Skip to main content

View Diary: Don't F*ck with Anonymous, You'll get Pwned. (267 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  the fact that BofA has not had to answer for it... (7+ / 0-)

    ... is the root source of this entire stinkypoo in the first place.

    And people who don't brag about doing stuff get away with it.  

    As for attacking PayPal, and people not having Christmas, I'll quote the immortal Dr. Seuss:

    Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
    Maybe Christmas, he thought, means a little bit more.

    You and I both know that consumerISM is what's causing the climate catastrophe, and addiction to convenience is part of it. But that's a whole 'nother subject for another diary.  

    Anonymous is going through a learning curve.  They're getting politicized.  This has serious potential, and it deserves support and the kind of input that can hone it into something that's powerful and politically effective on a broad scale.  

    •  Maybe Christmas means being able to feed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      your kids. I'm saying it was a dumb move. You don't attack commerce sites. I'm certain there's plenty of people in Anonymous saying the same thing.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 11:13:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How'bout sit-ins? (6+ / 0-)

        Arguably a DOS attack is no different than a sit-in.  

        For that matter, arguably a sit-in is a form of DOS attack.

        PayPal and the credit card companies cut off transactions to Wikileaks when Wikileaks had not been indicted or charged with any crime and was therefore innocent under the law.  

        They attacked an innocent party.

        And someone else attacked them right back.  

        There's a certain symmetry to that.

        The day I see the kind of equal justice under the law that has Wall Street fraudsters being perp-walked for having crashed the whole fucking economy, is the day I'll take issue with Anonymous attacking PayPal.  

        Until then, it's hooray for the small guys going after the big guys.

        These skirmishes are going to escalate into a war until and unless there's some real justice in the form of serious prosecutions of bigwigs.  

        •  Not exactly... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fishgrease, Bill W, Deep Texan

          ...the sit ins at lunch counters in Birmingham were specifically geared to demand service. The freedom rides were specifically geared to demand equal service.

          A "denial of service attack" is exactly that - it denies someone the opportunity to provide a service.

          That's a pretty important difference.

          "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

          by grannyhelen on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 05:25:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  as for the rest of what you're saying... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fishgrease, Deep Texan

            ...the tit for tat, "they did it first", "f*ck with us and you'll get pwned" stuff I'm reading in the thread has little to do with nonviolence.

            Another important difference.

            "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

            by grannyhelen on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 05:27:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  it's self-defense and deterrence. (0+ / 0-)

              Deterrence, the willingness to defend oneself, keeps the peace.

              It may not accord with the classic Christian and Gandhian definitions of nonviolence, but its intended effect and its practical outcome are to deter aggression.  

              And if you'd rather that they adopt the "turn the other cheek" version, rather than tit-for-tat, say so.  

              But according to empirical results of experiments performed under the aegis of "game theory," which studies these issues, "tit-for-tat" is the surest way to stop the dynamic of aggression and prevent it recurring.  You can choose your opinions but you can't choose your facts, and the fact is, tit-for-tat works.  

          •  One other difference... (4+ / 0-)

            I find the comparison to lunch counter sit-ins kind of offensive in a way. The people staging those sit-ins were engaging in civil disobedience and they were voluntarily risking arrest and worse in the interest of their cause.  They didn't sneak around at two in the morning and epoxy the locks of all the stores they were targeting. They proudly walked in, sat down, and demanded to be served.

            •  Yes. The *lack* of anonymity (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bill W, Deep Texan

              is something that is also necessary to achieve nonviolent social change.


              "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

              by grannyhelen on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 06:29:45 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No. That's one tradition out of many. (0+ / 0-)

                It tracks all the way back to Jesus being willing to die on the cross to absolve humanity of sin.  

                The Christian and Gandhian tradition of suffering and sacrifice as the path to absolution is one tradition out of many.  It is not the only tradition, nor is it the most effective under all conditions.  

                Consider the Underground Railroad, and the labor movement in the early 20th century.  People who conducted slaves to freedom did so anonymously, in the dark of night (literally), and without seeking arrest.  The labor movement was a mass movement whose members were largely unknown, even as their spokespeople stood up and very often died for it.  

                Those are just two that come to mind off the top of my head, and there are many more where those came from.

                The bottom line is, what is effective?, and what can be done without violence?   Blocking a server is no more violent than blocking the entrance to a building.  And it is certainly effective.  

            •  That's a tactical question -- not a principled (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, mkor7


              Publicly identifying yourself can be very effective when you're trying to get others involved -- it shows a lack of fear.

              But the history of say union organizing is full of people who acted semi-anonymously -- that also works sometime. I saw plenty of covered faces in Tahrir in the first few days -- and yet it still worked.

              There isn't a universal rule -- trying to make them up post-hoc to justify hating on folks you dislike for other reasons -- is the usual empty posturing, often by folks who want to have their cake and eat it too. They love the disrupters of the past -- as long as they're safely in the past and not a current threat to their position.

              •  Amen to that. And also... (0+ / 0-)

                ... it's easy to demand that other people put themselves at risk for their values.  Most of those demands come from people who are safely removed from the down-and-dirty.  Usually it's in the form of grownups insisting that kids put their bodies on the line.  Sometimes it's in the form of people who are very materially comfortable demanding that others endure various forms of extreme discomfort including loss of freedom to imprisonment.  

                That stuff doesn't wash.  Tactics need to evolve to meet the historic circumstances in which they are used.  DDOS is one of those tactics in this new world of ours.  

            •  OK, try this: (0+ / 0-)

              The quick & dirty version is, reading these comments convinced me that I used a less than ideal analogy.

              The more accurate analogy is to a PICKET LINE.

              As for willingness to face arrest, that is useful under some conditions but not all.

              Should the protesters in Egypt have all gone quietly to the dungeons?

              And how'bout sixteen year old BOYS who will be tried as ADULTS and then moved to adult prisons at age 18 where they'll be RAPED?

              Are you saying it's not a valid protest unless teenage boys are willing to risk getting the proverbial 6 train up the ass?

          •  No, it's not -- the goal of the sit-ins (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, mkor7

            wasn't to get service. Who really gave a crap about access to one sucky-ass deli or other? Very few of the folks at the sit-ins could even afford to go to these lunch-counters with any regularity.

            It was one tool of economic disruption to end segregation laws -- segregation at hotels, which did matter to do business; segregation in schools, government contracts, housing -- things that matter.

            Fuck -- what do I care about where in the bus I have to sit? I care about having an equal opportunity to drive the bus.

            There's a real world out there -- and non-violence is refusing to use violence, it's not BS kumbaya crap. Gandhi wanted the Brits out -- he wasn't tying his hands with worries about "oh noes -- the poor cotton factory workers in England are undergoing a DDOS attack!"

            The question is simple -- do the ends justify the means? Answering that is hard, but there's no simple-minded answer to it, no automatic set of rules and policies to decide that.

            It's perfectly fair to say that the danger posed by BofA doesn't rise to the level of economic disruption -- but to say that economic disruption is never justified is theological nonsense.

            •  Nor am I talking about morality or justification. (0+ / 0-)

              I'm talking about legality, and also the probability that anyone will care enough to hunt you down.

              Attack a commerce internet site, you're probably going to prison.

              Anonymous said don't fuck with them. World governments said, oh yeah?

              It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

              by Fishgrease on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 07:31:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Who doubts this is illegal? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Really -- where did you get that strawman?

                •  No one doubts it's illegal. (0+ / 0-)

                  Find where I said that. Or, just continue to throw words like "strawman" around like they actually mean something wherever you decide to use them.

                  Anonymous presented itself as more powerful than world governments. Look at the title of this diary.

                  Anonymous isn't powerful and no completely anonymous entity ever will be. There has to be a responsible party, a named individual or individuals for anyone to be taken seriously. Neither can people who attack commerce sites remain anonymous. Someone involved is going to get caught. In fact, they did.

                  It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

                  by Fishgrease on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 08:44:32 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  with all due respect.... (0+ / 0-)

                    You probably are not aware of the entire body of theory under the headings "global guerrillas" and "open-source insurgency," bit you need to be aware of that stuff.  

                    Look at 9/11:  Sixteen guys with box cutters and half-assed flying lessons were more powerful than the United States government.

                    Look at the IED war in Iraq:  Poverty-stricken nameless, faceless people with scavenged materials were more powerful than the United States military.  This one I know up close because I was involved in the effort to design anti-IED technology before the damn things were called IEDs in the first place.  I predicted that it would be a losing battle, for technical reasons that should be easy to discern now in retrospect.  That was the first true open-source insurgency in the modern sense of the term.  

                    For that matter look at the Viet Cong.   That was before my time but none the less, the lesson is well known.  

                    Those are three examples from overt warfare (9/11 counts as a military-grade attack by a subnational group).  

                    The same general paradigm of grassroots leaderless organization, association by memes, open-source spread of strategy, tactics, and techniques, and the use of modern communications infrastructure to gain global support for a cause: that paradigm can apply as easily and as well to nonviolent struggle as it can to warfare.  

                    Tell me this:  Should we continue to organize by postal mail and phone tree?   Should we continue to spread the word by printed "underground newspapers"?   Should we only take donations in cash?  

                    The blunt fact is that strategy, tactics, and techniques, have to evolve with the times.  This is natural selection at work: the competition of evolution, just as it occurs in wild nature.  The predator grows sharper fangs, the prey gets sharper eyesight; the predator runs faster, the prey learns evasive maneuvers.  And in this case, the prey had darn better learn how to turn the tides and go after the predator, and defeat the predator entirely.  

                    Otherwise we may as well give up and put the proverbial apple in our collective mouth, and lie down in the sauce pan waiting to become someone's dinner.  

              •  so is every member of Anonymous in prison now? (0+ / 0-)

                When a bees' nest is attacked by a bear seeking honey, the bees swarm to defend it, and some of them get swatted by the bear.  But most of them get through to deliver a good sting.  

                Humans, unlike bees, can deliver a sting from a keyboard where they won't die as a physical result of using their metaphorical stinger.  Along the way some get swatted.  But most do not.  

                And if we don't take on the monster that's raiding our collective nest seeking to take all the honey we have, we are going to find ourselves in a state of poverty and desperation that most of us can barely imagine right now.  And if you doubt me, look up pictures of streets full of foreclosed houses, and look up the current stats from the food banks.  That is only the beginning.  

            •  nonviolence is *more* than refusing to (0+ / 0-)

              use violence - it is using direct action to achieve a specific goal to forward the cause of social justice. And it doesn't end with the direct action - there is negotiation after that to achieve the just end. Nonviolence refuses to dehumanize one's opponent, and it allows one's opponent to come to reconciliation without being humiliated.

              None of that is achieved by the sentence: f*ck with us and you'll get pwned.

              Regarding this:

              do the ends justify the means?

              King answered that question here:

              So, if you’re seeking to develop a just society, they say, the important thing is to get there, and the means are really unimportant; any means will do so long as they get you there? they may be violent, they may be untruthful means; they may even be unjust means to a just end. There have been those who have argued this throughout history. But we will never have peace in the world until men everywhere recognize that ends are not cut off from means, because the means represent the ideal in the making, and the end in process, and ultimately you can’t reach good ends through evil means, because the means represent the seed and the end represents the tree.


              You may not agree w King, or with Gandhi, or with the philosophy of nonviolence in general. You may feel a little violence is necessary for social change. That's fine - others have thought the way you do (John Brown being a notable example).

              But the question of the ends justifying the means is not within the nonviolent philosophy. If that question is even on the table, you cannot claim that you are using the nonviolent philosophy to achieve social change.

              "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

              by grannyhelen on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 07:51:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Except none of those men would (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                have given that simplistic gloss that you give it.

                Neither MLK nor Gandhi would have said that it's a priori obvious that economic disruption is "unjust".

                The philosophy of non-violence is not that the ends never justify the means -- just that some means (violence) never result in good ends.

                But keep on giving us the kindergarten version of MLK and Gandhi, it's a nice way to justify the status quo regardless, by saying you're either elementary-school MLK or your John Brown cutting throats.

                This is why the right wins -- because we have so many folks turning activist resistance into passive acceptance, turning complex political figures into Christian saints. This is the history of resistance movements over the centuries -- being turned into "safe" movements for the new orthodoxy.

                •  I actually never said that (0+ / 0-)

                  economic disruption is "unjust" - that's something you keep saying that I said. I never actually made that statement (nor would I agree with it).

                  Please, don't take my word on what nonviolence is. Please just read some King.

                  Here's some helpful links in addition to the one I provided to you above:




                  Some youtubes I've found helpful:



                  Finally, if you can get your hands on a used copy of "Where Do We Go From Here: Choas or Community" by MLK it's worth the seeking (last time I checked it was still out of print - hopefully it'll be reprinted soon at some point).

                  I like your passion, but I respectfully disagree w your take on nonviolence.

                  "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

                  by grannyhelen on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 08:31:05 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What are you saying then? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    All I keep on seeing is "I didn't say that... or that... or that..." -- except that's what you keep on saying, that "disruption" is a basis to criticize.

                    What "is" non-violence? Well -- there are quite a few different schools, and at the end of the day, even MLK doesn't get a final say -- particularly from his propaganda statements which are necessarily incomplete as they were effective statements, and not intellectual discussions. The history of non-violence goes back much, much farther -- if you want to argue tactics, that's fair. But if you want to come down as the authority on "The Principle" -- well, I'll simply stop here rather than letting you have it.

                    And please -- avoid the tone trolling about my "passion". I don't point out that I find your tone dry and lifeless -- I assume that you have a different background from me, where your tone is full of passion, relative to your community. Taking about someone else's "passion" with undertones of "too passionate" aways runs the risk of running into "illogical hysterics" -- with the history that those frames have.

                    •  I'm not trying to troll your tone, dude (0+ / 0-)

                      it was meant as a complement, but honestly I think at this point nothing I say will be read by you as a positive thing.

                      At that point I don't see how communication can happen.

                      Second...I'm unclear what you mean by MLK's "propaganda statements". I've studied quite a bit of King and I'm unaware of that phraseology used to describe what he was doing - either in activist or in academic circles.

                      I've given you links and references to what I feel are some solid sources for how King viewed nonviolence. Read them or not - I put them out there b/c I honestly didn't want you to just take my word for something.

                      Have a good day.

                      "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

                      by grannyhelen on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 08:57:58 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Again, it depends on the tradition in which... (0+ / 0-)

                .... you are working.

                Gandhi and King were one tradition, with roots going all the way back to Jesus.  

                That is not the only one.  

                So please do not insist that there is only one correct path of nonviolence.  That is like asserting that there is only one correct religion.  

                But while we're talking about Gandhi and King, I want to bring up another in the Christian tradition:  Bishop Desmond Tutu.  The father of "truth and reconciliation."  

                To my mind, truth & reconciliation is one of the greatest leaps forward in the evolution of peace in human societies, since Moses stood up for lawfulness, Jesus stood up for love, and the Prophet Mohammed stood up for giving conquered peoples the option of monotheism rather than abject slaughter.

                Tutu, in my view, stands with Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, in terms of being not just a revolutionary but a real peacemaker.  Without his guidance, the end of Apartheid in South Africa could have been a bloodbath.  With it, the change came as peacefully as it could possibly have come.  

                And the lesson of truth and reconciliation, is this:

                After you have won, after you have power, you are morally bound to treat your defeated oppressor in the same manner as you would have wished to be treated were the tables turned and the places reversed.  You are morally bound to treat your defeated oppressor humanely, perhaps even with a measure of kindness.  

                So let's do that.  Let's have the truth and reconciliation hearings.  Let's have them for the banksters and fraudsters, the treasonous financiers who destroyed the economy and brought our country to its knees, the murderous insurance executives who killed countless numbers using murder-by-spreadsheet, the climate denialists with a future three-hundred-Hitler holocaust of catastrophic human dieoff on their hands thanks to the inaction they have forced upon us.  

                Let's have the truth and reconciliation hearings for all of them.  

                Perhaps even for Jared Loughner and Al Qaeda if we are truly consistent, though of course they and some of the others will still need to be confined to prison to protect us from their ongoing danger.  

                Let's have those hearings.

                AFTER we have defeated those oppressors.

                NOT one moment sooner.

            •  Amen to that too! (0+ / 0-)

              The danger posed by BofA, Goldman, and all the rest of them:  

              That danger as we have already seen, ended up crashing the economy, throwing people out of work, throwing them out of their homes and onto the streets, and killing an untold number of them in the process for example when their employer-based health insurance was cut off and they couldn't afford life-saving prescriptions.  

              That was violent as hell.  Remote-control violence with plausible deniability.

              And if we knew in 2008 what was going to happen as the outcome of all of it: fraudsters going unprosecuted and collecting multi-million-dollar bonuses of taxpayer money, while millions of people were shredded by the economy: frankly that would have justified a public response quite a bit stronger than what happened in Cairo.  

          •  They were demanding service... for wikileaks (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            These commerce sites denied service to wikileaks for purely political and ideological reasons.

            •  ooh, good point. (0+ / 0-)

              The white kids at the counter at Woolworth's weren't demanding service for themselves as much as for the black kids who they went with.  

              But Woolworth's refused, and the rest, as they say, is history.

              Now let's make us some history!

          •  nope. those sit-ins, and others... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            .....blocked access by the usual clientele, and in many cases were deliberately intended to do so.  

            And what do you call a PICKET LINE?

            That's a DOS attack if ever there was.  

        •  All that takes is a note on your contract. (0+ / 0-)
          PayPal and the credit card companies cut off transactions to Wikileaks when Wikileaks had not been indicted or charged with any crime and was therefore innocent under the law.  

          Paypal can refuse service to anyone, just as you can if you're a chimney sweep. Wikileaks can be as innocent as the day is long. That doesn't give anyone the legal right to attack a commerce site, in any way. Not believing me on that is unwise.

          Attack a commerce site, go to jail. Simple.

          And as to why Paypal shut off Wikileaks, that's also simple. They had governments coming to them and saying, you can be Wikileaks friend or our friend, not both. And it wasn't just the USA. This, those governments have every legal right to do, and Paypal has every legal right to react as they did.

          I'm not saying what's moral, because I'll be damned if I know that. I'm saying what's legal. What will land people in prison. If Anonymous has an upper-echelon, they can't want that.

          It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

          by Fishgrease on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 07:28:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So if Paypal decided, we're not going to serve (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            people with blue eyes, because we don't want to anymore. You'd be OK with that? You wouldn't think that was discrimination?

            It's not about legality. It was perfectly legal for businesses to deny service to black people during the segregation era.

            •  Nicely said: it was completely legal for.... (0+ / 0-)

              ... businesses to deny service to black people during the segregation era.

              And our predecessors brought an end to that by blocking the lunch counters, blocking the doors, picketing and protesting visibly and less visibly, some of them getting murdered along the way and most being as anonymous as Anonymous, and almost all of it running afoul of what then was considered the law.

              Eventually with enough pressure, the law was changed.  

              See also my reply to Fishgrease, below your reply above.

          •  So if the phone company shuts off your phone..... (0+ / 0-)

            .... because they don't like who you talk to, are you OK with that?

            "Oh, but I can get a different phone company."

            How'bout the electric company shutting off your power?

            "Oh, but I can call up that solar company and get photovoltaics." (Not if you're a renter you can't!)

            What we are insisting on here, is that these global financial transaction processors be treated in the same manner as any other monopoly or oligopoly utility service:  yes, required to serve anyone who can pay the bill and has not been convicted of a crime.  

            Yes, that's socialism.  So is the progressive income tax and the public option.

            And in this bizarre political climate where a Democratic president's economic policies are to the right of a Republican fifty years ago (Eisenhower), a little bit of socialism is a damn good remedy.  

            To paraphrase Jaron Lanier entirely out of context, a homeopathic dose of socialism.    A dose that's diluted by an order of magnitude, in comparison with the real thing.

            Because even if that dose only has a placebo effect, it will still be most salutary compared to the degenerative disease of unfettered capitalism that has infected our country to the point of draining its strength and crippling it.  

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site