Anonymous (group) Anonymous (used as a mass noun) is a loosely associated international network of activist and hacktivist entities. A website nominally associated with the group describes it as "an internet gathering" with "a very loose and decentralized command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives". The group became known for a series of well-publicized publicity stunts and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on government, religious, and corporate websites. Anonymous originated in 2003 on the imageboard 4chan, representing the concept of many online and offline community users simultaneously existing as an anarchic, digitized global brain. Anonymous members (known as "Anons") can be distinguished in public by the wearing of stylised Guy Fawkes masks. In its early form, the concept was adopted by a decentralized online community acting anonymously in a coordinated manner, usually toward a loosely self-agreed goal, and primarily focused on entertainment, or "lulz".
“Homeless hacker” Commander X quits Anonymous, retreats to robot lab Last year, I traveled to Canada to write a long profile of "homeless hacker" Christopher Doyon , who goes by the name "Commander X" and who is on the run from the US government. (Doyon brought down a California county's website for 30 minutes, with the help of Anonymous, as part of his protest over an "anti-sleeping" law targeting homeless people; he is under indictment in the Northern District of California and is the only known Anon who has jumped bail to live "in exile.") Doyon's life has been by turns bizarre and dramatic, but last week the online drama surrounding Anonymous proved too much even for him—and he quit. Now, that's saying something, because Doyon—as I mentioned—has his own flair for the dramatic. Here, for instance, is how he sums up his work with both Anonymous and his own group, the People's Liberation Front (PLF): I have been an activist for 30 years... PLF had ZERO financial support, ZERO support from Commanders & members. So what's left for him? OK then.
Bahraini uprising (2011–present) The Bahraini uprising is a series of demonstrations, amounting to a sustained campaign of civil resistance, in the Persian Gulf country of Bahrain. As part of the revolutionary wave of protests in the Middle East and North Africa following the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia, the Bahraini protests were initially aimed at achieving greater political freedom and equality for the majority Shia population, and expanded to a call to end the monarchy of Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa following a deadly night raid on 17 February 2011 against protesters at the Pearl Roundabout in Manama, known locally as Bloody Thursday. Protesters in Manama camped for days at the Pearl Roundabout, which became the centre of the protests. After a month, the government requested troops and police from the Gulf Cooperation Council. On 14 March 1000 troops from Saudi Arabia and 500 troops from UAE arrived in Bahrain to quell the protests.
ReZoAnonymous (AnonymousVideo) Commander X Quits Anonymous and Hacktivism Commander X, aka Christopher Doyon, one of the more flamboyant – if not exactly the most powerful – "members" of Anonymous, has had enough of the loose organization and has officially quit the movement along with the People's Liberation Front, an activist group made up mostly of him. Despite his penchant for drama and exaggeration, or perhaps because of it, he has been a central figure in the Anonymous movement, if only by inspiring others to do the actual work.His involvement though has cost him a lot. He is essentially homeless and has been living in Canada for the past months, after evading police in the US, where he's wanted for taking down a California county website as part of an online protest. "In the past few years, in order to support this 'Commmander [sic] X' persona I have sacrificed my family, my freedom, my home—and even my country. I will never regain these, I will die as a man without a family or country," he explained in his final message.
Bahrain - Al Jazeera - News Radio AnonOps • Guaranteed eargasms Anon on the run: How Commander X jumped bail and fled to Canada “You scared?” asks the fugitive in the camouflage pants as he sidles up to our pre-arranged meeting point in a small Canadian park. He wears sunglasses to hide his eyes and a broad-brimmed hat to hide his face. He scans the park perimeter for police. “Cuz I’m scared enough for both of us.” It’s a dramatic introduction, but Christopher “Commander X” Doyon leads a dramatic life these days. And it goes like this. Cease fire On December 16, 2010, at exactly 12:30pm, Doyon issued a typed order into an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) room used by the hacker collective Anonymous. Doyon unfocused his attention from his laptop screen and looked up at the coffee shop around him. “It dawns on me… this isn’t Paypal or MasterCard,” he tells me when we meet in Canada. He stepped out of the coffee shop and onto Pacific Avenue. So Doyon hopped a bus that took him into the mountains 20 miles outside of Santa Cruz proper, where he hiked up to the “pot camp” he called home for the moment. Attack and retreat
What I Learned in the Airport in Bahrain Bahrain International Airport. (Photo: monkeymanforever)Bahrain International Airport - When I came to Bahrain, it certainly wasn't with the intention of spending my whole time in the country in the airport. I wanted to see what was going on in the country, not to see what was going on in the airport. But the Bahrain authorities would not let me enter the country. At this writing, it's 5 PM local time. Other observers managed to get in, and you can see their reports at Witness Bahrain. However, I did learn something useful, sitting in the airport, waiting with a bunch of other foreigners for permission to enter the country. I learned that the government of Bahrain is starting to pay a real price for its efforts to shield its actions toward peaceful protesters from international scrutiny. I saw a bunch of very irate British people this morning who said they had been invited by Bahrain's oil company to give a marketing presentation. But it's a package deal. And we don't need the base.
Dan Howell Stratfor emails reveal secret, widespread TrapWire surveillance system It looks like Anonymous’ strategy of focusing more on the impact and dissemination of already leaked information, rather than continuing to go for quantity, is really starting to pay off. Analysis of Stratfor leaks reveals that former senior intelligence officers have installed a detailed surveillance system “more accurate than facial recognition technology” across America. Working from a secretive base in North Virginia, Abraxas has developed a programmed called “Trapwire.” RT reports: Every few seconds, data picked up at surveillance points in major cities and landmarks across the United States are recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence. Some are theorizing that the recent DDoS attacks on WikiLeaks may be from Stratfor or a related shadowy organization.
Film Review: Bahrain, Shouting in the Dark (Image: Al Jazeera English)During the democratic uprisings that began in the Arab world in 2011, the entire world has focused on Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and now Syria. On February 16, Bahrainis participated in what the Qatar-based television station Al Jazeera has called a “secret revolution,” one that was “abandoned by Arabs, forsaken by West and forgotten by the world.” With no international reporters in Bahrain to capture the uprising, Al Jazeera documented, in trembling closeness, the courage demonstrated by the Bahraini protesters, and then the horrors and bloodshed that ensued once the ruler’s forces commenced their attack. This timely and inspiring footage, which ultimately tells a disheartening story, can now be seen in the new documentary Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark. Bahrain is a small island situated near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. In the aftermath of the protests, the Bahraini government severely cracked down on the activists.
2013 protests in Turkey The 2013–14 protests in Turkey started on 28 May 2013, initially to contest the urban development plan for Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park. The protests were sparked by outrage at the violent eviction of a sit-in at the park protesting the plan. Subsequently, supporting protests and strikes took place across Turkey protesting a wide range of concerns, at the core of which were issues of freedom of the press, of expression, assembly, and the government's encroachment on Turkey's secularism. With no centralised leadership beyond the small assembly that organized the original environmental protest, the protests have been compared to the Occupy movement and the May 1968 events. The sit-in at Taksim Gezi Park was restored after police withdrew from Taksim Square on 1 June, and developed into an Occupy-like camp with thousands of protesters in tents, organising a library, medical center, food distribution, and their own media. Background Events leading up to the protests