Sunday, 27th January 2013
HACKER ACTIVIST GROUP ANONYMOUS TAKES OVER US GOVERNMENT WEBSITE – In retaliation over the death of Aaron Swartz, the Co-Founder of Reddit.com, who was hounded by the US Judicial System to, which lead to Aaron taking his own life on the 11th January 2013, the hacker group Anonymous struck the US Government with a vengeance by hacking and taking down the U.S. Sentencing Commission website.
In a statement posted by Anonymous, on the U.S. Sentencing Commission website, it said that a ‘line was clearly crossed’ and went on to say it had already infiltrated a number of other U.S. Government website obtaining secret documents that it is now threatening to release to the public.
It is the view of the Anonymous group that the internet was always about freedom of expression and the spread of information. However, like most things in life, our governments feel they need to control all aspects of our daily lives and have over the years continuously passed new legislation, such as PIPA and SOPA in order to control our activities on the internet.
Before writing this I asked a few of my friends for their opinion about the activities of the Anonymous group and whether what they are doing is right. As I expected the views are mixed, with some fearing that the Anonymous group is out of control, or indeed have too much control – are they any better than our governments for interfering with what is on the internet?
Others feel that the Anonymous are our only form of salvation from the ever increasing legislation and interference from government and their agencies. They are, as some have put it, our collective voice in the fight against tyranny and oppression from our governments.
I personally feel that we are losing the right against our right to free speech, free expression and free information. However, is the Anonymous group the answer to our problems or is this just another form of terrorism and who is to say that if the Anonymous group was to be all powerful that they would not step in and control the flow of information on the internet?
The blame for Aaron’s death, in my view, can be laid directly at the feet of each and every one of us. It is our vote that brings about the formation of government and it is these that create laws on our behalf. We do have a choice, we can simply vote them out, and while we are all fully aware that these will only be replaced with more people who wish to create laws that affect our lives, we cannot miss the fact that we have no control of the Anonymous group; they are a collective that simply, in its view, are fighting for our rights against an oppressive government.
While it is nice to see some people care passionately about our rights and deeply about the loss of a bastion of the free internet, Aaron Swartz, I feel cautious that I have no say on what activities they engage in, in the process of allowing me, and billions of other internet users, the right to use the internet freely.