Listen to our interview:
A loose group of people who believe in unfettered free speech on the Internet, it makes some sense that much of what they talk about - who to target, why, when - happens openly online.
The following transcript is from an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel on the web used by Anonymous members. Monitoring IRC channels is part of Gabriella Coleman's research.
We are reprinting the transcript here because we think it says something about the way individuals who are part of the Anonymous movement communicate and plan their actions.
There is graphic language in the following transcript. Typos are from the original. Usernames have been removed.
Firday December 10th 2010
(12:16:57 PM) AAA: Guys. I was thinking. We are obviously falling
apart the last 24 hours. We need something to interest the media. OF
course fucking with the payments of MasterCard would be big news, but I
don't think we are able to do it. That's why I think we should attack
something small, but something the media will love. I suggest the
website of the woman that has accused Assange or the website of Alan
(12:16:57 PM) AAA: Barton(said Assange should be executed)
(12:17:36 PM) BBB: agree with AAA, we need a group
decision... and an aimed decision
(12:17:47 PM) BBB: not breaking up again like we did
(12:17:48 PM) CCC: agree
2:17:59 PM) DDD: left the room (quit: Quit: ).
(12:17:59 PM) EEE: it's seems most of guys here are idling right now
(12:18:11 PM) FFF: I think there's the crazy idea amongst all of us
(12:18:16 PM) FFF: That something needs to happen every single hour.
(12:18:17 PM) CCC: what about Lieberman? that old fucker is
just wasting oxygen
(12:18:19 PM) FFF: If we lack power now
(12:18:24 PM) FFF: We wait, do nothing, get people, then try again
2:18:39 PM) CCC: FFF agree
(12:18:39 PM) BBB: but we cant go chaotic again
(12:18:43 PM) FFF: It's pointless to try and really damage
something with about 60% of what we had two days ago, with all of the
Ops afk as well
(12:18:45 PM) EEE: so it's what in US?
12:19:01 PM) EEE: people are sleeping or at work?
(12:19:11 PM) GGG: where chanel Operation Payback
(12:19:14 PM) HHH: UK people are on the way home from work
(12:19:14 PM) AAA: Btw it wasn
(12:19:28 PM) JJJ entered the room.
(12:19:29 PM) AAA: Btw it wasn't Alan Barton, that was a mistake,
it was Tom Flanagan
(12:19:36 PM) HHH left the room.
(12:19:50 PM) KKK: most are in school..
On Friday afternoon we checked back in with Gabriella. She told us that Anonymous had been discussing their next possible target - University of Calgary professor Tom Flanagan.
During a CBC television interview Flanagan suggested that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange should be killed. He has since apologized and said he was joking. On a forum used by Anonymous members someone suggested an attack on Flanagan. And wrote that it would generate media coverage. And as Gabriella mentioned in our interview media coverage seems to be a motivating factor in Anonymous' attacks.
We put calls into Tom Flanagan and he wasn't available to speak with us. The University of Calgary says it hasn't noticed anything unusual happening to its network.
Finally, the media (including Day 6) have often referred to individuals who are part of Anonymous as "hackers". It's not a wholly accurate word, but it is an attempt to simplify the story. Some of them may be hackers, others aren't.
Online hacker culture magazine 2600 released a statement on Friday condemning the DDoS attacks. You can read their statement HERE, and see if it helps you decide how you're feeling about this whole mess. -(Thx to Gabriella for the heads up)