June 3, 2012

What's your password?

This link should be required reading for anyone who uses the internet.

An excerpt on Salon from what looks to be a fascinating book by Parmy Olson, it's about the group Anonymous. Whatever you want to call them (and good luck even defining 'them') - hackers, hacktivists, thugs, geniuses - watch what happens when a self-annointed 'cybersecurity expert' gambles, and loses. Big.

I'm writing a piece on bullying right now, and it's interesting that my time out from that was this piece. Is Anonymous a bully? I dunno. I'm having a wickedly hard time reconciling what has happened to the world economy due to the bullying and lying and outright degenerate behaviour of supposed business and political 'leaders'. I'm leaning towards loving that this crew handed this stupid fool his butt on a platter.

Corruption, both legal and illegal, has destroyed millions of lives. This piece is a brilliant peek into the what's really behind the curtain: not much. Wikileaks changed the landscape, and it looks like the internet really is the next wild west. It's going to be interesting to see who rides into town.

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Anonymous Zena said...

I dunno.

As much as it's nice every once in a while to see guys like this get their comeuppance (vikileaks was pure poetic justice), I think a lot of these anonymous guys just like to wreak their own havoc. They justify their methods by claiming to expose corruption for the sake of the greater good, but I don't think their motives are any more pure than the people they go after.

Adopting the suspect methods of one's enemies taints one's own integrity.

How's that for pie-in-the-sky idealism...

June 03, 2012 11:41 PM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

Zena. I couldn't agree more. You almost took the words right out of my mouth (which you really shouldn't do. You never know where my mouth has been. Even I don't know, sometimes.)

I think these people figure that an ideal world is like an ideal marriage. "I promise I'll never lie to you, honey. No secrets, right?" Well I'm sorry. When your spouse says "Does this dress make me look chunky?" and your only way out without lying is to say "compared to what?" you're in a lose-lose situation. You have to lie to keep the peace.

The end does not necessarily justify the means.

June 04, 2012 9:57 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Bah. I disagree with both of you. Nicely, of course.

I'm so sick to death of 'experts' in the government making decisions that are leading countries off the rails, and doing it SECRETLY.

Too many people have lined their pockets at the expense of millions and millions of people like me. And you. They weave their secret criminal deals (banking regulations, anyone?) and present them as 'good'. Good policy, good law, good governance. And we all know it's not.

We have a government trying to pass giant bills with all sorts of heinous things buried in them. Because we are too stupid to care? No, because we are being shut out of the process. Did you know they've stopped the inquiry into the F35 debacle? First they blocked who would be questioned. Then they blocked public input. Now it's all over.

Sorry. But no way do I think governments and organizations that are sucking up my money to reward rich owners while children in this country are going hungry deserve to carry on. If the MSM can't or won't go after them, and traditional oversight organizations (RCMP, Elections Canada etc) are being handcuffed or curtailed or outright crossed out of existence, I welcome whatever it takes to restore some sanity to our supposed 'democracy'.

Will they go too far? Probably. But so have our institutions. We're a bunch of sheep.

June 04, 2012 10:27 AM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

I agree with you completely. Zena was always a bit of a zealot and I just agreed with her because her last name is Anonymous.

Not true. I think there's a happy medium. Although these days it's not so happy. I agree that people like Harper and Madoff should be neutered and set out to pasture with a bunch of bulls who haven't made whoopie in 10 years. But I also think that anonymity is creating just as many monsters. People can say anything about any one (including you and me) and never have to prove a thing. And the internet makes it true. No questions asked. Like the priests that scream the loudest at prostitution and are then found to have done horrific things to choir boys, I predict Wiki and Anonymous will end up being found to have done worse things than the people they are now accusing.

And besides... I just had to use that "compared to what?" quip. It makes me laugh.

June 04, 2012 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Zena said...

Ha, ha - gawd I love you guys!

I actually do share your enormous frustration, Lorraine (and wasn't it Bruce Cockburn who put it so succinctly in his song "If I had a rocket launcher"...?). But history is replete with examples of the cure being, if not worse than, then pretty darned close to it, the original disease. And it's always the innocent bystanders who suffer the aftermath.

Somehow this whole Anonymous thing seems set up to fall prey to the same levels of corruption and greed as our governments and corporations. There are so many nasty, self-serving people out there - a psychopath is still a psychopath no matter which side of the road they're walking on.

I'd feel happier if there were actual people with faces and names who were willing to stand up against the establishment. Lots of them. Unfortunately, most Canadians, at least, are asleep in the back seat, content to let someone else do the driving, under the naive belief that they have the public's best interests at heart.

And we know how well that turned out for Princess Dianna...

June 04, 2012 4:52 PM  

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