‘One man's criminal is another man's freedom fighter’ – Anonymous, EXCLUSIVE interview, part 2
Anonymous: Below are the second set of questions and answers. As with the last batch, the answers must be attributed to "Anonymous".
Robles: "What is the underlying philosophy of Anonymous?"
Anonymous: Freedom. And the defense of the Internet because it is the greatest tool of liberation in the history of humanity.
Robles: "What would you say to people who say you are criminals?"
Anonymous: What would I say to them? I would shrug and decline the semantic argument. One man's criminal is another man's freedom fighter. Whichever label you choose to attach to us says far more about you than it does Anonymous.
Robles: "Please describe the decentralized nature of Anonymous, why there are no official spokespeople and why this is the case?"
Anonymous: The journalist Quinn Norton really summed it up the best. Anonymous is a "do-ocracy". Certain individuals within the collective will simply start an action or operation and based on how well they sell it to the collective that is how big it will become. Other times a trigger event, such as a massacre or brutal repression of a protest somewhere or the arrest of some prominent freedom of information figure will catalyze the collective and bring key organizers together to plan an operation.
As for the why, that should be obvious. If you tag individuals with the "official" label you paint a big target on them. There is also the anarchist ideal of horizontal decision making involved as well. Our strict adherence to the decentralized concept is one of our greatest strengths.
Robles: "Can you discuss some of the attempts by intelligence agencies and law enforcement organizations to infiltrate Anonymous?"
Anonymous: For law enforcement, the most effective way to penetrate Anonymous is by capturing and then subverting an active known participant. Probably the most well known case of this was the very famous compromise of a popular Anon known as "Sabu". Depending on the influence of the individual "turned", the damage to the movement can be severe - as was the case with Sabu.
As for intelligence agencies, their goals and methods are quite different. There is probably not an intel organization on earth that is not trying to actively penetrate Anonymous. And this is not at all difficult, as we are a very open movement that encourages mass participation by the public. But rather than try and subvert us for the purpose of capturing Anons, the "spooks" are looking for information. Where better to find it than hanging out with "information activists". Depending on who the intel people work for, they might not even be at cross purpose with Anonymous.
Robles: "Can you tell us about the death squads that are hunting Anonymous members and about contracts that have been put out on Anonymous?"
Anonymous: Well known Anonymous organizers are threatened with physical violence on an almost daily basis. We have been threatened by former US Secret Service agents, the secret police in various mid-east countries - and those strange breed in the USA known as "Guardians Of The Republic" or "Patriot Hackers". Then you can also add the random deranged individuals from all over the world. We took on the Zetas drug gang in Mexico last year, and there are a number of outstanding threats and contracts from that confrontation.
Any group or movement that takes action against powerful entrenched interests is going to get this sort of thing, it comes with the territory. But it's not just those involved with Anonymous directly that are in danger, any journalist or academic who takes an active interest in us will also quickly become a target of threats.
Robles: "Can you give us any specifics about FBI/CIA/MI-6 attempts at getting at your people, influencing Anonymous and infiltration etc?"
Anonymous: I think I answered this question above. But I would add that it is not just western intel and law enforcement that are after Anonymous. I would be VERY surprised if Russian agencies were not looking into us. And certainly mid-east and Israeli agencies are very interested in our activities. Turkey in particular has tracked down and arrested quite a number of Anons in that country.
Interpol, the EU - Brazilian agencies. Pretty much ever intel and law enforcement group on the planet at this point is looking closely at Anonymous. With the recent launch of Op Vatican you could even add to the list those vaunted Swiss Guards!
Robles: "Why are your members ready to put their lives on the line for the cause?"
Anonymous: Because somebody has to do it. In every generation, individuals must step forward into danger in order to do battle with the forces of tyranny. Oppression and the greed for power are perennial, which is why revolution must be perpetual.
Robles: "Can you go into some of the steps that the US Government and other governments have gone to in order to control and censor the flow of information?"
Anonymous: Lulz. You could write a book and not cover them all. That is why a project like WikiLeaks and other disclosure platforms are so vital. The use of "national security" to over classify information, primarily to hide corruption and wrong doing - would be one of the biggest techniques.
Another way, and one that is of great concern to Anonymous is the misuse and abuse of copyright laws to impose defacto censorship. Another technique that Anonymous has most prominently been involved in circumventing the past few years is government attempts to filter or shut down the Internet around the world.
Robles: "What is the Anonymous position on the media, on copyrights, on file sharing and on content?"
Anonymous: Our position is that the value of an idea to humanity is more important than it's authorship. Copyright laws, especially since the UN mandated DCMA treaty - are being used towards two very destructive ends. First, these laws are used to enrich a very small group of incredibly wealthy and powerful publishing interests and "artists". And second, these laws are increasingly being subverted for the purpose of censoring dissent.
Robles: "What are some of the other events that are being planned in the context of project Mayhem?"
Anonymous: The release of TYLER. Massive global street protests. The disclosure of "secret" information that will be seriously embarrassing to governments around the world.
Robles: "What country in the world does Anonymous feel has the freest system in the world?"
Robles: "What is the Anonymous position/opinion on the Russian Federation, the Russian net, and the flow of information to, from and within the Russian Federation?"
Anonymous: Russia is a modern and relatively free democratic country. And like all nations its size it has problems, it has issues. And some of those issues are of concern to Anonymous…