By Sarah Joy – Talon Correspondent
The Amish, Batman, Witches, Satanists, Monks, Spec Ops, K-Pop Stans, and the LGBTQ+ community have all come together to fight for Black Lives Matter — one infamous hacktivist group, Anonymous, has also emerged from the shadows after four years to combat the systemic racism and homophobia that our society has plagued the country.
The cyber organization was formed in 2003 on 4chan, an anonymous chat room. At first, they were only known for pulling pranks and trolling people on the internet. They then began to use Encyclopedia Dramatica, a gossip and blog site, that allowed them to partake in mass pranks and raids.
The group doesn’t have a leader, they are anarchists working towards collective goals and ideals. @YourAnonCenteral, a twitter profile belonging to a group of Anons with a following of over six million, stated “We support the weak against the powerful and stand for just. Our values are the following: human rights, autonomy & self-governance, resistance against tyranny, a more humane society, and actions not nouns.”
You cannot ‘join’ Anonymous in a traditional sense, many individual Anons have made statements as well their larger counterparts say, “It is not a club, a party, or even a movement, it is a resistance.” Many high profile Anons have also stated that it does not matter who you are because when you are working under the name of Anonymous it only matters what you’re doing.
Anonymous has ‘operations’ as they call them, which to them, an operation is a goal or multiple goals that a large number of Anons are working on together. Their first influential operation was Project Chanology, a series of cyber attacks and protests against the Church of Scientology in 2008.
Project Chanology gave the world a preview into what Anonymous is capable of. Within this operation, they introduced their recurring DDos and LOIC attacks, both of which are used to overwhelm computers and/or servers with requests and unneeded data.
However, this was also the first time Anonymous was ever physically involved with one of their operations. They had produced a video explaining that they were not okay with the way the leaders of the Church of Scientology were running it. When this was ignored Anons took to the streets in the form of protests.
This project was also where they became known for their signature Guy Fawkes masks. These masks are also used in V for Vendetta, a movie about an anarchist revolution.
Throughout 2009 to 2016, Anonymous proceeded to carry out more advanced operations. No matter what the size or impact of their operations, they are all in favor of minorities and those powerless compared to a higher power. Their most influential operations having been combating racism, homophobia, and pedophilia.
One of their first cyberattacks against pedophiles or MAPS was Operation Hunt Hunter. Anonymous outed Hunter Moore as the owner of a revenge porn website. Moore would receive pictures of men and women from their angry partners and post them without any form of consent.
During this operation, some Anons produced a video stating “We will protect anyone who is victimized by abuse of our internet, we will prevent the stalking, rape, and possible murders as a by-product of his sites.”
While this operation started as Operation Hunt Hunter, Anonymous piggybacked off of this and started Operation Death Eater. This operation was created to exploit high profile child predators and sex traffickers, it’s still active today.
Targeting racist companies, public figures, and calling people out has been a pillar in their work since early 2014. Operation Ferguson and Operation Tamir Rice were both created after the fatal shootings of both 18-year-old Micheal Brown and 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
Within Operation Ferguson they ended up shutting down Ferguson, Missouris’ servers. All forms of communication such as emails, phones, and the internet were completely shut down. Anonymous also involved itself with the KKK for one of the first times and exposed many of its members.
“We are here to tell corrupt members of law enforcement that they are no longer safe to commit crimes with impunity. If your own federal departments won’t punish you, we will,” Anonymous said in a video they released about Operation Ferguson.
In October of 2015, they directly targeted the KKK again with Operation KKK. This time they revealed a list of 57 phone numbers, 23 emails, and even more names. Anons also posted a video regarding the KKK, “…you are more than extremists. You are more than a hate group. You operate much more like terrorists and should be addressed as such.”
These operations and videos explain that Anons had begun and will continue to target and exploit officers and members of society who have committed crimes and gone unnoticed or pardoned.
In 2016 during the presidential elections, Anonymous made it clear that they disliked Donald Trump, especially when they released a video stating “… We are for everyone letting their voices be heard, even, if the person at hand, is a monster.” They then disappeared for the majority of the next four years.
Anonymous ended up coming out of the shadows for one of the first times since their disappearance with a bang. After the murder of George Floyd, the hacktivist group released a video, on March 28th, by the name of “An Anonymous Message To The Minneapolis Police Department”.
In this video, they reminded the government and civilians that they will not allow the government and police force to continue as it is: corrupt and abusing their power. As well as stating that they will not tolerate police brutality any longer.
After it was deflected by the Minneapolis PD, Anons took it to another level to get them to listen. First, they took down and attacked every single computer in the region as well as the MPDs website with an unsophisticated DDoS attack.
After this, they accessed the radio frequencies during Black Lives Matter Protests and started playing music to block communication. They have continued to assist with the Black Lives Matter movement by exposing many police officers who have gotten away with murdering innocent people of color.
While some people thought they were finished after coming back, they have done the complete opposite. In May of 2020, Anonymous started Operation Death Eater again by opening-up Jeffery Epstein’s trafficking cases. @OpDeathEater on twitter has revealed court documents about his cases and some of his partners within his sex trafficking ring.
Some of these Epstein’s co-conspirators included Donald Trump, Bill Gates, and Naomi Campbell. Court documents that were released stated, “…Johnson was forced to engage…with her fellow sex slave, M**** Doe age 12, for the sexual enjoyment of Defendant Trump.”
Not only did Anonymous expose Trump and Epstein through court documents, but they also revealed the receipts in which Trump paid families large sums of money to supposedly ‘keep quiet’.
@OpDeathEater, also claims that the royal family was also involved in Epstein’s Trafficking Ring. They posted, “Princess Diana recorded the testimony by rape victim of Prince Charles’ staff,” on their Twitter account. Along with classified documents stating this tape disappeared mysteriously, Anons posted again stating that the Royal Family murdered Princess Diana to cover up their tracks.
“No more impunity. Justice for all. We are the bottom coming from the top,” was a tweet by @YourAnonCentral on June 12th, 2020.
As it says in their motto: They are Anonymous. They are Legion. They do not forgive. They do not forget. Expect them.