Lulz + Anonymous = AntiSec. But is it modern society that is really to blame?
This is an exhortation: think beneath the surface of what you are told. The subject is Lulz Security and the Anonymous group. They have aligned themselves in the AntiSec operation against the Establishment; but before simply condemning them I would like us all to consider the issues.
Let’s look at some of the few facts we know. Firstly, there is no evidence of what most people consider to be criminal behaviour: theft for personal gain or simple wanton destruction (it is criminal behaviour simply because what they do is against the law). Rather do they consider themselves engaged in political activism on the internet, although Lulz also claims that it is just plain ‘fun’.
AntiSec is aimed at both the government establishment and what Lulz calls the whitehat security industry:
Operation Anti-Security is in effect. Join the fleet and tear the government and whitehat peons limb from limb – #antisec winds are strong.
Government I understand. But why wage war against the security industry? Lulz offers this:
Your tax money is being used to pay for things to not be secured so that people like us can take what you expect to be kept inaccessible.
Is that a pop against the billions of tax dollars and pounds used by government to store our personal details online? Or is it a pop against the security industry that uses additional tax money to maintain, but fails to maintain, the security of that data online. Consider the following from a press release put out by Idappcom (a whitehat security company):
Yesterday, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) was subject to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack designed to bring down its website. Today LulzSec say they have ‘blissfully obtained records of every single citizen who gave their records to the security-illiterate UK government for the 2011 census’.
But Lulz says:
Just saw the pastebin of the UK census hack. That wasn’t us – don’t believe fake LulzSec releases unless we put out a tweet first.
The attacks of yesterday were not damaging but a Twitter post today has threatened that future attacks will be.
I’ve looked. Believe me I have looked. But I cannot find a Lulz tweet that says anything like this. The nearest I can find is this:
DDoS is of course our least powerful and most abundant ammunition. Government hacking is taking place right now behind the scenes. #AntiSec
But that’s not a threat of damage, it’s a claim that they are breaking into sites and not just taking them down.
So some aspects of government and industry (and I have to add, media) are playing up the threat from Lulz. Why? Well, fear sells. If we are afraid of all hacking activity we will more likely accept the loss of personal liberty that governments demand in the name of security for purposes of control. And if we are afraid of hackers we will more likely buy security products from the whitehat industry. And the more afraid we are, the more we will buy from both government and industry.
So, sadly, I would suggest that the methods chosen for AntiSec will be counterproductive to the ends: it plays into the hands of the establishment they attack. But this is what I want you to ask yourselves: what else can the politically conscientious youth of today do? It’s not like my day back in the ’60s and ’70s. We’re not allowed to protest peacefully today: we get illegally corralled, beaten, filmed, and stored. So what I want you to ask yourselves is this: is AntiSec today’s version of taking to the streets in the way that my generation did all those years ago? And do they not have a point? Consider the illegal wars that our governments engage in. Think of the lies they tell us. Think of the way the banks control us through control of the (and usually our) money. Think of the way in which dissent is quashed. Think of Dr David Kelly. Think of the war against terror that fills the coffers of our munitions industries but has made the world less safe for everyone. I’d like to suggest this: in a few years time, AntiSec will be part of our university sociology and psychology courses. Is AntiSec the inevitable result of a government divorced from its people: discuss.