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Are Hackers The Last Hope To Prevent A Totalitarian State?

This morning we awaken to the news that the shadowy hacker group Anonymous has hacked a federal government sentencing site and perhaps stolen an enormous amount of confidential information. They did so to avenge the suicide of Reddit founder Aaron Swartz, who they claim was hounded by federal prosecutors contributing to his sense of loss and despair. 

This comes in the s…

  1. DocJay

    I find it amusing, but they are not the last line of defense. They are more like an emotionally disturbed kid who is taking his anger out on your enemy for once instead of you.

  2. Brian Watt
    DocJay: I find it amusing, but they are not the last line of defense. They are more like an emotionally disturbed kid who is taking his anger out on your enemy for once instead of you. · 0 minutes ago

    Granted that a statue of a hacker in his underwear sitting in front of computer terminal wouldn’t exactly conjure up the same emotion or patriotic fervor that the Minute Man statue does…but the effective outcome from their efforts may be the same. :-)

    MinuteMan.png

  3. Doc

    The hackers broke the law and I’m sure there will be consequences.  I’m not convinced that Reddit was innocent in the first place. But I felt a small sense of satisfaction.  Perhaps I am misguided, but I thought to myself, if the government continues to abuse power and usurp the constitution, at least there are people out there that know how to fight back.

  4. Schrodinger

    Hackers can be the modern equivalent of the French resistance fighters.

    But, at present I think they are mostly disgruntled youth.

  5. raycon and lindacon

    Disgruntled youth (DY) are generally among the first to join the front lines once there is actual fighting.  Perhaps all hackers are not DYs.  There might actually be some folks of patriotic stripe who have spent years exercising a prescient knowledge of what it will take to defeat a modern tyranny.  Of course, they would also be smart enough to keep it to themselves.

    Brian, you are correct in your intuition.

  6. James Of England
    DocJay: I find it amusing, but they are not the last line of defense. They are more like an emotionally disturbed kid who is taking his anger out on your enemy for once instead of you. · 34 minutes ago

    And like most emotionally disturbed kids, they’re generally supporters of tyranny rather than its opponents. This is one of the more underrated elements of Liberal Fascism, and is widely demonstrated in many areas that Jonah did not touch.

    These are the people who supported naming informers in Afghanistan and exposing innocent housewives to the worst horrors of the Taliban. They are amongst the most evil abusers in America, and any plausible threat to American liberty and/ or decency would find find allies in them.

  7. BrentB67
    Doc: The hackers broke the law and I’m sure there will be consequences.  I’m not convinced that Reddit was innocent in the first place. But I felt a small sense of satisfaction.  Perhaps I am misguided, but I thought to myself, if the government continues to abuse power and usurp the constitution, at least there are people out there that know how to fight back. · 9 minutes ago

    I think the Brits said the same thing about the men who signed the Declaration.

  8. BrentB67

    Agree with James here. It is romantic and fun to cheer them on, but this is not an organized group with a focused long term objective. They are more like a bunch of hand grenades that can go off in a government office just as easily as a pre-school.

    There is no immediate threat or retaliation for their actions so they can be directed anywhere at anyone for any reason.

    There may be another revolution coming and cyber warfare will certainly be a part of it, but I am not sure we want order restored by the hackers.

  9. Donald Todd

    Hackers are not the last hope of this country.  Loosing anarchy is not a sign of hope.  Whether they hack my bank info, a secure company site, or the government, they cannot generate justice.

    Putting one’s hope in hackers is misguided.  

    If one wants to work toward saving this country, one might act as Breitbart did, or support a Breitbart-type of activity, noting that such are now occurring on the web.

    Getting the truth out publicly, without endangering one’s self to jail time, would seem a much better methodology than hacking possibly erroneous information, placed there for just such an occasion as a hacker, in order to throw the hunt in the wrong direction.

    Why would anyone put wrong information where a hacker could hack it and even make it public?  Why indeed?

  10. KCRob

    Anonymous may hit a target now and then that provokes a chuckle and secret approval on the right but I don’t think a bunch of hackers are the ones to dictate policy. It’s mob (in)justice and I don’t yet think we need the mob deciding what is and is not a crime or what should or shouldn’t be secret. Sometimes things are secret for a good reasons not obvious to the outside.

    Sad but true: a lot of government abuses wouldn’t happen if the media did it’s job.

  11. Brian Watt
    Donald Todd: Hackers are not the last hope of this country.  Loosing anarchy is not a sign of hope.  Whether they hack my bank info, a secure company site, or the government, they cannot generate justice.

    Putting one’s hope in hackers is misguided.  

    If one wants to work toward saving this country, one might act as Breitbart did, or support a Breitbart-type of activity, noting that such are now occurring on the web.

    Getting the truth out publicly, without endangering one’s self to jail time, would seem a much better methodology than hacking possibly erroneous information, placed there for just such an occasion as a hacker, in order to throw the hunt in the wrong direction.

    Why would anyone put wrong information where a hacker could hack it and even make it public?  Why indeed? · 30 minutes ago

    Are all hackers engaging in unlawful activity? Do any work for Internet security firms?

  12. Paul Dougherty

    Hackers are the true warriors in our culture. Not only are they the coolest, but they are the smartest and most benevolent of people to have emerged from mortal man. 

    That’s spelled P-A-U-L  D-O-U-G-H-E-R-T-Y

  13. michael kelley

    All rallies begin with short covering.

    Don’t underestimate the rabble.

    Go Anonymous.

  14. Mr. Bildo
    Douglas

    Zafar: In an information age hackers are more effective against tyrrany than small arms held by citizens.

    Did small arms set off the Arab Spring or did Bradley Manning?

    [edited to add: oh wait he wasn't a hacker, was he....] · 3 hours ago

    Edited 2 hours ago

    No he wasn’t a hacker. But he and the Anonymous folk do have something in common. They’re nothing but an old movement with a new name. They’re anarchists. And anarchists have almost always allied with the left, and, when push comes to shove, supported the leftist inclination for government tyranny.  · 2 hours ago

    My personal experience being around these types since the old BBS days tells me you are correct.

    Even now when I go to programmer conferences they are dominated by leftists and anarcho-leftists. If there are any libertarians or conservatives, they are deeply closeted. 

  15. Donald Todd

    Brian Watt:  #11 Are all hackers engaging in unlawful activity? Do any work for Internet security firms?

    If this is something that you know about, you might tell me.  I am not pretending to be the end-all for this subject. 

    My own impression is that hackers  bilk lots of money from innocent people, and as noted above “out” people who should not be outed.

    When you do respond to this, I have a question:  What companies or governments would Internet Security firms have the right to hack?

  16. John Walker

    How about “open government” or “transparency”?  Not the platitudes the politicians perpetually prattle about, but the real thing?

    The taxpayers are funding the work product of Leviathan.  So why shouldn’t they be able to see what they’re paying for?  Every E-mail sent or received by a government employee, every telephone conversation made on a government telephone line, every document produced and distributed within a government agency should be made available to the taxpayers for their scrutiny.  This might seem daunting in volume, but it’s actually modest compared to the firehose Google swallows every day.

    Of course, there would be exemptions for diplomatic and military communications, but those constitute a small fraction of the output of the beast.

    The rule would be that if it’s something that could be obtained by a FOIA request or in discovery in an open trial, it should go on the feed as soon as it’s written.

    They want to snoop on us?  Let’s see how they like it themselves.

  17. Brian Watt
    Donald Todd:Brian Watt:  #11 Are all hackers engaging in unlawful activity? Do any work for Internet security firms?

    If this is something that you know about, you might tell me.  I am not pretending to be the end-all for this subject. 

    My own impression is that hackers  bilk lots of money from innocent people, and as noted above “out” people who should not be outed.

    When you do respond to this, I have a question:  What companies or governments would Internet Security firms have the right to hack? · 0 minutes ago

    I found this to be interesting.

  18. Brian Watt
    Brian Watt

    Donald Todd:Brian Watt:  #11 Are all hackers engaging in unlawful activity? Do any work for Internet security firms?

    If this is something that you know about, you might tell me.  I am not pretending to be the end-all for this subject. 

    My own impression is that hackers  bilk lots of money from innocent people, and as noted above “out” people who should not be outed.

    When you do respond to this, I have a question:  What companies or governments would Internet Security firms have the right to hack? · 0 minutes ago

    I found this to be interesting. · 0 minutes ago

    And this.

  19. Mister D

    Wouldn’t the fact the courts overturned Obama be an argument in favor of doing things through the proper, established and legal channels? We may have come from revolutionaries, but they were revolutionaries only after exhausting all the non-violent options available to them. Much as I want to, I am still finding it very hard to side with the anti-government figures in this drama.

  20. Brian Watt
    Brian Watt

    Brian Watt

    Donald Todd:Brian Watt:  #11 Are all hackers engaging in unlawful activity? Do any work for Internet security firms?

    If this is something that you know about, you might tell me.  I am not pretending to be the end-all for this subject. 

    My own impression is that hackers  bilk lots of money from innocent people, and as noted above “out” people who should not be outed.

    When you do respond to this, I have a question:  What companies or governments would Internet Security firms have the right to hack? · 0 minutes ago

    I found this to be interesting. · 0 minutes ago

    And this. · 0 minutes ago

    And this.

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