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Member Claims Anonymous "Might Well Be the Most Powerful Organization On Earth" 241

wasimkadak writes in with an interview with Anonymous member "Commander X" in which he talks about how the hacktivists are the most powerful group on the planet. "Christopher Doyon, a.k.a. Commander X, sits atop a hillside in an undisclosed location in Canada, watching a reporter and photographer make their way along a narrow path to join him, away from the prying eyes of law enforcement. It's been a few weeks of encrypted emails back and forth, working out the security protocol to follow for interviewing Doyon, one of the brains behind Anonymous, now a fugitive from the FBI. Doyon, who readily admits taking part in some of the highest-profile hacktivist attacks on websites last year — from Tunisia to Orlando, Sony to PayPal — was arrested in September for a comparatively minor assault on the county website of Santa Cruz, Calif., where he was living, in retaliation for the town forcibly removing a homeless encampment on the courthouse steps. The 'virtual sit-in' lasted half an hour. For that, Doyon is facing 15 years in jail."
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Member Claims Anonymous "Might Well Be the Most Powerful Organization On Earth"

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  • Most powerful? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Robert Zenz ( 1680268 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @10:25AM (#39994387) Homepage
    Oh really? [slashdot.org]
    • Re:Most powerful? (Score:5, Informative)

      by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@NoSpam.gmail.com> on Monday May 14, 2012 @10:36AM (#39994537) Journal

      Also less powerful than Amazon's cloud hosting [informationweek.com] or Lolita City [arstechnica.com] which survived Anonymous' best efforts (sadly).

    • by ddd0004 ( 1984672 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:12AM (#39995005)

      Well, not counting those guys, because getting beheaded is the ultimate DOS attack.

    • by niftydude ( 1745144 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:13AM (#39995011)
      Commander X is dreaming, I'm the most powerful organism on earth, who has the most powerful orgasms on earth, due to the fact that I have the most powerful organs on earth, and every so often I pop over to Utah to play the most powerful pipe organ on earth, and why the HELL am I reading an interview with a megalomaniacal fugitive, and also, how can a fugitive still have delusions of megalomania?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Of course they are powerful, look at all the laws Anonymous has passed.

    • Re:Most powerful? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 14, 2012 @12:25PM (#39996011)

      I checked Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]: they were going to release information on Zeta only because they had kidnapped an anonymous member. Los Zetas actually released their member, that's why they rescinded on OpCartel:

      On 6 October 2011 a man identified himself as a member of Anonymous posted a video on the Internet (YouTube) under the account MrAnonymousguyfawkes stating that Los Zetas had kidnapped one of their group members and demanded Los Zetas Cartel release the individual.

      ...Meanwhile, a retired head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Puerto Rico, Mike Vigil, warned that "Los Zetas should take Anonymous seriously."...

      ...On 4 November 2011, Anonymous posted on the Iberoamerican Blog that the kidnapped member had been released and that they had confirmed his identity. They also stated that they would not be moving forward with releasing the information they had of several cartel members.

    • Re:Most powerful? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @01:28PM (#39996785)
      It is funny how people who seem to get a little power, think they are the most powerful person in the world. I see this with Middle managers who think they are Hot stuff, because they are high enough for the CEO to pay attention to him, or have a team with some control. They just get mad with power. When you go and start thinking how powerful you are, that usually means you have lost your way, and you are in too much of a power kick to get any real work done.
      • by nomel ( 244635 )

        In other news, in a Slashdot interview with Slashdot user "anonymous coward", "anonymous coward" claims to be the most powerful and intelligent user, in the world.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by N_Piper ( 940061 )
        If you expand "Anonymous" to mean technically savvy individuals who share one or more cause in common with Anonymous who are willing to put forward work towards their own pet peeve, then yes they could be the most powerful group in the internet, with potential sleeper agents in every group in the world.

        However that's like calling socially active citizens the most powerful group in any given country, any group active enough to destabilize the status quo is broken up and a silent majority dislikes the chose
        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          With 'Anonymous' it will always be bound to the cause and to the tactics employed. Obviously the Scientology protests had nothing at all to do with the various DDos attacks and in the whole people involved in one had nothing or very little to do with the other.

          As an activism meme, it is purely people's individual choice when they wish to donate time and effort to a particular cause in the name of 'Anonymous' and what actions as individuals they decide to take. So a school of little fish that coalesce tog

    • Re:Most powerful? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by blofeld42 ( 854237 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @03:35PM (#39998257)

      Generally speaking, the leaders of the most powerful organization in the world don't have to arrange interviews in remote locations in order to avoid being arrested and thrown into prison.

    • by miltonw ( 892065 )
      If he is a member of the "most powerful organization on Earth", why is he in hiding? What a dork!
    • by Dan541 ( 1032000 )

      The most powerful organisation on Earth, has failed to make any significant difference.

      The most powerful organisations in all of human history are the copyright groups. Never in history has anyone had such a vast global reach as do the copyright owners. Its to the point where you don't have to commit any crime in order to be locked up. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_O'Dwyer [wikipedia.org]

      Anonymous has a long way to go. Becoming something more than petty thugs would be a good start.

  • Oh yea? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 14, 2012 @10:25AM (#39994389)

    The new issue of Internet Tough Guy Magazine is out already?

  • So wait... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 14, 2012 @10:26AM (#39994407)

    ... Being able to interrupt poorly-secured websites for a matter of minutes makes you "the most powerful organization on earth"?

  • by finlandia1869 ( 1001985 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @10:27AM (#39994415)
    People running around and doing the equivalent of tearing down billboards and defacing storefronts. Big whoops. Last I checked, the major players in the global financial network have actual power. And most central/federal governments, too. This guy needs a cold beer and a sense of proportion. Ok, maybe not the latter; we know that's the one thing that no one in the universe can afford to have. Make it two beers, then.
    • by jimbolauski ( 882977 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @10:49AM (#39994695) Journal
      Delusion is the most power weapon they have in their arsenal, they realized their "power" when they attacked Scientology, and whipped it off the map. I would compare anonymous to a kid with a stick it's great for poking things bigger then you when there is a cage between you (anonymity), but as soon as there is no cage they have no real power as was shown with the Mexican cartel. If they truly want to see how powerless they are they can go ahead and release the classified data they claim they have and watch how many members are rounded up for treason. They think governments fear them but truly governments don't see them as a threat and as soon as that changes they're in for a sobering realization.
      • by honestmonkey ( 819408 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:10AM (#39994971) Journal
        Their chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Their two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Their *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Their *four*...no... *Amongst* their weapons.... Amongst their weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again.
    • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @10:52AM (#39994729) Homepage Journal

      15 years.

      powerful in judges minds too. if that's real power or not is a wholly another matter..

      thing with "anonymous" is though that potentially everyone is part of it. usually most "members" (probably like me and you) never do anything except maybe complain on forums about unjust sentences. this is pretty much also why most reporting on the issue is seriously fucked up. should just call them online flash mobs, that's what they are anyways.

      (really, I guess he should have been out raping instead of flooding- hell, you could cause a real by blowing up a dam and claiming insanity and probably get off with less).

      • by srussia ( 884021 )

        hell, you could cause a real by blowing up a dam and claiming insanity and probably get off with less

        Probably even less if you claim you accidentally that real!

    • by davegravy ( 1019182 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @10:58AM (#39994779)

      They're best known for DOS attacks, but Doyon claims in the interview that they do much more than this. For example, the article mentions gaining access to sensitive email databases. He claims they often don't even need to hack to obtain these, that they're being provided by people in governments/corporations.

      Whether it's true or not, I don't know. All I'm saying is that the claim to power is based on more than website defacing that they're best known for.

    • The people (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lwriemen ( 763666 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:14AM (#39995041)

      Last I checked, the major players in the global financial network have actual power. And most central/federal governments, too.

      Only the people have the actual power. Financiers, governments, crackers, drug cartels, religions, etc. exist solely at the will of the people.

      • Re:The people (Score:5, Informative)

        by jamstar7 ( 694492 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:41AM (#39995417)

        Last I checked, the major players in the global financial network have actual power. And most central/federal governments, too.

        Only the people have the actual power. Financiers, governments, crackers, drug cartels, religions, etc. exist solely at the will of the people.

        Have you taken a good look around lately? The people got cut out of the loop decades ago. Time to wake up and smell the napalm.

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @10:27AM (#39994417)
    I expect this organisation would be quaking in its boots if certain other organisations were given free reign to eliminate them. Think FSB, Mossad, the US secrete service, or MI5
  • Really? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @10:28AM (#39994429)

    So how many guns and tanks does Anonymous control?

    And yes, I realize this is like Stalin asking how many divisions the Pope has, but hey, at least I didn't Godwin it!

  • Power (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 14, 2012 @10:29AM (#39994435)

    So far there are only two types of 'powerful organizations':

    1. Governments, funded by tax payer money, using force (police, armed forces, etc.)
    2. Corporations, funded by consumers and banks, using economic power

    These two have a bit of a love-hate relationship, so their interactions are a fragile balance (how/how much to tax them, incentives, what they can get away with) and often work closely together (ACTA, TPP).

    Having a new, unaligned powerhouse will of course upset that balance. The thing is the old adage 'power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely' will also apply to Anonymous.

    • Re:Power (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @10:56AM (#39994765)

      You forgot the criminal equivalents to each category. There are probably drug lords, pirates, etc. in certain parts of the world with economic and/or military power similar to that of a small nation, funded mostly or entirely by the proceeds of their crimes.

      • by Corbets ( 169101 )

        You forgot the criminal equivalents to each category.

        Which, of course, is exactly what Anonymous is. The criminal equivalent to a bunch of bored web surfers.

  • "Most powerful on the planet!"

    "We're still not having sex, nerd."

  • Ok, yeah, sure... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @10:33AM (#39994493) Homepage

    So Anonymous first defines itself as being the collective voice of everybody (with a disproportionate representation of 4chan), then claims it's the most powerful organization in the world. Good for you, guys, really... Now you can take on the Tautology Club.

    Unfortunately, I've just formed my own organization, called "Irresponsible", and everybody who doesn't know they're a part of Irresponsible is also a part of it! Because they're irresponsible in knowing what groups they're a part of, see? Since geological processes also don't take responsibility for their actions, they're also part of the organization. Who's the most powerful now, huh?

    Now, Irresponsible! Scream at a wall! Tear down posters! Show how mad you are at everything that doesn't appease you by inconveniencing others!

    • Silly, Sarten-X - the Slashdot collective is the most powerful organization in the world. Um ... just look at how much influence alpha geeks have!

      Somebody push this comment to the front page, m'kay?

  • Poseurs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by roothog ( 635998 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @10:34AM (#39994495)

    It's funny how if a group is *actually* powerful, you never see them making claims that they're powerful. Their actions say more than words.

    Anonymous are just poseurs. Not only are they poseurs on world-scale power, they're poseurs on computer hacking, all they know how to do is run DoS attacks. They're an embarrassment.

    • Re:Poseurs (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bws111 ( 1216812 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @10:37AM (#39994555)

      Exactly. It seems to me that in order to be considered 'powerful' you must be capable of making others bend to your will. Exactly what has this so-called 'powerful' organization done other than annoy people?

    • all they know how to do is run DoS attacks

      They've done a few e-mail archive thefts too. Some informative ones at that.

      Just using the collective pronoun hurts, though.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fatphil ( 181876 )
      Margaret Thatcher: Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.
  • Anonymous member says something stupid. News at 11.

    Sure to be followed up by doing something stupid.

  • The old people that run the USA seem to be major technophobe. I'm surprised they don't arrest people for knowing how to program computers.

    I bet he would have gotten less than 2 years if her used a paintball gun to deface the court house instead of the web site.

  • Sure sure. Of COURSE it is.....

  • IPO (Score:4, Funny)

    by Sperbels ( 1008585 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @10:41AM (#39994611)
    Quick! Do an IPO before people realize how stupid this assessment is!
  • Unless Anon can call in an airstrike, or single-handedly cripple a first-world nation's financial system, they don't know what "power" is.

    Big talk from a guy in hiding.
    • by doston ( 2372830 )

      Unless Anon can call in an airstrike, or single-handedly cripple a first-world nation's financial system, they don't know what "power" is. Big talk from a guy in hiding.

      Yeah the only thing that can cripple a first world financial system is a first world financial system.

  • Anyone else wish these Jesters got the media attention they deserve.... in other words, none?
  • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @10:44AM (#39994645) Homepage Journal

    Anonymous is another (clearly not the first) example of what I'll for lack of a better term, call a "virtual nation".

    It's obvious that the internet allows rapid worldwide communication. It's also obvious that it allows new aggregations of people to sort themselves out - that you can draw together like-minded people from all over the globe.
    What's less-than-obvious is to call these aggregates "virtual nations".

    But take a look at it from a slightly different perspective. People whose primary news source is Fox news live in the Unites States of America, and are quite proud of the fact. People whose primary news source is NPR also live in the United States of America, and are also quite proud of that fact. But when you ask the two groups of people what they thing the United States of America really is, beyond simple geographic attributes, you get two very different answers, two very different sets of allegiances. It's almost like they live in different nations. Perhaps in some sort of virtual way, they do.

    But perhaps the best and worst example of a virtual nation is Al Qaeda. There is a group of people whose allegiance has little to do with physical boarders. Their sense of belonging, their cause, their peers transcend the mere physical. (Note that interesting characteristics don't make it good, and in this case, far from it.)

    Anonymous is a less mature, less cohesive, less dangerous version.

  • Idiot.
  • It seems like any hacker can do something and claim to be part of Anonymous. Just like any middle eastern group can claim to be part of Al Qaeda or Hamas. Osama Bin Laden actually wrote that he was concerned that so many groups claiming to be tied to Al Qaeda was confusing and diluting their message and also they didn't like getting credit for shoddy or failed operations.
  • Lets face it, the power of the Belgians is NOT the stuff of legend... the only hint you ever really had was the brief appearance of Jean-Claude Van Damme when he decided to dabble in acting.

    Anonymous has NOTHING on the Belgians, or maybe they are the Belgians...?

    • by fatphil ( 181876 )
      Acting? I think you'll find it's the *dancing* that he's really notorious for!
  • It appears it has become time to abandon the Slashdot comments section.

  • "Commander X" (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SlippyToad ( 240532 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:18AM (#39995085)

    The most powerful organization on the planet doesn't give interviews from an undisclosed location.

    I like what Anonymous represents, and much of the hacking that they've engaged in has had a populist appeal, but they are self-limited by their anonymity, and obviously they're no more the drivers of our social change than OBL was . . . he also gave his interviews from an undisclosed location.

    If I were Anonymous or a member thereof, I'd be looking for a wealthy socially-conscious sponsor to legitimize what I was doing . . . and take the conversation they are trying to have out in the open, where it can't be dismissed.

    Until they do that, they're just going to be treated like cyber-terrorists. I suspect that the need that Anonymous is attempting to fill will be met by someone else, wiser and cleverer.

  • by Tarlus ( 1000874 )

    Yet the "most powerful organization on Earth" needs to skip borders to run away from the FBI.

  • by dskoll ( 99328 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @11:23AM (#39995179) Homepage

    Anonymous are loud-mouthed vandals and computer criminals. I give a big cheer whenever law-enforcement officials catch some of them.

    They give hackers a bad name.

  • If you can't deploy nuclear weapons, you're not the most powerful organization on earth. Then again, if they have root at a Chinese missle silo, I may be wrong.
  • If Anonymous is so powerful, then why is one of its major "leaders" hiding in Canada?

  • 15 years? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Monday May 14, 2012 @04:16PM (#39998697)

    He defaced a non-critical local government website. It did not cause any disruption of important services, he did not benefit fiancially or in any other tangible way, and the attack only lasted 30 minutes.
    For that he gets a penalty similar to what he'd get if he'd committed murder one. wow.
    Not that I condone the crime, but any system that far out of touch with reality deserves to be taken down.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.