The Latest from Anonymous >>—–>
“Welcome to the World Cyberwar One
Please distribute this declaration to all concerned.
There exists a reasonable tendency to judge from the past what is possible in the present. This becomes less reasonable to the extent that the environment changes. It is a useful thing, then, to ask every once in a while if the environment has recently gone through any particular severe changes and thereby expanded our options. Over the last twenty years, for instance, the terminology has changed to such a degree that many of today’s essential discussions would be entirely incomprehensible to anyone living two decades ago. Never in history has this been so true as it is now, at the onset of the communications age. As the environment has changed, some have already began to take the new options, and more will do so soon. It is time for the rest of the world to begin to understand why.
When a release by Wikileaks to the effect that the government was even more specifically corrupt and horrid than previously realized prompted Tunisians to step up active dissent and take to the streets in huge numbers for the first time, a loose network of participants within the international Anonymous protest movement attacked non-essential government websites (those not providing direct services to Tunisians) at the prompting of our Tunisian contacts; one such site was replaced with a message of support to the Tunisian people, with the others merely being pushed offline by means of a DDOS attack involving thousands of computer users who request large amounts of data from a website at once in order to overwhelm it. Other assistance programs have begun to follow in the days since President Ben Ali fled the nation that reviled him, with Anonymous and other parties working with Tunisians both in-country and abroad to provide the nation’s people with the tools and informational resources they need to begin building up new, reasoned political institutions capable of ensuring a freer civic life. Our Guide to Protecting the Tunisian Revolution series – a collaboration between hundreds of veterans of traditional revolutionary movements as well as practitioners of the “new activism” – has been disseminated both online and in printed copies; aside from tips on safety during confrontation and the like, these also explain how to establish secure yet accessible networks and communications for Tunisians as well as instructions on establishing neighborhood syndicates capable of uniting to promote a better civic life for the nation as a whole. Already, such organizations are now being established across Tunisia, just as they will be established elsewhere as this movement proceeds.
In the meantime, there are obstacles to be overcome. Those within the Tunisian government who seek to deny liberty to “their” people are easy enough to deal with; the greatest threat to revolution comes not from any state but rather from those who decry it without understanding it. In this case, the idea that a loose network of people with shared values and varying skill sets can provide substantial help to a population abroad is seen as quixotic or even unseemly by many of those who have failed to understand the last ten years, as well as those whose first instinct is to attack a popular revolt rather than assist it. Elsewhere, a number of American pundits have decided to criticize the revolution as possibly destabilizing the region; many of these once demanded the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and greeted every Arab revolt as the work of President Bush but now see nothing for themselves in the cause of Arab liberty. Some have even portrayed the movement as the work of radical Islamists; most cannot find Tunisia on a map. I will happily debate any and all of them, and have done so already with amusing results. Suffice to say that the results of our efforts are already on display and will become more evident as Tunisians use our tools and resources to achieve their greatest triumph. Those who wish to assist and are competent to do so can find us easily enough; the Tunisians had little trouble in doing so.
Although we have made great progress in convincing individuals from across the world to join this effort, more must be done before the movement takes the next step towards a worldwide network capable of perpetual engagement against those who are comfortable with tyranny. Whatever effort is required, such a goal is not only possible, but rather unambitious. Those of us who have seen the movement up close have dedicated our lives to it for a reason. I have been working with and covering Anonymous for about six years now, for instance; looking back at my writings, I have found that my predictions, while always enthusiastic, have nonetheless turned out to have been conservative.
The fact is that the technological infrastructure that allows these things has only been in place for a few years, but such phenomena as Wikileaks and Anonymous have already appeared, expanded, and even come into play on the geopolitical scene; others have come about since. This is the future, whether one approves or not, and the failure on the part of governments and media alike to understand and contend with the rapid change now afoot ought to remind everyone concerned why it is that this movement is necessary in the first place.”