Greetings. We are Anonymous. A lot has been said over the last few days, however, not all of it was fair or accurate. We would like to set the record straight.
A Message from Anonymous
Published Sun, 12/12/2010 – 22:18
Anonymous is not unanimous. We use the internet as a tool to congregate, communicate, and articulate; but we speak and act with many different voices, in many different places, and it is only the Internet that connects us. As the net has evolved, so have we and our methods.
We are now in the digital age. In the 21st century, technology allows states to be more intrusive than ever, and governments are making the most of these new abilities. In recent years we have witnessed intrusions on privacy that would have been dismissed as dystopian only a few decades ago. Left unchecked by democratic control, and unconstrained by national sovereignty or respect for fundamental human values, the legitimate actions of corporations or governments can easily turn into abuse.
Yet the same tools that facilitate these actions provide us with the ability to fight back and safeguard our rights as citizens. It also gives us the power to expose crime, corruption and government abuse that would otherwise remain hidden. Our campaign to support WikiLeaks is not petty vandalism. Our sole aim is to promote the values of a democratic society for the benefit of all.
If you believe in free expression, a free press, and most of all, a free and open internet, then you too are Anonymous. Our adversaries should question neither our dedication nor our resolve. We are determined to continue the struggle for as long as necessary to achieve our goal.
WHO WE ARE
We are not ‘hackers’. We are not criminals. We are not terrorists. We are not digital vandals to be vilified, nor caped heroes to be lauded. We are everyday citizens, common women and men of a digital world, concerned with protecting basic freedoms. In short, we are you, we are your sons and daughters, your brothers and sisters, your friends and co-workers. Our ranks are made of individuals from many nations and races, unified by digital camaraderie and the knowledge that we fight for the good of the whole and not the greed of the few.
Anonymous is the voice of those who believe in truth, liberty and the freedom of expression. Anonymous believes that it is the small actions of a unified whole that make a difference. Freedom of speech does not fall along national or party lines. We are faceless and nameless, separate yet struggling together for a common cause. We ask you to support us, not for our sake, but for your own. Do not allow governments, corporations, or anyone else to control what you are allowed to see, hear, and think. Censorship will not be tolerated.
A conglomerate of states and global corporations is trying to destroy or silence WikiLeaks. They portray their actions as innocuous, or justify them with dubious appeals to some national interest; on the contrary, the suppression of free speech is harmful to every nation, and every human being. Any institution that seeks to blockade, disrupt or attack WikiLeaks simultaneously attacks free speech, the free press, and other core democratic values. Furthermore, there is absolutely no evidence that any individual has come to any harm as a result of anything released by WikiLeaks, despite some governments’ assertions to the contrary. WikiLeaks is part of the press, and co-operates with renowned media partners as equals. WikiLeaks is a force of good in an increasingly interconnected world – it is our collective duty to protect their right to exist.
To show our support and solidarity for the ideas behind WikiLeaks, and to extend support beyond just mirroring, we started a campaign consisting of the following two steps:
1. Creating Public Interest for Anonymous with Operation Payback:
Some of us have used a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) campaign to draw attention to abuses of power and the criminalization of dissent. Some of us have participated in these attacks, and while we are aware of the severity of those actions, we believe they were in service of a greater good.
Operation Payback aimed at entities having aided in the attempted censorship of WikiLeaks.The carefully chosen targets included Visa, Mastercard, Postfinance Switzerland, and PayPal. No payments or transaction services were hampered. These actions did no permanent damage or physical harm, they merely occupied bandwidth and system resources, acting as sit-in protestors of the digital era.
2. Spreading the Leaks – Operation Leakspin:
We are also working to promote the further dissemination of all WikiLeaks documents. By hosting thousands of mirrors and actively distributing all released materials for easy download, we are ensuring that this information will be read and analyzed by as many people as possible. Operation Leakspin uses the power of many eyes to scour the WikiLeaks cables for under-reported leaks and then publicize them for maximum exposure and effect.
3. [Operation] Truth is Revolutionary
The actions of Anonymous have widely been reported. While they are supported by many, it is also clear that the intentions of Anonymous have often been misrepresented. Some of those who are Anonymous have also raised doubts over our collective goals and strategies. To this end, Operation Truth is Revolutionary aims to bring this debate to the foreground. Anonymous can only be succesful if we are clear on what we are doing and what we hope to accomplish. Like philosophers, those involved with Truth is Revolutionary will provide the theoretical tools for Anonymous action. Like diplomats, those involved with Truth is Revolutionary will explain Anonymous to those not yet Anonymous. And like evangelists, those involved with Truth is Revolutionary will draw people to the Anonymous cause.
Beyond the development, discussion and dissemination of theory, Truth is Revolutionary will serve as a platform for launching campaigns and events (both online and offline). By amassing support and organising protests, Truth is Revolutionary will help the rest of Anonymous turn theory into action, and action into results.
The Internet is a stronghold of freedom in an increasingly authoritarian world. It is capable of connecting and uniting all of humanity by lowering the barriers of language and distance. When we are connected, we are strong. When we are strong, we need not fear tyranny. Governments and corporations are moving against WikiLeaks because they fear our united global power; they fear our ability to demand truth and accountability. Do not forget this.
This is an critical moment for the fate of free speech in our ever-evolving, information-dependent society. These attacks on freedom of expression, if unchecked, will have negative implications for all of mankind. Our peaceful activism will focus on anyone who intends to infringe on the freedoms of speech, information, and expression – regardless of the power they wield. The entities that we campaign against are denying everyone a basic human right. Any person, corporation, government, or other entity that turns against this pattern of censorship, and instead starts promoting freedom of speech, will become our ally. Anonymous aims to educate our opponents rather than harm them; we are campaigning for freedom for everyone, even those who criticize and attack us.
Anonymous urges the people of the world to join us against all forms of censorship, in defense of freedom both online and off. We exist in all societies, on the fringe and in the center. If you search, you will find us, all around you.