Thursday, January 27, 2011

Guerilla War On the Internet

No, I'm not talking about the latest online, multi-user video game. I'm talking about an actual organized, digital guerilla campaign by a group of militant online activists against the government of an autonomous nation. That group is called `Anonymous' and the government they are threatening to target is that of Egypt which the group allege is an autocratic regime.

In recent days the Mubarak government has been accused of blocking Twitter and Facebook in an effort to stem the ripple effect being felt in the country after Tunisia's `Jasmine Revolution' earlier this month. In that popular uprising people overthrew an autocratic dictator who'd been in power for 23 years.

Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites have been widely used in Egypt to denounce President Mubarak and to organize protests and other actions. The government in Cairo has denied any such wrongdoings. Nonetheless the activists at `Anonymous' have already began attacking Egyptian government websites in distributed denial of service attacks. They claim to have already been successful in bringing down the Egyptian Interior Ministry's website (As of 10:46 a.m. Pacific time, I can't get the thing to load).

Anonymous have invited anyone to download the necessary software to take part in the DDoS campaign which they have labeled "Operation Egypt."

In the post Wiki-world we are continually moving into more uncharted territory. As Google tries to virtually encompass the globe we are discovering how the centrality of computers to every aspect of our lives can empower bands of hackers to potentially trigger events which could foment revolution and bring down governments. Love them or hate them, Assange, Wikileaks and Anonymous represent a new breed of digital revolutionary.

Previous targets of attacks by Anonymous include Scientology and various websites deemed by the group as "anti Wikileaks."

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