Anonymous – Good or Bad?

October 25, 2011 at 6:55 am by

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You may have heard that the hacker group known as Anonymous has attacked a hosting company that is alleged to host links to child porn sites. The group put the host server offline twice, despite the company’s best efforts to stay online.

Anonymous managed to penetrate several Darknet sites and were able to obtain a list of sites hosted by the company in question. They also published details of over 1500 users.

Is this a good thing?

Your first response may well be ‘Yes’ – but let’s think for a minute. While I’m sure we all applaud their intentions, are they helping or hindering?

Yes it’s good that over 40 sites hosting child pornography were taken offline. What about the list of users? Could Anonymous have put undercover law enforcement operations in jeopardy? And what about the victims themselves? What about the children? Will this affect them? Will they be placed in even greater harm? What will happen now that politicians become aware that Darknet sites even exist? Will the freedoms of the Internet become restricted? Is that a price we are all willing to pay – especially if it stops child exploitation?

I don’t have any answers, but it’s worth thinking about all the angles before we rush to applaud Anonymous.

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  • Herkus

    There is never any justification for breaking the law.  That goes for Anonymous and Obama.  What is right or wrong has to be decided by a process of democratic choice and the wishes of the majority put into legislation. If Anonymous are right then so are all terrorists.

  • Elkar

    Wow Herkus!  Just Wow!!  You seriously believe that the American Revolution should never have happened?  Rosa Parks should have stayed at the back of the bus?  Bertram Cates should have just kept his mouth shut?  Really???  NEVER any justification?

    Now, that doesn’t mean I think Anonymous is justified in their actions.  I believe their cause is worthy, but their methods could use some more thought.  They may be bringing unintended consequences because of their actions which will ultimately hurt their cause.  But, they are helping to bring some much needed attention to some matters that desperately need it.  Technology is advancing rapidly and our political and legal systems aren’t prepared to keep up. Only History will tell if they are justified or not.  They may all be arrested and ultimately forgotten, or they may be what the world needs to help wake the masses and bring it into the 21st Century.  Probably somewhere in between, but you can’t be so black and white in your thinking.

  • Ody -Chan

    Thanks for the article Glas. I learned about Darknets because of it. This is what I’d say is a case of ‘internet vigilantism’ because that’s what Anonymous and other groups have become (internet vigilantes). I don’t always agree with their methods but they have unparalleled potential for righteous action with just cause.

  • Thummmper

    good for anonymous- they remind me of deniro’s character in the movie “Brazil” [Terry Gilliam]
    A for initiative.

  • Wolfen1086

    As long as they hack into sites that hos child porn, then I say good on em. Its well known on the Internet my feelings about stuff like that, but just for anybody who doesn’t know my name is Wolfen, I trace my ancestry back to Vlad Tepes and if I EVER get my hands on a child molester or child porn producer, well….I have three dogs, I know what to do with the body. I have more respect for a islamic terrorist than somebody who hurts children in any way.

  • Octaneman

    There is no clear definition that what anonymous did was wrong. Even before the Internet was conceived, there has always been those darkest corners of every city where very few dare to enter its a world that is very exclusive. Child porn sites is like the hydra a mythical creature that once you sever one head another one takes its place, even law enforcement agencies admit that they do not have enough manpower and resources to devote to policing the underground. Publicly people denounce anonymous actions as vigilantism privately they applaud it. I have no sympathy for Internet companies that host such filth on their servers, as far as I’m concerned hackers can burn them to the ground.           

  • Anonymous

    This better be anonymous…

    Firstly, I would like to say that I have loved reading all of these new TSF articles. Anyway:

    I personally do not support Anonymous. I was an abused child when I was younger, and although my abuse was not quite at the level as all the horror stories you read, it was certainly bad enough. When I am older, I want to work for the law enforcement to help deal with these cases. From my perspective, the law enforcement do an excellent job (they tracked me down for one thing), and I reject any slow down of the law enforcement. But what long term aim has Anonymous actually achieved? Slowed down the law enforcment in their job? Scared away a few pedophiles for a few days, yet again slowing down the law enforcement? This doesn’t seem like success to me. I don’t agree with the methods or meaning of Anonymous.

  • Prasadpaulson

    Why think on  too much about the future..for the time being what they have done is right..

    Let future take care of itself

  • Mr.nice man

    i think that what anonymous are doing is correct and I agree with them even though I do not hack people or websites.