Author Topic: The New COINTELPRO: Cyberwarfare 'hacktivists' and the Subversion of Anonymous  (Read 2154 times)

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Offline Symmetry

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The New COINTELPRO: Cyberwarfare 'hacktivists' and the Subversion of Anonymous

Wed, 31 Aug 2011

In recent years, a new form of activism has cropped up on the Internet. With their numerous 'leaks' and 'ops', groups like WikiLeaks and its 'hacktivism' off-shoot known as 'Anonymous', have achieved major mainstream media exposure. With V for Vendetta's character 'V' as inspiration, youths the world over are rallying behind the idea that "something is terribly wrong with this country" and are letting everyone know via anonymous protests, online hacktivism against groups and organizations they see as part of the problem, or the support of the revolutions taking place in Egypt, Tunisia, and elsewhere.

The rise of Internet hacktivism comes with a price however. From 'home-grown terrorists', we now have the potential for 'home-grown terrorist hackers' and major Western governments and media corporations have wasted no time in touting this new angle in the 'war on terror'. The Economist, for example, described cyberwarfare as now "the fifth domain of warfare," and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, William J. Lynn, stated in 2010 that "as a doctrinal matter, the Pentagon has formally recognized cyberspace as a new domain in warfare . . . [which] has become just as critical to military operations as land, sea, air, and space."

The real potential problem with the rise of 'hacktivism' however is the potential for such groups to be infiltrated by government operatives and their righteous agendas diverted to serve the agendas of the US government and military. While nominally directed against hostile foreign powers, cyberwarfare is very much COINTELPRO's baby brother. Just as the so-called 'terrorist' threat has crept closer and closer to home, with the propagandistic association between social dissidence and the threat of 'homegrown terrorism' being increasingly stressed, cyberwarfare has increasingly targeted those citizens who take a critical stance against the crimes of current corporate, economic, military and political powers. After all, the only way to stifle dissent against crimes and corruption that are so systemic and obvious is through information warfare: propaganda. Cyberwarfare and 'hacktivism' are therefore likely to play a central role in 21st century COINTELPRO.

 :-\
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