsistency. (Score:4, Informative)

    by ladadadada ( 454328 ) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:13PM (#31115094) Homepage

    Summary says:

    "An individual (who insisted he or she is not a spokesperson for the group) said..."

    TFA says exactly the opposite:

    "...received a reply from an individual claiming to be a spokesperson."

    Authenticity of said spokesperson: YMMV.

    • Not sure what article they even got the "insisted he or she is not a spokesperson for the group" part from, but the first linked article is about someone who does claim to be a spokesperson while the second linked article (not the slashdot story) is a different source. So the subject of the second article is the one who insisted.
    • Re:Inconsistency. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hoggoth ( 414195 ) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:42PM (#31115504) Journal

      The meme called "Anonymous" (it's isn't a "group") can't have a spokesperson because there is no official "group", no "membership", no shared beliefs, no secret-handshake.
      Someone gets an idea to do something, and posts the idea on several popular websites. Anyone who agrees the idea is a good one and takes the suggested action is, for that moment, part of "Anonymous". An hour later someone posts a different idea, some different people agree with that one and take some action and for that moment THEY are "Anonymous".

      Some people who may or may not have ever joined in on suggested ideas under the banner of "Anonymous" understand that there is strength in the concept of NOT having any set membership or agenda that can be attacked, responded to, or replied to. Although I, myself, have never participated in any actions proposed by anyone under the banner Anonymous, I can see that this can be important especially in this day of increasing surveillance and abusive governments.

      The idea of having a spokesperson for an un-group is preposterous.

      • Your explanation is far better than mine would have been, and quite correct.

      • Anonymous is a group, in the sense that a flock of birds is a group. How do you know they're a group? Because they're traveling in the same direction. At any given moment, more birds could join, leave, peel off in another direction entirely.

        --Landers, Chris, Baltimore City Paper, April 2, 2008.

        • by hoggoth ( 414195 )

          What do you call it when you have 1,000,000 birds going in 10,000 directions, all joining, leaving, peeling off in other directions, and never actually meeting each other or knowing each others identity along the way? Never actually knowing how many other birds, if any, are traveling in the same direction as they are at any moment?

          Sounds like a group you may or may not already be a member of. How would you know?

  • could transform the humble Icelander into a legal superman, virtually untouchable abroad for comments written

    It's a word! It's a claim! No, it's FreeSpeechMan!

    Whatever will we do when Iceland is overrun with people with the power to say whatever they want?

    Freedom Of Speech -- It's Scary!

  • by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:20PM (#31115180) Homepage Journal

    of the stupidest lamest waste of time on the internet

    comes the most effective force for progressive change

    the one thing that an idiot has, that a wise man does not seem to have, is freedom to act

    when your education acclimates you to acceptance of a lame status quo, then your education is worth less than being an idiot

    • I love the name "Operation Titstorm" and I love the audacity of flooding the government's inboxes with the very images they're trying to censor. But is it an effective force for change? I'm happy to see them bringing more attention to the issue - they are definitely accomplishing that. But no doubt they are further polarizing these people against "bad people on the internet". The main problem is that it's almost impossible for "the people" to have a rational conversation with "the government". There is very
  • Democracy in action. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Aequitarum Custos ( 1614513 ) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:22PM (#31115214) Homepage
    The will of the people is the true purpose of democracy. Regardless of the fact that people are doing this anonymously, this is similar in line to the rebellion against a tyrannical government. Just because the tyranny is not as bad (censorship of porn), and the attack by the people (DDoSing government websites) does not make it a "joke" or an immature prank. If the government was actively rounding up thousands of people from a certain ethnic group for "cleansing", you could expect everyone to gather guns to kill them. Since it is not that serious, you get a less serious, albeit effective response. It made them realize what the public wants. And I don't believe this is a symptom of the "vocal minority" simply because people don't get involved with something for no financial gain, unless they genuinely believe in it, and while it could be the act of a few, it is most likely the act of many. Even if it were a vocal minority, in the US, the constitution was created to protect the freedom of the minority. I don't know how Australia views it's minorities, but I would hope a country that everyone considers "western" holds the same ideal. Anonymous is the true unhindered will of the people. It does not give in to socially acceptable norms, or anything that hides what someone truly wants. If people want porn, they will do so under anonymous. Anonymous is legion.
    • by zsau ( 266209 )

      Australia has a very different form of rights protection, which is positively archaic. It isn't a great stretch to say that we have no rights protection at all, beyond a general assumption of democracy. There's one or two rights explicitly protected in the constitution (e.g. freedom of religion, right to vote), related documents, or High Court judgements (some limited form of freedom of speech is "implied" in the constitution). But the High Court tends to make its judgements so as to extend the Commonwealth

  • Where can I sign up to be ddos'd by this?

  • Blowing up the buildings housing the filters would also be more effective than a petition, but that's not legal either.
  • I think the Jake Brahm incident (when he threatened to bomb stadiums) may have been a better avenue for saying that anonymous sites can still track someone stupid down and work with government officials.

    Don't mess with football []
    Jake Brahm []

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain