Anonymous Will Not Shut Down the Internet - Opinion
Given that Anonymous' entire mission in life is to guard against Internet censorship and government tyranny, the current statements from official sources saying that the group will try to shut down the web on the 31st can only be viewed with skepticism.
Most people don't really know what Anonymous is, and so it is a perfect target for fearmongering from official sources. It's time for a reality check.
This is the group which helped launch DDoS attacks against Mastercard for refusing to accept donations for whistleblower site Wikileaks. Mastercard's website was back in service within 24 hours and no data was stolen from its servers.
Anonymous enthusiastically - if haphazardly - targets government websites it deems tyrannical, and is largely made up of teenagers who practically live inside their computers.
Anonymous have already denied they plan to attack DNS servers which host .com and .org sites, saying via the public forum Twitter.com that:
"For the billionth time, Anonymous will not shut down the Internet on 31 March. #OpGlobalBlackout is just another #OpFacebook failop. #yawn."
Far from being a sinister worldwide conspiracy to damage the worldwideweb, Anonymous' activities can more accurately be paralled to graffiti artists spray painting government buildings. Their distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are not the wisest way of getting attention, but strictly speaking they cannot be described as malicious hackers or crackers because they don't actually break into a given server and steal information. They simply bombard that server with thousands of hits, overstretching its bandwidth capacity, and effectively slowing it down so that it cannot serve visit requests.
Of course, their underlying ethos does not make it right for Anonymous to send DDoS attacks towards websites, they could turn their attention to more constructive ways of defending Internet freedom of speech, like starting a website for all things for freedom of speech, or a formal lobbyist group that could do their work in a legal manner. After all, teenagers have to grow up sometime.
Nonetheless, people should view the current fearmongering for what it is, authorities which don't really understand the true nature of the Internet and are trying to exert control. Fact is, there is already technology to guard against DDoS attacks, unlike the situation with graffiti, which still continues to decorate buildings all over the world for the better or worse.
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