Anonymous is a group of hackers born out of the image boards of 4chan.com. 4chan.com is an image board where people can post images that they may find interesting etc… Anonymously!
The specific board we are talking about in this case is 4chan.com/b/, the /b/ board is simply a troll board, on /b/ anyone can just post anything and remarkably they can do it anonymously.
Groups of users from the /b/ board occasionally
would join together to preform pranks or raids. One of these was when many of them decided to join a French social networking game called “Habbo Hotel” with identical avatars. They blocked off the swimming pool area in the game and displayed a message to other users stating “closed due to FAIL and AIDS” This was simply done for fun”
There was no political statement here, in the words of Anonymous it was done simply for the LULZ.
Anonymous continued this kind of behaviour for quite a while but soon decided to fight for more political reasons, soon becoming known as ‘hacktivists’. With the first of these kinds of attacks being on the church of scientology, however keeping some of the light heartedness of before. In a video aimed mainly towards the church Anonymous stated
“For the good of your followers – For the good of mankind – for the laughs – we shall expel you from the internet.”
Anonymous also began to physically protest, such as on February 10th 2008 thousands of Anonymous members joined simultaneous protests at Church of Scientology facilities around the world.
Many of the protesters wore a variant of the Guy Fawkes masks made famous from movie V for Vendetta, this mask soon became one of the most recognisable symbols of Anonymous.
In November 2010 a website known as Wikileaks run by Julian Asange began releasing hundreds of classified US government documents onto the internet, after this Amazon removed Wikileaks from their servers and other services such as PayPal and Visa discontinued their service to Wikileaks. Anonymous then proceeded to launch “Operation Avenge Asange” in which the destroyed the servers of these services using Distributed Denial Of Service attacks or DDOS attacks, it was claimed by PayPal that Anonymous caused Millions worth of damage to their systems.
Then in 2011 Anonymous began to diversify to humanitarian operations, such as in Tunisia where a oppressive government was trying to crush a rebellion Anonymous stepped in and wrote script which allowed citizens to bypass the web monitoring by the government, however Anonymous didn’t stop there. They also, by hijacking servers from a Tech company in London proceeded to take down the Tunisian government website and the website of the Tunisian prime minister, simply replacing it with a message from anonymous stating “Hello Government – Human rights and Justice are our dream and therefore e-justice.tn is down :[ – It’s too late to Expect Us!”
Anonymous did much the same in Egypt and other countries such and Bahrain, and Libya.
Anonymous also widely supported many movements such as the Occupy Wall Street Movement, where they were responsible for recording and realising the horrific video of two police officers pepper spraying a row of college students who were sitting on the ground with their arms linked, engaged in peaceful protest.
They have also been responsible for removing many child pornography websites and brilliantly, releasing all the information on the sites users.
So are they the heroes of the internet or just a group of bored computer geeks? I have my opinion now it’s up to you to form yours.
Here is the video of the officer pepper spraying college students during a peaceful protest. Anonymous released personal information on the two officers in retaliation for this.