Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Anon rules.. or do they?

Anon takes up the Wikileaks battle:

Wikileaks defended by Anonymous hacktivists

A group called Anonymous has hit sites that have refused to do business with the controversial whistle-blowing site with a series of distributed denial-of-service attacks.

It mirrors similar attacks aimed at the Wikileaks site.

Targets include the Swiss bank that froze founder Julian Assange's assets and PayPal which has stopped processing donations to Wikileaks.

Yay for anon, but in the long run, I fear the authoritarians will not only win this battle, but will win the war as well. People have been saying shit like "the internet perceives censorship as damage and routes around it" since the early 1990's (that I know of), and you know what? With the possible exception of the chaos of the late 1990's, when you could literally order videos of people having sex with animals on popular auction sites, each year that has gone by has resulted in more and more restrictions on what people can put online.

I am not sure why this is the case. In fact, theoretically, it shouldn't be. Authoritarianism is inherently an organized, orderly thing, which means it requires effort to maintain. Without that effort, entropy will wear it away--or at least, that seems like the way things ought to work. Anon is actually working on the same side as entropy in this battle, so how is it that they can be losing ground each year?

Just some food for thought.

I suppose the ultimate problem is that "the internet" is really just a bunch of computers, and if someone gets too pissed off at the contents of a particular computer, it's not that hard to pull the plug. Especially when you can do it remotely, simply by depeering it. So I suppose the problem isn't the inherent vulnerability of the internet, but the seemingly inherent tendency of people to march in lock-step when the jack-booted thugs come around.

(Also, for the record, I think the term "hacktivist" is really, really stupid. ;)

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