Anonymous – A Brief History

With the amount of time they have spent on the news over the last 18 months I think it is safe to assume that we all know about Anonymous. However, how many people really understand how anonymous was first created? I figured that because we all understand online culture in our own way, and maybe some of the students in this class understand more than others. At the bottom of this posting I will be listing a few websites and blogs that you can follow if you wish to keep a closer eye on Anonymous after reading this post.

To start this story off I will have to take you all back to the year 2003, and an old school blog/image board called 4Chan. When 4Chan was first created by Christopher Poole, he intended it to be a place that American teens would be able to congregate to talk about Japanese anime, post messages and images anonymously.

The reason Anonymous has proven to be a power house on the World Wide Web is that fact that they have no real structure that can be attacked. Think of the group as a living organism that takes on new members, and loses member in the same manner that the human body creates and loses cells. Anonymous members have the ability to do whatever they want within the group, and because there is no leadership in the traditional manner, when members are arrested there is no slowdown in the movement.

The ideology of this organization is something that a lot of online users and legal groups have spent a lot of time talking about because of so many things that the group has taken part in. One thing you need to keep in mind is the lack of true leadership. Because the group has no leaders there is not going to be one set of ethical beliefs that will dictate the actions of the group.  So that is why you have heard about Anonymous attacking government organizations, financial, and even raciest websites.

I first started hearing about Anonymous in 2010 because of the controversy of the website Wikileaks. Wikileaks came under attack by the United States because of the information that was posted. And the fact that the U.S. influenced financial institutions PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard to the point of freezing Wikileaks accounts. Anonymous took it as a personnel attack on people’s freedom to free information, and ended up using a Denial of Service Attack (DDOS) to the point that it crashed their websites.

By Robert Tanner

The blog below showcases almost everything Anonymous has done to date, or is planning to do in the near future.


2 thoughts on “Anonymous – A Brief History

  1. I find it interesting how Moot never really intended 4Chan to become what it is today. It’s often cited to be probably one of the most scariest places on the internet to visit; while also being the epicenter of internet culture that we find on other websites. Where I find trouble is differentiating between most of 4Chan and Anonymous. Are they basically one in another? The fact that Anonymous isn’t really structured like anything before it, it makes it hard to address these types of questions.

    My first time that I really heard anything about Anonymous was when they went great lengths to find a teenager who was creating videos of himself abusing his cat Dusty and posting them on YouTube. Anonymous was able to find the teenager’s contact information and reported him to the local authorities who were able to remove the animals from the house and charge the teenager. Sometimes Anonymous can do things that seem genuinely good which is pretty scary for me.

  2. It is quite scary how powerful these people are. They execute these huge attacks together just by communicating over IRC and 4chan. I’ve poked around at 4chan a bit myself and the information I’ve seen people hack is incredible. I mentioned in my own post on the blog that I think these anonymous cyber attacks are going to be the future of cyber warfare.

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