Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Anonymous Getting Ready for the Aug. 8 Big Opening Day

August 8 is the big day for Anonymous. No, I am not referring to the Olympics. I am referring to their claims that they basically will resume their hacking-style attacks against the CoS on that date. They call this "Phase III".

Phase I was supposedly their first wave of DDOS attack against the Scientology web sites, their Pizza prank calls, and the rest in the 4chan panoply. Phase II was supposedly their waves of massive protests. And now Phase III, well, we will see.

In the meantime they are putting their artillery in place, as can be seen by this post in ARS. It asks people to keep a certain page open in the background, it supposedly being the "Chanology Phase III live update page". In reality it contains code that apparently will unwittingly turn your computer into a relay point for DDoS attack.

Anonymous Getting Desperate

Anonymous is getting desperate in view of the dwindling numbers and them being ignored by the press. The trend I already pointed out learning of the Aug 16 theme, "The Return of the Lulz", is being confirmed by two subsequent videos.

The first one, entitled "Reclamation : Phase Three", wants to get channers back and dissociate themselves with tory-like influences that "polluted" project chanology. It also marks a return to possibly illegal and questionable activities such as the ones they engaged in "Phase I" (hacking web sites, prank calls, etc), which anon says will start on August 8 (bad timing if they want media attention, as this is the date of Olympics opening).

Obviously, these elements of anons have decided that the cause for the dwindling number is a disinterest from original channers mostly motivated by Lulz. They want to get them back to get the numbers up again, and so have made a sort of internal purge in the hope that discarding the minority, blamed for the protests failure, will bring back the majority. They also hope that getting into hacking-style activities again will bring back the media attention they enjoyed at the start.

The response however has not been the one they expected, and has created more dissent and schisms from within the movement. So much so that Anonymous had to issue a second video, entitled "Anonymous Message to Allies". In this video, they claims that anybody is still welcome to the protests in spite of activities from the "dark side" of Anonymous that may be pursued in parallel.

The date of August 8, eight days before the protest on August 16, is most probably chosen to get back media attention through hacking-style activities before the protest, and the subsequent hope that this will motivate people to attend the protests again.

By all means, Anonymous feels they have nothing to lose. Their current rating is at an all time low. They have to do something drastic to get the movement going again.

Pity that this something drastic is not an escalate in the quality of their understanding the larger issue, which would bring them to demonstrate about things like the German discrimination in parallel to their demonstration against Scientology. Quite on the contrary, they showed that they in fact support the German discrimination, so it is hardly surprising that the only drastic change they can bring about is one akin to terrorist tactics.

I hardly think that this approach will bring them anything positive. They will just confirm what the CoS and some media accuse them of being, they will increase the schism and division among themselves, and the whole movement may be brought to a halt.

This may be a fitting end to a movement that turned out to be an Internet mob reaction rather than, as the Maxim article has it, "A new dawn of social protest". Much more fitting is a quote from the excellent New York Times article:
"Technology, apparently, does more than harness the wisdom of the crowd. It can intensify its hatred as well."