Haven’t updated this blog in a while but I’m all snuggly at home on a quiet, chilly night, watching a repeat of ‘Midsommer Murders’ (on modern day witchcraft – ooh, spooky!) that I can vaguely remember seeing before, so I thought I’d add in a few notes…
Parmy Olson of Forbes (@Parmy) has written a book – We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec – which has drawn some strong responses from the Anonymous movement. A case in point:
@AnonHistory : > If you need a fucking book to understand #Anonymous – lurk moar and learn yourself. Don’t trust some outsider’s opinion.
Weeeelllll, @Parmy is one of the few ‘outsiders’ (along with @BiellaColeman) to have lurked moar in Anonymous related IRCs & forums since the late 2010/early 2011 online explosion. And, unlike others looking to make a quid off the movement, she’s done so by quietly building relationships & not expecting ‘special treatment’.
[Unlike a certain documentary film-maker I could mention who came into an #AntiSec channel I was chanop of, with a former, demoted, chanop, &, despite my requests to move to the #reporter channel for a Q&A, exhibited an overactive sense of personal entitlement by expecting all ongoing discussion to cease. And, even worse IMHO, did not disagree when his arrogant protector implied that we should feel honoured by the opportunity & attention – as he clearly did.]
So, while I haven’t read it, I give @Parmy her due for time-served in research & a decent attitude.
Amazon details are here – http://www.amazon.com/We-Are-Anonymous-Insurgency-ebook/dp/B007BGQ9A6
Cryptome has excerpts – http://cryptome.org/2012/05/liar-q-wl.pdf & http://cryptome.org/2012/05/sabu-anon-lulzsec-assange.pdf – & the index – http://cryptome.org/2012/05/we-are-anon-index.pdf
There are also a few promo bits floating around you might like to read:
- Interview with The Verge – http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/7/3070945/parmy-olson-inside-anonymous-five-minutes-on-the-verge
- New York Times coverage – http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/books/we-are-anonymous-by-parmy-olson.html
- Longer excerpt at Salon – http://www.salon.com/2012/06/03/anonymous_strikes_back/singleton/
One of the other criticisms from Anons of @Parmy‘s book, touched upon in some of her media puff, is the issue of divisions & infighting within the #Anonymous movement.
I like longtime IRC Admin Evilworks philosophy: ‘Anonymous is a self-correcting entity’.
If Evilworks had his way there’d be no chanops on Anonymous IRC. Everyone would fight it out, totally uncensored, until only the strong survived. Until, of course, the next round of infighting began.
I’m a moralfag, as I’ve said before, but I’ve also seen some very committed no-censorship types accept that there do need to be some rules. If, for no other reason, to help avoid networks being shut down through pedos posting & sharing CP (most Anonymous IRCs have a rule of that type because it does happen).
But, more broadly. I agree with Evilworks. Just as an Op either does or doesn’t receive support, infighting within Anonymous – private or public – is one of the mechanisms that helps to shape the movement, to keep egos in check & determine future direction. Anonymous creates its own heroes with the Twitter follow count &adoration to match. And then, just as ruthlessly, it tears them down, rips out their entrails & smashes their bones to dust.
That’s Anonymous … a self-correcting entity.
And, besides, the infighting has always been there. I’m an old newsgroup anti-Scientology bod (pre-Chanology). I first encountered Anonymous through its on & offline anti-Sci work. The more early months of ‘Paypal’ onwards was formulating during the time I was homeless – living in my car, shelters & temp housing – but I was able to keep up enough through Libraries & cheap net cafes to see how that fighting didn’t so much divide as created the movement. And that was all before I became more directly active under this nick.
Yes, its painful but only if you loose sight of the context. Infighting in Anon is infighting between individuals, or ideas held by individuals, and – at the most basic level – individuals do not exist in Anonymous. Infighting is only truly problematic if you value the interests of an individual – yourself or another – above the interests of the movement. And, to be honest, if you do then maybe Anonymous isn’t the place for you?
That applies just as equally to namefags & moralfags as pedos who think their ‘right’ to share CP should be allowed on Anon IRC networks. Anonymous replies: ‘You are not important. What you want is privileging the individual above the many. What you want will put us all at risk. Your request is denied.‘
Some people just don’t get that.
But @Parmy does and she should get bouquets, not brickbats, for informing the world of a unique Anon strength.
As for the rest of the book …. as said, I haven’t read it, but I doubt Topiary would have given her the time of day (and, even on that score, he could be a cunt straight off if he was in the mood) let alone give numerous interviews & share documentary evidence if she was a complete tosser.