Anonymous eyes political role, but won't go legit

The hacker group is not planning to wind up its current operations

Hacker group Anonymous plans to promote an affiliated political party to attract people who share its civil liberties goals, but do not agree with its methods.

The move appears similar to those by many protest movements that floated legal organizations and parties to represent their case in political, social and legal forums. But the decentralized nature of Anonymous, which claims no central leaders or control structure, will likely make it difficult to get support from all members.

There's some evidence of that already.

Anonymous had earlier said in a video that it will stop hacks and DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks, and will restructure the system from the inside. "Although these methods were effective in turning the media's attention to civil rights violations when our numbers were small, and we had limited options, we now have the numbers to make a difference legally," it said.

The video posted on July 4 on YouTube did not go down well with some group members. It also did not prevent Antisec, a movement led by Anonymous, from hacking and defacing websites in Turkey on Wednesday.

"This (party) is just another group that wants to support the goals of Anonymous. It isn't going to replace it," said Testudo Smith, a spokesman for the group behind the push to form a political party.

Smith said the group's mission at this point is to set up an advocacy group to provide Anonymous with legal channels with which it can fight for its goals of Internet freedom and civil rights. These legal channels are what Anonymous is most lacking at the moment, he added.

A website set up for the Anonymous Party of America sets out a broad agenda for a political party that is largely focused on U.S. politics, and will work towards transparency and accountability in government, individual rights, and common sense. It calls on "any Congressman or Senator that has any honor left, to resign from their corrupted parties and join our call for and end to the present system".

The group might find it difficult to gain legitimacy if other hackers, under the banner of Anonymous, continue to carry out attacks on the websites and networks of companies and organizations.

Smith admitted that getting all hackers to support his group's goals would be difficult.

"We have no control over Anonymous as a whole. There aren't any leaders, and it would be futile to attempt to control Anonymous," Smith said.

But should the political pressure group gain widespread support, the group has grander plans.

"Eventually, when we have enough support, and if we think that it is the best way to make a political impact, then we will register ourselves," Smith said. That's in the very long term though, he added.

Anonymous has been the target of police actions in some countries, including Turkey, Spain, Italy, and the U.K. It also found itself alienated from the mainstream population that supports Internet freedom and individual rights, but were not in favor of the group's methods.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Anonymoussecurity

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by John Ribeiro

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts