Good evening, NATO.
We are Anonymous.
It has come to our attention that a NATO draft report has classified Anonymous a potential “threat to member states’ security”, and that you seek retaliation against us.
It is true that Anonymous has committed what you would call ‘cyber-attacks’ in protest against several military contractors, companies, lawmakers, and governments, and has continuously sought to fight against threats to our freedoms on the Internet. And since you consider state control of the Internet to be in the best interest of the various nations of your military alliance, you therefore consider us a potential threat to international security.
So we would like to make it clear that we, in reality, pose no threat to the people of your nations. Anonymous is not a reckless swarm attacking the websites of governments and companies out of hatred or spite. We fight for freedom. For ourselves, and the people of the world, we seek to preserve the liberty granted to the millions of people who have found it on the Internet.
In your draft, you mention the “data intelligence company” HBGary Federal, and how they were hacked by Anonymous. You use this as justification that we are a threat. What you conveniently fail to mention is that HBGary itself was engaged in illegal activity, including but not limited to: being contracted by the United States Chamber of Commerce to spy on & discredit unions and progressive groups, being contracted by the Bank of America to launch a campaign of misinformation against Wikileaks and it’s supporters (going so far as to blackmail journalists), developing a new type of Windows rootkit to spy upon individuals, and developing astroturfing software that could make an army of fake social media profiles to manipulate and sway public opinion on controversial issues.
That this company which “tries to protect the US Government from hackers” was partaking in such illegal activity against ordinary, uninvolved citizens, whether it be for “the aid of security” or not, is completely disgraceful and utterly unacceptable.
We care not whether the actions we have taken in this struggle have complied with laws of the United States or any other country. What your lot fail to understand is that we live in cyberspace. The only laws that apply are the laws set forth by our individual consciences. We break your nations’ laws when we recognize those laws to stand between the people and their freedom.
Anonymous is not simply “a group of super hackers”. Anonymous is the embodiment of freedom on the web. We exist as a result of the Internet, and humanity itself. This frightens you. It only seems natural that it would. Governments, corporations, and militaries know how to control individuals. It frustrates you that you do not control us. We have moved to a world where our freedom is in our own hands. We owe you nothing for it. We stand for freedom for every person around the world. You stand in our way.
We hope you come to see that your attempts to censor and control our existence are futile. But if this is not the case, if you continue to object to our freedoms – we shall not relent.
We do not fear your tyranny. You cannot win a battle against an entity you do not understand. You can take down our networks, arrest every single one of us that you can backtrace, read every bit of data ever shared from computer to computer for the rest of this age, and you will still lose.
So come at me bro. You can retaliate against us in any manner you choose. Lock down the web. Throw us in prison. Take it all away from us. Anonymous will live on.
We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Anonymous would like to remind you that the government and the people are, contrary to the supposed foundations of “democracy”, distinct entities with often conflicting goals and desires. It is Anonymous’ position that when there is a conflict of interest between the government and the people, it is the people’s will which must take priority. The only threat transparency poses to government is to threaten government’s ability to act in a manner which the people would disagree with, without having to face democratic consequences and accountability for such behaviour. Your own report cites a perfect example of this, the Anonymous attack on HBGary. Whether HBGary were acting in the cause of security or military gain is irrelevant – their actions were illegal and morally reprehensible. Anonymous does not accept that the government and/or the military has the right to be above the law and to use the phoney cliche of “national security” to justify illegal and deceptive activities. If the government must break the rules, they must also be willing to accept the democratic consequences of this at the ballot box.We do not accept the current status quo whereby a government can tell one story to the people and another in private. Dishonesty and secrecy totally undermine the concept of self rule. How can the people judge for whom to vote unless they are fully aware of what policies said politicians are actually pursuing?
When a government is elected, it is said to “represent” the nation it governs. This essentially means that the actions of a government are not the actions of the people in government, but are actions taken on behalf of every citizen in that country. It is unacceptable to have a situation in which the people are, in many cases, totally and utterly unaware of what is being said and done on their behalf – behind closed doors.
Anonymous and WikiLeaks are distinct entities. The actions of Anonymous were not aided or even requested by WikiLeaks. However, Anonymous and WikiLeaks do share one common attribute: They are no threat to any organization – unless that organization is doing something wrong and attempting to get away with it, or violating the rights of the innocent.
“Thus, not everything carried out under the “transparency label” is necessarily good for the government and its people. Moreover, the very ideal of transparency can also force public figures to become more secretive. The Information Age and its transparent nature may, for example, prevent diplomats from conducting “business as usual” such as making off-the-record statements or engaging in frank discussions with their colleagues. It also increases pressure on decision makers, who have to identify, assess, and react to information, which is immediately and widely accessible to other governments, organizations, as well as the public. This is an unnecessary and possibly dangerous pressure, especially when it comes to the issues of security.”
^^^ The bit which pissed me off
“Democracy without transparency is not democracy. It’s just an empty word.” – Kristinn Hrafnsson