To the average citizen they came onto the world scene out of nowhere. Internet hackers, associated with Anonymous, Electronic Disturbance Theater, LulzSec and others, who had such advanced skills that they could control the internet, and bring global corporate giants and governments to their knee's.
Often with more than an inventive sense of humor as the front page of the British newspaper, the sun, showed in July of 2011. The hoax story suggested Murdoch had taken [the rare-earth metal] "palladium" before "stumbling into his famous topiary garden late last night".
Or, when LulzSec broke into the website of the US public service broadcaster PBS and published a fake article claiming rapper Tupac Shakur was alive and living in New Zealand.
Most participants in the groups of hackers were socially conscious, human and civil rights activists. They have, combined, changed the world for the better, taking control out of the hands of those who had full control of our lives - leveling the playing field.
That was global. From the Middle East, to the America's, Europe and Eurasia..
But then the arrests and criminal trials started and we saw such a misuse of our court systems as lengthy pre-trial detentions, convictions and sentences far beyond those given to violent criminals became the norm. Many, like Mercedes Haefer, and the Paypal 14 made plea deals.
Mercedes Haefer, an undergraduate student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas who was indicted in July 2011 with 13 others for alleged conspiracy to commit DDoS attacks against PayPal's website, spoke out briefly about her case in the panel session entitled "Anonymous and the Online Fight for Justice."
Nearly two years after the charges made headlines, the case remains an anxiety-provoking daily reality for Covelli and his 13 co-defendants. Though they come from disparate worlds -- drawn from different points on the map and stages in their lives -- the defendants collectively share a sense of unsettling uncertainty, their plans and aspirations stuck in a limbo of indeterminate duration as they await a resolution of their case.
Their wait may be nearing a conclusion. This week, the defendants -- known collectively as the "PayPal 14" -- attended a closed-door hearing in federal court in San Francisco in hopes of negotiating a settlement that could keep them out of prison. Lawyers for both sides declined to discuss the negotiations, but a joint court filing called the meeting "productive."
Some of the early antics were socially unacceptable. Annoying perhaps. but as the movement made the transition into justifiable civil & human rights activism the reaction from certain political persuasions was shocking. The radical right wing quickly branded Anonymous as "terrorists," just as they had Assange, Wikileaks, and eventually Snowden, totally oblivious to the fact that they were benefiting from the very action they condemned. To risk jail time in order to stop corruption is not a "small deal." It is a huge risk, for a noble cause.
In the Middle East hackers from around the world became the very backbone of the Arab Spring movement. In the west, corporate strangleholds started to feel the threatening presence of a movement on the move that wasn't going to be stopped - but would stop the nefarious dealings of the corporate world and governmental deceit.
And as each hacker was arrested... 100 more surfaced and was motivated to action. My personal belief is that we need these groups of hackers, but my prayer is that they will continue to work in the field of social, human and civil rights and not venture to the dark side.
We are Anonymous. Never mind what you have heard about us in the media.
Create your own opinion. Find out your own facts. Look in to things, for yourself.
The media would have you believe we are cyber terrorists.
This could not be any more in accurate.
Our actions have brought justice to this world.
From Egypt to Libya. Now, we are here, San Antonio.
Our goal is to make this community, state, and country, as a whole,
a better place free from tyrant and corruption.
The bad news is, our leaders are, not our knight in shining armor.
The good news is that, together, as one, we can be our knights in shining armor.
Together, we can be fearless of our unaccountable leaders.
Along with feeding the homeless and less fortunate,
Anonymous has been keeping a close watch on the investigation regarding
the tasering and beating of Pierre Abernathy.
Anonymous, would like you to join us in peaceful resistance as
we speak out against such acts of cruelty and injustice. Together, as one, we
can make our community a much better, and safer, place.
We are the local collective of San Antonio's Anonymous idea. We are here to share our information collected by our local citizens about issues happening in our community that we all know are wrong. We are here to tell the city of San Antonio that we will not stand for the unjust and corruptions. We are here and we will be heard. We the 99% are tired of the 1% corruption and greed.
We are SAnonymous Street Crew
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Expect Us San Antonio, Texas.
Anonymous message to SAnonymous Street Crew: