Anonymous Returns: Is the Hacktivist Group Still Feared?
In case you have not heard, the hacktivist group, Anonymous made a return recently. But are they still feared?
After being on hiatus for a considerable amount of time, Anonymous made a return announcing to the world that they will not sit quietly. The hooded figure wearing the Guy Fawkes mask spoke against the incident that severely affected Minneapolis with the police brutality that resulted in the death of George Floyd by an ex-officer, Derek Chauvin.
Anonymous’ Message Regarding the Incident
In the video, the hooded figure stated that police brutality and murder has become a massive problem throughout the United States, affecting almost all jurisdictions. The figure went on to explain that the Minneapolis police department is the worst of the lot, especially taking into account how it has a terrible track record of corruption and violence.
George Floyd’s death at the hands of Derek Chauvin resulted in national outrage and protests, but this was just the tip of the iceberg. The figure clarified there were numerous other cases that resulted in wrongful deaths in the state.
The message was clear, US police officers who stand with perpetrators of violence and stay silent, are no different from the people that carry out acts of violence themselves. The video then comes to a conclusion stating that Anonymous will expose the many crimes of US police departments from 29 May onwards.
A day after the video was posted, the Minneapolis police department’s site was taken down, allegedly by none other than Anonymous. While it can be confirmed that the site was in fact down around 3 PM IST, there is no proof that Anonymous was actually behind it.
Anonymous Threatens Individual Government Bodies
Apart from what was stated, the following sentences were included in the video;
“Civil servants who kill people and commit crimes must be convicted of crime like us. Otherwise, they believe that they have a document that they can do what they want. You will argue that only a few bad cops have tarnished all the good cops’ names, but what happens if these bad cops commit crimes against people and you who refuse to punish those bad cops while other good cops stop there?
People are tired of this corruption and the violence of this institution, which has promised to protect people. After the events of the past years, many people began to understand that you are not here to protect us, but to suppress us and fulfill the wishes of the criminal ruling class.
You are here to keep people in control, not to keep people under control. In fact, you are the mechanism used by the elite to maintain the global pressure mechanism.
The world is now starting to open its eyes, and every blood spilled without a consequence makes people even more angry. These officers should be punished with criminal charges, and especially officer Chauvin should be prosecuted for murder. Unfortunately, we do not trust your corrupt justice system, so we will reveal the crimes you committed. We are a big group. Wait for us.”
Should Anonymous be taken Seriously?
Anonymous is one group that should not be taken lightly. Take into account their biggest hacks and achievements, and how they have operated successfully over the years, there is no way these threats should be ignored.
Anonymous started with Project Chanology fourteen years ago, where the group targeted the Church of Scientology for three months for its corporate-like behavior. In the later years, the group started targeting companies that preserved copyrights, claiming these companies oppressed freedom of speech. Aiplex was one such company that was targeted by Anonymous for its use of DDoS attacks against torrenters.
Eventually, the group moved to a whole new playing field, where it started Operation Payback. Their goal was to target art studios and movie production houses in the US, not excluding copyright protection groups. Their operations only grew from thereon, and they were quite successful in taking down the likes of the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, United States Copyright Office, and others. Their objectives were clear, they wanted a free and unrestricted internet.
On the other hand, Anonymous played a vital role in Julian Assange’s cause. They vocally supported WikiLeaks and took action actions those who attempted to take down WikiLeaks in the form of cyber operations. Out of all the corporate entities affected the most PayPal took the biggest hit. To put things into perspective, Anonymous cost PayPal a staggering $5 million. Anyone who did not support WikiLeaks led to the reveal of private and confidential documents and emails conspiring against the founder of WikiLeaks.
The hacktivist group then went after Sony for denying hackers to find flaws in its popular console, the PlayStation 3. They compromised over 100 million accounts and even went as far as taking down the PlayStation Network. Moreover, the group has also been quite vocal against child pornography, racism, and homophobia; managing to take down numerous figures in the process. If that was not enough, the group has even taken action against the KKK, revealing details of its members.
Taking Anonymous’s track record into account, it goes without saying its recent threats should not be ignored. While their actions make them vigilantes, they are the result of a corrupt and unfair system. The only way to do away with such a group is for policymakers to ensure they do not continue making the same mistakes again while ensuring things are transparent as possible for US citizens.