Saturday, February 19, 2011

Information Warfare: The Next Revolution Will Be On the Internet - Literally

Well, it had to come sometime. In the great space of the internet, creating the widest form of free expression interconnecting the world (and maybe beyond someday), somebody had to come forward and claim to be the revolutionary forces of the internet, freeing information to people everywhere in the name of - well, it is hard to tell exactly what that cause is except free flow of information. They call it "global correction":

Anonymous and the global correction

Terminology, let alone our means of exchanging information, has changed to such a degree that many essential discussions in today's "communications age" would be entirely incomprehensible to many two decades ago.

As the social, political and technological environment has developed, some have already begun to explore new options, seizing new chances for digital activism - and more will soon join in. It is time for the rest of the world to understand why.

This is a letter written by someone calling themselves "anonymous" as is the name of the loose organization of internet "activists" who are hacking their way across the globe. He or she says it is for "great justice":

In this case, the idea that a loose network of people with shared values and varying skill sets can provide substantial help to a population abroad is seen as quixotic - or even unseemly - by many of those who have failed to understand the past ten years, as well as those whose first instinct is to attack a popular revolt rather than to assist it.
Well, there is only one problem with that...what if popular revolts turn into oppressive regimes supported by a mass of the population (hence, a majority over the minority or in some political ideology that is itself simply oppressive)? Is anonymous going to be around to attack this new government or are they going to leave it alone because it has popular support of some kind of majority and, of course, they helped to install it they think in their collective minds?

The writer says that they now have something to believe in, but their belief sounds nearly nihilistic as in there is nothing good beyond the popular of the moment to reach for.

The letter is somewhat self congratulating and egotistical with little self-introspection as to whether they are really doing good or bad in their efforts. What should be most concerning to any organization is the last statement that gives the basis of their apparent "manifesto":

This is the future, whether one approves or not, and the failure on the part of governments and media alike to understand, and contend with the rapid change now afoot, ought to remind everyone concerned why it is that this movement is necessary in the first place.

So, for the sake of actual interfacing (we call it dialogue in the real world), if any anonymous hacker would care to answer, how do you determine what is good and what is bad when deciding who you attack in the virtual world?

Is Al Qaeda good if it is advocating "freedom" for Islamists to institute "true" Islamic government in Islamic countries who would do so through "revolution" supported by a "popular" movement of a large group of believers, good?

If Communism, one of the worst oppressive political ideas with a murderous history in every country that it was instituted in, was to suddenly arise again as a mass popular movement (as it was originally installed) claiming to provide "justice" and representation for the people, would anonymous be supporting that movement?

Let's be real here. Nothing is absolutely good, but there is definitely worse and down right horrible. What ideology is anonymous expressing beyond, what sounds like, some serious self congratulations over participating in events from a distance and threatening anyone that doesn't meet some group think idea of "justice"?

Anonymous? Anyone?

PS...please don't hack me for asking questions otherwise you will be in violation of your own expressed idea of freedom of information...or whatever it is.

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