Anonymous methods put into question

Posted on Wed 16 February 2011 in news

I'm just amazed how popular Anonymous actions are becoming lately. In fact, I can easily recall how most of the people I know had never heard about Anonymous until a few months ago. The big hit came with the attacks against Wikileaks' opponents, aka "Operation Payback". With this action, Anon gained international presence and all major news sources echoed their movements. Normal people, i.e. computer [l]users, became aware of the power of Anon, or at least learned what it was all about. Not long after that, and with some actions in between, Anon was again on the news for the HBGary hack, a huge comeback for those who thought that Anon was made of a bunch of script kiddies.

This brings us to today. Well, actually it was a few days ago, Saturday the 12th, when Anon decided to strike back and fight for animal rights. In this case the issue hit me close, a few kilometers away from where I live, and the feeling of closeness made it more real; as real as when Anon showed up around my city to declare its anger against Julian Assange's arrest. In this case it's about a blogger who divulged on the internet how he'd tortured a puppy and was happily and eagerly announcing his plans to kill a lot more. Sickening to say the least. Information is all over the web, most of it in Spanish, even though the anonymous action was carried out globally.

This is Anon's headquarters for "Operation Dog Fight". You should be able to find any further info yourself. If you're not, then maybe you will hear about it from your favorite news site. The expanding interest on the issue hasn't stopped yet, filling up blogs and forums all over the place, and I don't think it'll stop until those responsible are brought forward. The case is under investigation by Spanish police forces, so it should be a matter of time. Meanwhile, you may want to help. Visit some of the Facebook pages or forums and find a way to collaborate, but please read the following first.

In all these sites where details about the possible suspect were shown, there were always voices asking for caution. The fact that popular movement helps a cause is undeniable, but we have to consider the possible implications of all this. What if Anon's crosshair was aiming in the wrong direction? Think of the psychological damage this can cause. If you're the targeted victim, expect to receive threatening calls, spies around your house and whatnot. It seems this is what happened in this case, although I am not completely convinced. Anyway I will not talk about those specifics here. What I want to question is if Anon is following the right way when it comes to find those responsible.

Screen Capture from

Certainly, gathering information on the suspect is the first course of action, but it's the exposition of all this personal info on public sites where Anon might not be doing its best. This has to be done in a way, that once all the relevant details are gathered, the information is passed onto law forces, so they can continue their investigations. This is what many voices were asking on sites and forums, this is what in the end forced many to withdraw all the private info from blogs and forums. It could get to the point where all that personal information made public might actually help the suspect in court. Being perfectly cautious and discreet will not always be possible, of course, and should not be taken as a rule of thumb, but then again, in democracy and law, we expect to be innocent until proven otherwise, right? After all, we want justice, we do not forgive and we do not forget.