Anonymous hacker group is leading the internet activism campaign with their outfit that focuses on cyber-attacks against government-affiliated organizations. The decentralized affinity group was founded in 2003 and operated under the mantra of anonymity. Their motto is “We Are Anonymous”.
Church of Scientology is also one of their targets. The virtual community serves the global community and is known to strike any time. Members of the group like to refer to themselves as Anons and have appeared in different functions wearing face masks.
The Anons interestingly carry themselves around. They also use voice changers to alter their voices whenever speaking. That way, they have managed to keep their profile a secret. This allows them to continue with their operations smoothly.
According to reports, their goal is entertainment. They operate in a very coordinated manner but with no rigidity. As such, they can have the fun they’re looking for while trying to achieve their other objectives.
The chronology project was a memorable one. It took place in 2008 and targeted the Scientology church. The popularized interview and actions from the Chanology church surrounding the video pushed the members of this organization to act. Tom Cruise’s interview was the source of all these.
On January 21, the same year, the team started the activism with a video on YouTube. Titled “Message to Scientology”, the group wanted the church expelled completely from the online space.
Pictures later circulated with alleged members captured in masks carrying placards. One of the placards stated that “A CORPORATION SHOULD NOT OWN A RELIGION, AND ITS FOLLOWERSS’.
The group did all it could to get the action done against Scientology. After the noise didn’t work, they tried exploiting the legal options available in the online space. They went to the extent of pushing the Internal Revenue Service to look into the church’s tax status.
The church also took different approaches in response to these attacks. Some of them included calling the anonymous hacker group names. This was an attempt to seek sympathy from the rest of the world and allow the public to judge this group. Cyberterrorists are one of the names this group was given. However, they didn’t relent in their attacks.
Well, the more the group attacked the church, the more they earned critics. These people went vocal about their views. Anonymous was criticized heavily, but that did not stop them.
The Anonymous ideology
From the name of the group, you can almost tell their values. The group aims at achieving its goal while staying anonymous. But that has been a hard thing to achieve.
marketwatch.com reported on recent revelations by the Atlantic mentioning the group’s founder. Aubrey Cottle was cited as the founder and engaged by different platforms asking him questions about the group.
Cottle quickly asserted that the group was a positive move, but the hacker group was the most popular section of the crew. It was so popular that it overshadowed the others that focused on awareness creation.
In the past decade, the crew had been fought with some of their members arrested. Perhaps the idea to attack even the police was not a good one. It cost the group stability, and that’s why they lost some of its members.
As they left, perhaps to focus on other things, new generations came on board to keep pushing their agenda forward.
It looks like the new crop is also on the loose. It is alleged that one of the members of this squad leaked critical information to police early this year. The data from 200+ agencies was made available to unauthorized people, and that was labeled Blueleaks.
Cottle also came out clear and stated that he was now focusing on his personal goals. This means he is no longer heavily involved in the cyberattack group anymore. But since the anonymous group is still on an attacking spree, this may mean more new members are running its agenda.
The Anonymous Philosophy
Members of the anonymous group do not operate on directives. Their philosophy is idea-driven. That means they do not have one source of command trickling down like most other organizations.
Instead, they have ideas coming from any member of the group that guides their operations. Once the picture is out, they will all go out guns blazing to support the idea.
The group has also been criticized for its lack of leadership. Critics claim none of their actions can be attributed to one known leader.
Another observation made is the fact that some of the members use legal means in their attacks. Others have utilized illegal channels like hacking and others, which has raised questions about the group’s values.
The actions seem to portray the group as divided. United they may be by their goals, by the way, they execute their plans has shown significant divisions.
The group is also open to anyone willing to join. There are more attributes to the organizational structure of this group that makes more people doubt their legitimacy.
One journalist compared the group to a popular terrorist group known worldwide. Interestingly, the journalist made such comparisons after she had initially called the group a brand.
Perhaps the events that happened in between her comments changed her mind. She initially felt Anonymous was a very organized group, only to change her mind later and refer to the organization as a movement.
She is not the only one changing her mind regarding this hacker group. There are many others, and perhaps they’re convinced to do that thanks to the group’s illegal operations once in a while.
But those sentiments seem not to stop Anonymous from soldiering on. Even when the supposed leaders opt-out, a new crop of members take control and push the group’s agenda forward.
They have some rules that guide them as a group. No one is supposed to talk about the group or disclose their identity. Besides, it is prohibited to attack the media. These guidelines have helped most of the members run the group’s agenda without ever being known.
The team is relentless. Their mantra is that they do not forgive nor forget. No matter the amount of provocation you direct to them, this group will keep attacking. They say you should expect them anytime.
They also make physical appearances in masks and a more felt online presence. This helps drive their agenda without fear or favor. Their brand is also distinct and stands out from the rest. To conclude, the group has given the media a challenge to cover their stories because of their complicated mode of existence.