Quinn Norton’s Wired Elegy for Anonymous and Sabu
I saw the article come up in the RSS feed and thought “here we go again” and surely, we did go again, to that special place where fantasy meets maudlin memories of what once was…
Well, for those that is who live in the fantasy world and not reality. The ode to Sabu and Anonymous that Quinn put down to digital ink was one of the larger steaming piles on the internet I had seen in some time, and trust me, I have seen some epic steaming piles of shit on the internet kids.
Aside from the obvious issues of some scattered ideas, I was taken aback by the article’s reverence for Anonymous and the feel that the writer, having been “embedded” for so long, has basically been overtaken by “Stockholm Syndrome” and believes the hype that Anon’s would like to have spun about their organization, collective, group…
Ehh, whatever it is. Phrases like the following cued me in on her deep need for deprogramming:
"In 2011, Anonymous figured out how to infiltrate anything, to mobilize not just machines but bodies."
Really? They are the new APT huh? They are an existential threat to the existence of society? What flavor was the kool aide you had Quinn? Must’a been strong strong stuff, or have you just gone all Patty Hearst on us all? Tell me, do you have a green army jacket and a copy of LOIC in your purse?
I am sorry to report to you Wired, but, your reporter has gone over to the other side… Suffice to say, that I have issues with this article and the following graphs will enlighten you as to why. First off though, lets cover the first couple of paragraphs of this epic story, the elegy for Sabu and his power…
Sabu, Hector Xavier Monsegur, International man of mystery, and master hacker, idol of the Anonymous hackerati, and petty criminal. A force to be reckoned with as the article makes out, but also fails to point out that in an “anonymous and headless” org as they like to think of themselves, was in fact, not only a snitch but also a “SINGLE POINT OF FAILURE” as we say in the information security business.
This is something that Quinn failed to comprehend or just negates due to the kool aide drinking (think lotus eaters) that seems to pervade the anonymous movement as well as the Occupy one that she later waxes poetic on down further in the article.
If indeed Sabu was so loved by anonymous, and approved of, then they have completely abdicated their core beliefs in operations and set themselves up for the fall that came with Sabu’s arrest and subsequent rolling over on everyone in the “movement” that have spawned all of the arrests we are now seeing come to trial (cleary et al.) So, neither Sabu, nor the Anon’s of Lulz/Antisec nor Anonymous as a whole were very bright about the operational details that later would bedevil them.
See kids, everyone makes mistakes and no one is immune to them. Sabu made them, you all made them, and in the end, several of your pals will be going to pound me in the ass prison... and for what? I’m afraid none of is as smart as we like to think we are. Just so happens some of you are now finding this out.. The hard way…
- Sabu was no hero.
- Sabu was no digital hacker god.
- Sabu was just a guy with troubles and a need to feel important, loved, idolized, and he wanted ATTENTION.
- He had them all, and now has even more, from federal authorities.
- His ID ate his Ego and it led him to absolute compromise of his life.
As Quinn would make out, he was the poster child for Anonymous, able to hack anything in a single bound! What Quinn fails to tell you is that a majority of the hacks were low hanging fruit and he was shooting fish in a barrel.
You see, the skidz were out selecting targets not because of political importance, but instead they were just looking for the easy score. It’s far easier to claim a win and surround it with political and movement ideals than it is to go after true targets, work assets, and compromise with an end goal in mind.
Wake the frak up Quinn…
Do-Ocracy or Erratic Primates With Computers?
Quinn goes on to wax poetic on how Anonymous has a “do-ocracy” which, uhh, what? Really, what the frak does that really mean? You are trying to tell me that it’s a headless org without leaders and yet people come together and do things in a concerted way? Sure, yeah, that works for DDoS but what about all this hacking you are going on about as if it were fantastical and magic?
Tell me, how many disorganized personalities out there do you know of work as hackers? It takes focus, well, unless its the usual low hanging fruit target that Lulz approached that is. Granted though, the HB Gary thing, that was done well, they had a plan, they engineered people and that went off as a well oiled machine would. I applaud that one kids, really I do, not from what you did, but the way you did it. That was worthy, but, still, what is all this claptrap that Quinn is going on about now?
Do-ocracy, yeah, don’t buy that one either. Look, you cannot have an unstructured organization or even a collective. You liken yourselves to a stochastic system in one breath, then say you are a hive mind like bees the next. Lemme give you all a hint, bees and ants, they use signals from leaders to tell them what to do, where to go etc.
See kids, it’s a system they have ranks, they have functions, and they work towards a concerted goal using messages. Go on, go read about them and then come back once you have a grasp of it all… I’ll wait.………..
Ok, back? Do you have a better grasp of this now? Now ponder this, you are all primates. SOCIAL primates by the way, you all work together by communicating AND you tend to have leaders. How does that work within the confines of what you think you know about stochastic systems like the one you claim to have?
Ya know, like the one that Sabu and you all created that was not so leaderless and is now pretty much out of commission? Yeah… It’s time you all took a look at sociology and psychology in regard to what you do and how you are doing it.
Herds and Flocks Both Have The Same Flaw.. Someone Takes The Lead
I have written about this before so I will not belabor it more here, I will simply point you HERE and have you read. Once you have, come back and finish out this article.
So, You’ve DDoS’d and You’ve DOX’d… I See Nothing’s Changed... So Much For Zeitgeists
So, Sabu was the zeitgeist of Anonymous according to Quinn. He and his pals hacked many places and caused quite the ruckus, but, what really came of all that action huh? Do we have anything to really speak to the vast and sweeping changes that their actions created?
- Is our data safer now generally?
- Have the cops been stopped from abusing power?
- Has the government thought better about their power grabs both on the internet and off?
- Has a more open and equitable system of governance been created from it all?
No, no, no, and no. Basically, all of Sabu’s and Anonymous’ actions to date have not made us better off at all really. Sure, you can make correlations that Anonymous has something to do with the Arab spring, but, just how much is a real problematic thing to quantify. Hell, even Quinn would not throw it up there definitively in her kool aide haze (good for you!)
So, what’s this all about I wonder? Is this movement, which was born from /b/ and Lulz just the rabid collective Id or is it a movement? It would seem according to some, that the organization is maturing and that the majority want to do something about the encroaching government and corporate control over us all.
I personally would love to see this happen, that the masses get organized and energized about making a difference in the years to come against the governments heavy hand. Do I have real hope of this happening? Not really…
If Anonymous continues with the DDoS and Doxing that we have been seeing against targets of opportunity, we will have no substantive change, well, I should say no “positive” change. You see, if you keep doing what you have been ad nauseum, you will only serve to make the government tighten their grip on us collectively.
Now one could argue that this will happen anyway, and frankly, I see in my minds eye Bluto making his famous “Germans bombing Pearl Harbor” speech at Delta house here, but couldn’t we do something more constructive?
In the end, just realize that all your machinations to date, have not raised the consciousness nor made real change. Here is where your analogy to bee’s comes back to bite you in the ass.. You have stung, now, lacking stinger, which you leave in the target, you go off and die. Ya know, like the famous Sabu and his rhetoric!
So, How Different Are You From The Obama Administration, CIA, NSA, etc Post STUXNET and FLAME and CYBERWAR, Drones, etc?
Finally, I will leave you with these parting thoughts… Ponder these ideas and questions:
- How different are you from the governments that you say are being heavy handed when you DoS (no, its not a protest) those who you disagree with? Instead of say engaging in debate?
- How different are you now from those you despise when you use the same hacking techniques to attack them? With cyberwar nakedly being used now, are you so different?
- Remember, also with cyberwar, you are now a cleared target as well and may in fact become so because your actions are considered “warfare”.
- Remember one more thing, you guys don’t kill people... The government is and will. Not to say that they will be coming after you with a drone firing a missile, but, generally these guys are much more serious about shit than you are.
I am not saying that you all should just lie down. That anonymous needs to go away. Far from it, I am saying you need to work smarter. If you don’t then I should expect more arrests and more insiders being the linchpins to those mass arrests being carried out.
Stop letting your Ids rule you and let the Ego drive a bit kids. Oh, and Quinn, I can provide you a name of a good de-programmer if you like…
Cross-posted from Krypt3ia