decentralized, internet-based protest movement which organizes cyber attacks and demonstrations for freedom and against various forms of grievance
Anonymous is a decentralized international activist and hacktivist collective and movement that promotes anonymous social engagement by direct action. It is known for its various cyberattacks against several governments, government institutions and government agencies, corporations and the Church of Scientology. It originated in 2003 on the imageboard 4chan, representing the concept of many online and offline community users simultaneously existing as an anarchic, digitized global brain. It strongly opposes Internet censorship and surveillance, and has hacked various government websites. In 2012, Time named Anonymous as one of the most influential groups in the world.
- Quotes of representatives or widely reported purported representatives of Anonymous
- THE CORRUPT FEAR US · THE HONEST SUPPORT US · THE HEROIC JOIN US.
- Anonymous motto, used in many placards, quoted at Anonymousuk.org
- We share the collective idea of ANONYMOUS worldwide; we are the people.
We believe in non-violent, peaceful civil disobedience.
Throughout history the world has been controlled by big ideologies such as religion, socialism and capitalism to name but a few. These are all forms of slavery that have stopped our evolution and removed our freedom.
ANONYMOUS see these ideologies for what they are, SYSTEMS OF CONTROL.
The time for change is now. No longer shall the people be oppressed by corruption.
- Introductory page for Anonymous UK
- We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.
- Anonymous representative of Anonymous, as quoted in Yale Law and Technology (9 November 2009)
- The tendency to relate past events to what is possible in the present becomes more difficult as the scope of the geopolitical environment changes. It is a useful thing, then, to ask every once in a while if the environment has recently undergone any particular severe changes, thereby expanding our options for the future.
Terminology, let alone our means of exchanging information, has changed to such a degree that many essential discussions in today's "communications age" would be entirely incomprehensible to many two decades ago.
As the social, political and technological environment has developed, some have already begun to explore new options, seizing new chances for digital activism — and more will soon join in. It is time for the rest of the world to understand why.
- Anonymous representative of Anonymous, in "Anonymous and the global correction", Aljazeera (16 February 2011)
- I have been involved with Anonymous in some capacity or another for about six years.
Looking back at my writing over that time, I have found that my predictions, while always enthusiastic, nonetheless turned out to have been conservative; when Australia became the first state to come under attack by this remarkable force, I proposed that we would someday see such allegedly inevitable institutions begin to crumble in the face of their growing irrelevance.
Someday turned out to be this year.
I predict that Anonymous and entities like it will become far more significant over the next few years than is expected by most of our similarly irrelevant pundits — and this will, no doubt, turn out to be just as much of an understatement as anything else that has been written on the subject. … This is the future, whether one approves or not, and the failure on the part of governments and media alike to understand, and contend with the rapid change now afoot, ought to remind everyone concerned why it is that this movement is necessary in the first place.
- Anonymous representative of Anonymous, in "Anonymous and the global correction", Aljazeera (16 February 2011)
- Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down. You should know that we will find you and we will not let you go. We will launch the biggest operation ever against you. Expect massive cyber attacks. War is declared. Get prepared. The French people are stronger than you and will come out of this atrocity even stronger.
- Anonymous, as quoted in "Anonymous declares war on Islamic State after Paris attacks in chilling video: 'We will hunt you down'", The Mirror (16 November 2015)
- "You can't stop the monsoon"
Message to Scientology (21 January 2000)Edit
- Anonymous representative of Anonymous, in a hacktivist Message to Scientology (21 January 2000)
- Hello, leaders of Scientology. We are Anonymous.
- Over the years, we have been watching you. Your campaigns of misinformation; your suppression of dissent; your litigious nature, all of these things have caught our eye. With the leakage of your latest propaganda video into mainstream circulation, the extent of your malign influence over those who have come to trust you as leaders has been made clear to us. Anonymous has therefore decided that your organization should be destroyed. For the good of your followers; for the good of mankind; and for our own enjoyment, we shall proceed to expel you from the Internet and systematically dismantle the Church of Scientology in its present form.
- We recognize you as serious opponents, and do not expect our campaign to be completed in a short time frame. However, you will not prevail forever against the angry masses of the body politic. Your choice of methods, your hypocrisy, and the general artlessness of your organization have sounded its death knell. You have nowhere to hide because we are everywhere.
- You will find no recourse in attack because for each of us that falls, ten more will take his place. We are cognizant of the many who may decry our methods as parallel to those of the Church of Scientology. Those who espouse the obvious truth that your organization will use the actions of Anonymous as an example of the persecution of which you have for so long warned your followers. This is acceptable to Anonymous; in fact, it is encouraged.
- We are your SPs. Over time, as we begin to merge our pulse with that of your church, the suppression of your followers will become increasingly difficult to maintain. Believers will become aware that salvation needn't come at the expense of their livelihood. They will become aware that the stress and the frustration that they feel is not due to us, but a source much closer to them.
- Yes, we are SPs but the sum of suppression we could ever muster is eclipsed by that of your own RTC.
- Knowledge is free.
- We are Anonymous.
- We are Legion.
- We do not forgive.
- We do not forget.
- Expect us.
Letter to Citizens Of The United State Of America (24 March 2011)Edit
- Dear US Citizens,
- We, Anonymous, would like to offer you, America, the opportunity to join and support our movement. We are a group that formed on the internet—one that knows no constructs or absolutes, and one that has recently grown exponentially. We would like to introduce an Operation. An Operation that involves Americans getting our Natural Rights and dreams back. Right now, you can help by passing on the Information. Information is Power. Share the Power of the Information with other like-minded individuals. The more people we represent, the more Power we have, both as individuals and as Anonymous. Thank you for your time and your Power.
Letter to Citizens Of The United States Of America (24 March 2011)Edit
- CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- Many events have taken shape over the course of only a few years, and slowly our system has been working towards the gains of itself rather than the gains of its people. While we all have watched and rallied against the system working against us, there have been other gains of the system that have gone without a peep as back room deals and bargaining allow for the passing of legislation and research funding that has resulted in the loss of more liberties such as censorship, phone and Internet surveillance and eminent domain laws, Not to mention the higher taxes, lower wages, and loss of work due to exports deals. We repeat the history of our mistakes instead of evolving our society. Generations in the past spoke of what we face as current issues, the only difference being that of our technological advancements. We have forgotten such words our society has found guidance and value in:
- "We hold these truths to be self-evident,
- That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness."
- In the past few months, Anonymous has made headlines through the actions of a few. The media tries to instill fear of which Anonymous is as a “group”, and in the process failed to recognize it as an “ideal” that is gaining momentum.
- Anonymous is an ideal that the people can use to further help other people. In this case, you’re not being heard and transparency in government operations is non-existent in many matters. Mobilize yourself to find your information, and we’ll be giving you resources to further help you. Take the information you find and tell your government your demands.
- We want AMERICANS to wake up! We want AMERICANS to read! We want AMERICANS to think, and above all question all things! We want AMERICANS to analyze, criticize, critique and learn to read between the lines, to expose and to deconstruct! We want you to believe in the infinite power of the people! We want you to learn that we’re all truly brothers and sisters in humanity regardless of all the artificial barriers that have been set up to separate us!
- "Think For Yourself, Question Authority" - Timothy Leary
- Inform. Educate. Guide. Evolve. Wake up the People. The time for the next step in our species’ social evolution has come!
- To effectively reform the system that has enslaved us, we must consider following the advice and example of those who have preceded us. Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and JFK are good places to start. All took fierce positions against central banking, government corruption and corporate power.
- The time has come for us to unite, the time has come for us to stand up and fight! You are Anonymous!
- We are in the information era.
- We are Anonymous,
- We are Legion,
- We do not forget,
- We do not forgive,
- Expect us.
Operation Blackout (19 November 2011)Edit
- Citizens of the United States, We are Anonymous.
- This is an urgent emergency alert to all people of the United States. The day we've all been waiting for has unfortunately arrived. The United States is censoring the internet. Our blatant response is that we will not sit while our rights are taken away by the government we trusted them to preserve. This is not a call to arms, but a call to recognition and action!
- The United States government has mastered this corrupt way of giving us a false sense of freedom. We think we are free and can do what we want, but in reality we are very limited and restricted as to what we can do, how we can think, and even how our education is obtained. We have been so distracted by this mirage of freedom, that we have just become what we were trying to escape from.
- For too long, we have been idle as our brothers and sisters were arrested. During this time, the government has been scheming, plotting ways to increase censorship through means of I S P block aides, D N S blockings, search engine censorship, website censorship, and a variety of other methods that directly oppose the values and ideas of both Anonymous as well as the founding fathers of this country, who believed in free speech and press!
- The United States has often been used as an example of the ideal free country. When the one nation that is known for its freedom and rights start to abuse its own people, this is when you must fight back, because others are soon to follow. Do not think that just because you are not a United States citizen, that this does not apply to you. You cannot wait for your country to decide to do the same. You must stop it before it grows, before it becomes acceptable. You must destroy its foundation before it becomes too powerful.
- Has the U.S. government not learned from the past? Has it not seen the 2011 revolutions? Has it not seen that we oppose this wherever we find it and that we will continue to oppose it? Obviously the United States Government thinks they are exempt. This is not only an Anonymous collective call to action. What will a Distributed Denial of Service attack do? What's a website de face ment against the corrupted powers of the government? No. This is a call for a worldwide internet and physical protest against the powers that be. Spread this message everywhere. We will not stand for this! Tell your parents, your neighbors, your fellow workers, your school teachers, and anyone else you come in contact with. This affects anyone that desires the freedom to browse anonymously, speak freely without fear of retribution, or protest without fear of arrest.
- Go to every I R C network, every social network, every online community, and tell them of the atrocity that is about to be committed. If protest is not enough, the United States government shall see that we are truly legion and we shall come together as one force opposing this attempt to censor the internet once again, and in the process discourage any other government from continuing or trying.
- We are Anonymous.
- We are Legion.
- We do not forgive censorship.
- We do not forget the denial of our free rights as human beings.
- To the United States government, you should've expected us.
Anonymous Operation V (5 November 2013)Edit
- Anonymous representative of Anonymous, in a hacktivist message announcing at Anonymous Operation Last Resort at the United States Congress plan to censour any internet website(5 Novembrr 2013)
- To the Citizens of the United States and the United States Government.
- We are Anonymous.
- In the past few months, our collective has been organizing the operation known as Operation Blackout. Part of the operation's purpose was to alert the people of the coming bill that was to be called the Stop Online Piracy Act.
- This Act would give Congress the power to censor any internet website they wish without consent from the Citizens of the United States. This act would've also had the power to jail any person who infringed on its new copyright law for an equivalence of five years. This copyright law would've had the power to destroy social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube. Video gameplay and free movies would cease to exist.
- However, Operation Blackout was a success. As a collective, we've managed to spread the word and alert the masses. Internet giants such as Google, Wikipedia, and Reddit became hand-in-hand with us as we all managed to make an impact on the decisions of our, "free government". But as we've seen with Megaupload, the government may not need a bill to be passed to get their way. Other operations we've conducted over this time period have awaken the people to the nightmare that is the United States Government. Sections 1031 and 1032 of the National Defense Authorization Act have been ratified. Yet we face new threats.
- The United States Government is seeking to pass the Cyber Security Act of 2012. This act is as Orwellian as it sounds; it will endanger our collective and we will not stand by and watch while this government of lies prepares to take away our freedoms. The National Security Agency insists on labeling us as a leaderless, terrorist organization. The question is, "who do we terrorize?". Can it possibly be that the United States government is truly scared of us? Nevertheless, The time for action is now.
- Our collective has realized, along with many United States citizens, that the current government is no longer functional. Our economy is unstable, our representatives uncooperative, and our system, destroyed.
- We are not calling upon the collective to deface or use a distributed denial of service attack on a United States government agency website or affiliate. We are not calling upon the people to occupy a city or protest in front of a local building. This has not brought on us any legislative change or alternate law. It has only brought us bloodshed and false criticism. For the last 12 years, voting was useless. Corporations and lobbyists are the true leaders of this country and are the ones with the power to control our lives. To rebuild our government, we must first destroy it'.
- Our time for democracy is here.
- Our time for real change is here.
- This is America's time, to have its own revolution.
- Therefore, 'Anonymous has decided to openly declare war on the United States government. This is a call to arms. We call upon the Citizens of the United States to stand beside us in overthrowing this corrupted body and call upon a new era. Our allegiance is to the American people, because they are us, and we are them.
- Operation V, engaged.
- We are Anonymous.
- We are Americans.
- 'We never Forgive.
- 'We never Forget'.
- To the United States government, it's too late to expect us.
Anonymous Operation Last Resort (2013)Edit
- Anonymous representative of Anonymous, in a hacktivist message announcing at Anonymous Operation Last Resort at the United States Sentencing Commission (25 January 2013) and a Youtube video posted by Aarons ArkAngel
- Citizens of the world,
Anonymous has observed for some time now the trajectory of justice in the United States with growing concern. We have marked the departure of this system from the noble ideals in which it was born and enshrined. We have seen the erosion of due process, the dilution of constitutional rights, the usurpation of the rightful authority of courts by the "discretion" of prosecutors. We have seen how the law is wielded less and less to uphold justice, and more and more to exercise control, authority and power in the interests of oppression or personal gain.
We have been watching, and waiting.
Two weeks ago today, a line was crossed. Two weeks ago today, Aaron Swartz was killed. Killed because he faced an impossible choice. Killed because he was forced into playing a game he could not win — a twisted and distorted perversion of justice — a game where the only winning move was not to play.
Anonymous immediately convened an emergency council to discuss our response to this tragedy. After much heavy-hearted discussion, the decision was upheld to engage the United States Department of Justice and its associated executive branches in a game of a similar nature, a game in which the only winning move is not to play.
- We have felt within our hearts a burning rage in reaction to these events, but we have not allowed ourselves to be drawn into a foolish and premature response. We have bidden our time, operating in the shadows, adapting our tactics and honing our abilities.
- There must be reform of outdated and poorly-envisioned legislation, written to be so broadly applied as to make a felony crime out of violation of terms of service, creating in effect vast swathes of crimes, and allowing for selective punishment. There must be reform of mandatory minimum sentencing. There must be a return to proportionality of punishment with respect to actual harm caused, and consideration of motive and mens rea. The inalienable right to a presumption of innocence and the recourse to trial and possibility of exoneration must be returned to its sacred status, and not gambled away by pre-trial bargaining in the face of overwhelming sentences, unaffordable justice and disfavourable odds. Laws must be upheld unselectively, and not used as a weapon of government to make examples of those it deems threatening to its power.
For good reason the statue of lady justice is blindfolded. No more should her innocence be besmirked, her scales tipped, nor her swordhand guided. Furthermore there must be a solemn commitment to freedom of the internet, this last great common space of humanity, and to the common ownership of information to further the common good.
We do not expect to be negotiated with; we do not desire to be negotiated with. We understand that due to the actions we take we exclude ourselves from the system within which solutions are found. There are others who serve that purpose, people far more respectable than us, people whose voices emerge from the light, and not the shadows. These voices are already making clear the reforms that have been necessary for some time, and are outright required now.
It is these people that the justice system, the government, and law enforcement must engage with. Their voices are already ringing strong with a chorus of determined resolution. We demand only that this chorus is not ignored. We demand the government does not make the mistake of hoping that time will dampen its ringing, that they can ride out this wave of determination, that business as usual can continue after a sufficient period of lip-service and back-patting.
Not this time. This time there will be change, or there will be chaos...
Opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine (2022)Edit
- We are #Anonymous
We are involved in the biggest Anonymous op ever seen. That being said, we are worried that some governments will indeed see us as a threat and create some scenario to make us look bad (false flag). We only want peace, not war.
We've been in the limelight before. We've made the news plenty of times, but never anything like what we are experiencing right now. We obviously know governments around the globe are watching what we are doing. Many of these governments have experienced our shenanigans.
We abhor violence. We are anti-war. We are against police brutality. We have raised our fists in the air to stand against aggressor's time and time again. We would never choose to hurt anyone physically. Understand this and know this if any government says otherwise.
Remember us when various powers turn their attention towards us, because it will happen. We can change the world for the better.
That has always been the idea.
Ideas are bulletproof.
- Amid the chaos, a hacktivist that hadn’t been seen in years made a return: Anonymous. The decentralised hacktivist collective known for their operations against the Church of Scientology, ISIS and during the Arab Spring has seemingly re-emerged, issuing a video message to the Minneapolis Police Department. In the video, released using the traditional imagery associated with Anonymous—a Guy Fawkes mask in the style of the film V for Vendetta and a distorted voice reading out the message... "This week’s brutal killing of George Floyd... is just the tip of the iceberg in a long list of high profile cases of wrongful deaths at the hands of officers in your state..." the message read.
- Anonymous is back in the headlines with claims that another attack on a U.S. police website is linked to the hactivist group. In the weeks since Anonymous hackers threatened Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), that it would “expose your many crimes to the world,” speculation has been rife as to whether the group has returned, or is it just others corralling the “brand.” That speculation will now intensify with these new claims that it has struck again. The target this time appears to be the Atlanta Police Department, with local media reports on Sunday that its website had been taken offline following the fatal police shooting of Rayshard Brooks...June 12... after he had fallen asleep in a Wendy’s drive through lane...
- "It's been the better part of a decade since the hacktivist group Anonymous rampaged across the internet, stealing and leaking millions of secret files from dozens of US organizations. Now, amid the global protests following the killing of George Floyd, Anonymous is back—and it's returned with a dump of hundreds of gigabytes of law enforcement files and internal communications. On Friday of last week, the Juneteenth holiday, a leak-focused activist group known as Distributed Denial of Secrets published a 269-gigabyte collection of police data that includes emails, audio, video, and intelligence documents, with more than a million files in total.
- Andy Greenberg in CyberAttacks and Hacks, Wired, (22 June 2020)
- It's the largest published hack of American law enforcement agencies," Emma Best, cofounder of DDOSecrets, wrote in a series of text messages. "It provides the closest inside look at the state, local, and federal agencies tasked with protecting the public, including [the] government response to COVID and the BLM protests... Due to the size of the dataset, we probably missed things," Best concedes. "I wish we could have done more, but I'm pleased with what we did and that we continue to learn." Best adds that the group pruned more than 50 gigabytes of data out of the files before publication out of what they describe as an abundance of caution, and will continue to scour that data for anything in the public interest that the group may publish later. Best notes, however, that DDOSecrets published the financial information knowingly, arguing that it could be correlated with other information to further expose police behavior in ways that serve the public interest. "The potential of the data, especially in the long run and when correlated with other datasets, outweighs any downsides to allowing the public to examine it," Best argues. They also have no qualms about publishing the personally identifiable information of police officers. "The public has an interest in the identities of public servants," they write.
- Andy Greenberg in CyberAttacks and Hacks, Wired, (22 June 2020)
- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was hit with a new federal indictment on Wednesday accusing him of conspiring with hackers, including the group “Anonymous.”
- Neat labels elude those commentators who have sought to categorize Anonymous as an entity. With little consistency, commentators have referred to Anonymous as hackers, activists, vigilantes, a movement, etc. Perhaps then, Anonymous itself is the best authority on what Anonymous is. On its website, Anonymous describes itself as “an internet gathering” rather than a “group.” Moreover, Anonymous states that it has “a very loose and decentralized command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives.”
“Very loose” might be an understatement. The group is open to anyone and is often rife with dissent over its messages and operations, which is unsurprising given that Anonymous does not utilize formal procedures for conducting its operations. In August 2011, an Anonymous member spoke to the media about this process:
- With any given operation there are always some [Anonymous members] who agree and some who disagree. . . . Annoymous [sic] allows each person individually to vote on each operation, a yes vote means they participate, a no vote means they do not. Anyone is allowed to create an [operation] and if others vote yes it will get traction and something may be accomplished.
- This system seems to allow for the frequent possibility of minority-led projects since there is no minimum approval from the collective required to initiate and execute an operation. If members of Anonymous are interested in executing a cyberattack, they will, even if they constitute a small fraction of the group’s overall membership.
- In one sense the actions of Anonymous are themselves, anonymously and unaccountably, censoring websites in response to positions with which they disagree. The goals of many Anonymous activists are a free and open internet, but the regular and blanket denial-of-service campaigns could easily be counter-productive if pro-Sopa and pro-Pipa advocates can portray these actions as representative of those who are against this legislation.
- In the UAE it is now illegal to wear a Guy Fawkes mask, the iconic symbol of the international hacktivist collective known as Anonymous. The clear implication of the new law is that the UAE government fears the power of the mask, and the Anonymous collective the mask represents.
- Online Protest (Wikia)