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A Message from Anonymous to the World

December 10, 2010

(This article is re-posted from Infoshop.)

Greetings. We are Anonymous. Due to the misconceptions being propagated, we are setting the record straight.

Anonymous is a diverse collective of individuals focused on securing freedom of speech and information worldwide. Our intent is not to disrupt without cause, but to protect the Internet from the tyranny that government and corporate agencies are now seeking to impose on it. We do this not for ourselves, but to assert the rights of the freedom of speech and information globally. We ask you to support us, not for our sake, but for your own rights. Do not allow governments, corporations or the media to control what you are allowed to see, hear and think.

Many in the media have painted a distorted image of what Anonymous is. The Constitution of the United States is said to be a living document because it can be amended to suit the changing needs of the American people. In that same spirit, Anonymous is a living culture of people and ideas; a growing, shifting entity. Anonymous is any individual, regardless of nationality, gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, or creed. Anything attributed, credited, or tagged to Anonymous is rarely based on any consensus of us as a whole–we operate through a democratic meritocracy of ideas, and we follow our own consciences convictions rather than any leader. Anonymous seeks to stand up for truth and transparency and we ask you as an individual, a media organization, or government, to do the same.

During the American Civil Rights movement, activists conducted sit-ins to prevent access to businesses in non-violent protest against segregation. People were certainly inconvenienced and angry as a result, but those non-violent protests were essential to the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Today, many businesses of the world live on the internet, and so the protests too, must move online. Our DDoS attacks are virtual sit-ins, aimed at those entities that have aided in the censorship of information. These actions do no permanent damage or harm: we merely take up bandwidth and system resources, like protestors filled the seats of Woolworth’s lunch counters.

This particular campaign, Operation Payback, is a response to the actions taken against WikiLeaks. A number of the world’s most economically and politically powerful institutions have attempted to destroy the credibility of this organisation and to remove it entirely from the Internet. This repression is done in the name of protecting national interests, but it is actually a way to protect those who are guilty of destroying transparency in an attempt to conceal their own misdeeds from the public. There is no evidence that any individual has come to harm due to the information released. WikiLeaks operates with the co-operation of several press outlets, and have attempted to discuss what should be released with the state department to no avail. It is due to this concerted effort to suppress them that we are standing up for their freedom.

The Internet is the final stronghold of freedom in this increasingly authoritarian world. It is capable of connecting and uniting all of humanity, removing the barriers of language and distance. When we are connected, we are strong. When we are strong, we need not fear tyranny. This is why governments and corporations are moving on Wikileaks. They fear our power when we unite globally; they fear our ability to demand justice. Do not forget this.

This is a historically important moment for the fate of free speech in this emerging information society. These attacks on freedom of expression will have important implications for the future. Our peaceful activism will focus on anyone who intends to infringe on the freedoms of speech and information, 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 starts promoting freedom of speech instead, will become our allies. Anonymous wants to educate our opponents rather than hurt them; we are campaigning for freedom for everyone, even those who criticize and attack us. Anonymous’ campaign does not intend to harm the individual citizen, any organization, any website, or government that supports true freedom of speech.

Anonymous urges the people of the world to join in the fight against all forms of censorship, in defense of freedom both online and off. We exist on the fringes of society, both online and off, but if you search for us, you will find us. We will end this note with a final message for those who still intend to continue their campaign against the human rights of freedom of speech, freedom of expression through the press, and freedom of information:

We are Anonymous.

We are Legion.

Join us.

 

2 Comments leave one →
  1. mike lloyd permalink
    December 12, 2010 2:30 pm

    I like how this doesn’t express uncritical support for the WikiLeaks founder given that he is accused of sexual assault. Focusing on the larger ideal of free exchange on the Internet is better.

    It’s also nice that it doesn’t just trumpet and glorify the actions of one white male, as is usually the case in these circles.

Trackbacks

  1. A Message from Anonymous to the World (via Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy) « The Wobbly Goblin

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