A cyber shot heard round the world

When the stalwart pillar of the establishment, the New York Times, publishes a serious report on Anonymous, it’s fitting to conclude — as does John Perry Barlow from the Electronic Frontier Foundation– that the group has indeed fired a “shot heard round the world.”

They got their start years ago as cyberpranksters, an online community of tech-savvy kids more interested in making mischief than political statements.

But the coordinated attacks on major corporate and government Web sites in defense of WikiLeaks, which began on Wednesday and continued on Thursday, suggested that the loosely organized group called Anonymous might have come of age, evolving into one focused on more serious matters: in this case, the definition of Internet freedom.

While the attacks on such behemoths as MasterCard, Visa and PayPal were not nearly as sophisticated as some less publicized assaults, they were a step forward in the group’s larger battle against what it sees as increasing control of the Internet by corporations and governments. This week they found a cause and an icon: Julian Assange, the former hacker who founded WikiLeaks and is now in a London jail at the request of the Swedish authorities investigating him on accusations of rape.

“This is kind of the shot heard round the world — this is Lexington,” said John Perry Barlow, a co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties organization that advocates for a freer Internet.

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4 thoughts on “A cyber shot heard round the world

  1. pabelmont

    Banking (and credit cards and Paypal and whatever else comes along later) should be regulated services in the public interest such that they cannot discriminate (by removal of service) against anyone for political (or any of the other usual non-allowed reasons for discrimination).

    Imagine Paypal (or any Bank) discriminating against a group raising funds FOR Israel on the grounds that that group was anti-Palestinian and therefore unacceptable to Paypal (or any Bank).

    And there should be Swiss banks willing to do what Paypal does but incorruptible. One wonders if the USA would use its enormous economic “muscle” to clase such an enterprise.

  2. Norman

    If this is the cyber shot that’s heard around the World, then can the real thing be far behind? As we have seen in this past decade, the military might has not been very useful to stopping a gorilla war waged upon the mighty U.S. Vietnam, then Iraq, now Afghanistan, perhaps somewhere in Africa, proves the folly that the Generals believe in their invincibility, with the ignorant Congressional members falling in lockstep behind. As they march head long into the bankruptcy of the Treasury, who do they think will pay their retirement allowances? It sure wont be the Looters of Wall Street. Exciting times we are to experience.

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