Here’s a bit of advice. Don’t start a flamewar or hack campaign against South American and European governments. As of Tuesday the 28th of February, Interpol released a statement claiming to have arrested 25 suspected hackers from the loose knit (dubbed ‘hacktivist’) group, Anonymous.

The group originated from that forum board of all things great and small, weird and wonderful; 4chan. Anonymous members are famous, for those of you not aware, for their use of the mask from the film V for Vendetta to hide their identities, and their internet activist wars against governments and corporations websites. Anyone can claim to be a member of the group, which ash no official leadership or organisation. The V masks were not enough to save these suspects however, as Interpol rounded them as part of ‘Operation Unmask’. Arrested suspect’s age ranged from 17 to 40, with suspects being busted across Argentina, Chile, Columbia and Spain by national law enforcement officers.
The group is alleged to have planned to attacks on Colombia’s defence ministry and presidential webpages, as well as Chile’s Endesa power company and national library, among a variety of other targets Interpol has uncovered. Those arrested face charges of unauthorised alteration of webpages, and illegal Denial of Service attacks. The charges carry the sentences of 541 days to 5 years in prison. Most likely without internet access.

This is just the latest in many recent arrests of high profile site owners/founders/members, such as Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange. With growing concern from governments such as the USA and China leading to stronger campaigns to eradicate these so called ‘hacktrolls’, is it only a matter of time before the internet reacts and seeks to overthrow the URL’s and http’s of the world’s most powerful organizations? Or will the unwieldy but magnificent beast of free speech, open debate, that is the Internet and its native hackers, bloggers, independent reporters, forum goers, and social networkers among a plethora of others, finally be caged at the behest of these world giants? Only time will tell. I leave you with the ominous words of Brazil’s Anonymous wing “Interpol, you can’t take on Anonymous. It’s an idea”
[Cian Langan]

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