British Spies Use Anonymous-Style Tactics Against Anonymous

Hacking the hackers.


Gabriella Coleman writes:

We are the government. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.

The latest Snowden-related revelation is that Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) proactively targeted the communications infrastructure used by the online activist collective known as Anonymous.

Specifically, they implemented distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on the internet relay chat (IRC) rooms used by Anonymous. They also implanted malware to out the personal identity details of specific participants. And while we only know for sure that the U.K.'s GCHQ and secret spy unit known as the "Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group" (JTRIG) launched these attacks in an operation called "Rolling Thunder," the U.S.' NSA was likely aware of what they were doing because the British intelligence agents presented their program interventions at the NSA conference SIGDEV in 2012. (Not to mention the two agencies sharing close ties in general.)

Whether you agree with the activities of Anonymous or not — which have included everything from supporting the Arab Spring protests to DDoSing copyright organizations to doxing child pornography site users — the salient point is that democratic governments now seem to be using their very tactics against them.

The key difference, however, is that while those involved in Anonymous can and have faced their day in court for those tactics, the British government has not. When Anonymous engages in lawbreaking, they are always taking a huge risk in doing so. But with unlimited resources and no oversight, organizations like the GCHQ (and theoretically the NSA) can do as they please.

Read the rest here. Read Coleman's Reason article "Code Is Speech" here.

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  1. Don’t tug on Superman’s cape.

  2. everything from supporting the Arab Spring protests to DDoSing copyright organizations to doxing child pornography site users

    Don’t forget DDoSing video game servers cuz they didn’t like the new patch which nerfed a sniper rifle or whatever.

    Most of the above talks about the relatively good things anon has done not the petty and stupid things they have done as well.

    1. Considering anonymous is supposed to be just a bunch of dudes who are sympatico on… stuff, I suppose anyone could do shit and say “Anonymous wuz here”.

      1. So even the good stuff might not have been them, well…

        1. Unfortunately, I think that’s the point. A “loosely associated international network of activists and hacktivists” (I hate that term hacktivist. I hate it.)

          But anyway, I’m sure there’s is/was an original core group who came up with the idea. However…

          Individuals claiming to align themselves with Anonymous undertook protests and other actions […]

          So, since there’s no membership card…

          1. It doesn’t matter if they are a real group or not – it’s still mob rule. When they attacked banks and such for deciding not to allow donations to wikileaks – they’re no better really than the government which strong armed the banks to make that decision in the first place.

            Hacivist is a stupid term, but whatever the term, the demonstrated behavior is always “we’re right, do what we say, or pay”.

            That’s not “cool” – it’s extortion from statists of a different stripe.

            Not that they haven’t done some worthy things – like attacking totalitarian governments and helping citizens break information controls.

            But quite a few of their big notes – were attacking private companies for making private decisions.

            Even in libertopia that would be against the law.

  3. Oh, and breaking:

    Bill Nye: Bible doesn’t tell Earth’s true history…..ebate.html

    1. He’s persecuting us for our faith!

    2. I think this works in waves.

      Bill Nye built up street cred with his kids science show then spent it on climate change bullshit.

      Now he is trying to go back to the well with stating the obvious so in a few years can come back with some other bullshit.

      On a side not I loved him in Almost Live.


        In which Bill Nye playing “Speed Walker” saves the King Dome from being blown up by terrorists.

  4. Was hoping to find out how anonymous schooled them like they did that security CEO a couple years back.

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