Anonymous tells Atos: Expect us
I got a note from Anonymous yesterday pointing to a new announcement. Atos has been put on notice.
Atos, you might ask? Who is Atos?
If you check the website, you find that Atos says of itself:
Based on our 30 years of successful, proven experience in consulting, managed services – number 1 in Europe -, systems integration as well as cloud computing services and transaction-based activities, we understand your business challenges and deliver IT solutions that fit your needs, with measurable and sustainable results.
“Atos,” it says, “is an international information technology services company with annual revenues of EUR 8.5 billion and 74000 employees in 48 countries.” But is just being a member of ‘big business’ enough to attract the ire of Anonymous?
Atos is also the contractor, via its subsidiary Atos Healthcare, that checks to see whether a disabled person is genuinely disabled, or is a benefit-cheating scrounger who is cheating the taxpayer and stealing from the government. In other words, the purpose of this technology company is to understand invalidity, deny it, and save the government money – while providing some distance between the government and inhumanity. And inhumane it certainly is. Forty percent of the disabled claimants that Atos deems to be scroungers appeal – and 70% of those have the Atos decision overturned.
These are numbers – but behind the numbers are decent human beings who are already cruelly disadvantaged in life and now accused of being cheats. Go back to the Atos description of itself: “we understand your business…” Clearly it does. The government’s business is to reduce expenditure. “…and [we] deliver IT solutions that fit your needs…” Clearly it does, by relabeling the less able as fully able, and stopping invalidity benefit while shielding the government from blame.
The response from Anonymous is unequivocal.
While our Government seeks to abandon [its] sick and disabled, Anonymous will fight to support them. As a collective we cannot turn aside from the suffering and the misery they are being subjected while our Government spends billions on aid to countries with space programs or wasteful spending. We feel for those like Ms Burns of Strabane County Tyrone who lost her ESA benefit whilst suffering from breast cancer [for] 7 months to be only reinstated it 2 weeks ago before she died on Friday. We feel for the disabled protesters who have their backs broken through the heavy handiness of the Police. We feel for the sick and disabled who not only [are] denied their health but the support they need when they desperately need it. We promise we will make sure Atos feel your pain and suffering, we promise to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves, you will suffer in silence no longer.
Twenty-four hours ago I asked Atos for a comment on this. Atos has not replied. But Anonymous has: “Expect us”.