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Re: <nettime> Anonymous movement in decline?
Felix Stalder on Tue, 7 Jan 2014 04:10:12 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Anonymous movement in decline?

I don't think that this FAZ article makes much sense. First, as David
Garcia pointed out, anonymous never acted as, or claimed to be, a
counter public. It has always been, to varying degrees and by different
people, about direct action and media jamming. It has never a movement
in a classic sense. It has always been a swarm.

Whether or not "they" are skilled hackers, well, some might be, some
might not. The fact that it originated from 4chan doesn't mean that
these are only script kiddies and that everyone who ever acted as
anonymous has been on raised on there.

I kind of like Jacob Appelbaum's (?) quip, that Anonymous is a front, or
a fog bank, for sys admins to hide their inside leaking as outside hacking.

But this "rise and decline" meme is a typical media cycle. Some
journalist decrees that "time is overdue" and since the world doesn't
follow his predictions, decline is upon us. And what is the measure of
decline? It's no longer in the mass media. But there is still a lot of
activity going on under this moniker. Strangely enough, quite a bit
relates to exposing incidents of rape cover-ups.

But, even if nobody would ever use the name Anonymous anymore, and all
the Guy Fawkes masks would rot in drawers around the world, what would
that mean? Decline? Of what exactly? Of an attractor which allowed
different actors to coalesce? What happens if a different one appears?

I think Anonymous succeeded widely. It politicized a entire generation
of people who formed their values and expectations on the internet. Yes,
Snowden made everyone realize that it's difficult, nay, impossible, to
remain anonymous if you stick out your head too high, but the swarm
might well be a form of collective agency where nobody needs to stand out.


On 01/06/2014 01:26 AM, Florian Cramer wrote:

> In a short but interesting article, he German newspaper Frankfurter
> Allgemeine Zeitung observes a decline of the Anonymous movement just in a
> time where more and more of Snowden's material is being disclosed (
> http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/medien/anonymous-im-niedergang-die-maskerade-ist-vorbei-12733658.html)
> . Writer Sebastian D?rfler notes that "time is overdue for a sign of life
> from the group that views itself as the protector of the free Internet and
> epitomized digital activism: 'Anonymous'. Where are the hacker attacks and
> digital protest campaigns of the white masks with the big grin? While the
> Guy Fawkes mask from the film 'V for Vendetta' has become a symbol of
> global protest, not much is to be heard from 'Anonymous' in their digital
> home territory" [my translation, FC].


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