MeijerTSR, I'm not sure who you are responding to - the two responses to me or my original response. That is really part of the problem here. Your response could easily be to *either* side of the argument we're seeing here - and without directly addressing who you are responding to, it isn't clear at all.
Which is the problem. A lack of clarity, of checks, of accountability, of consistency. Is Anonymous a purely political reactionary group? I'd feel much more comfortable with that. On the other hand, they've attacked global social issues they disagree with on an *individual* basis.
Some of their more disturbing actions:
Publishing all of the contact information of a rural Russian girl who threw puppies into a river - exposing her to death threats from all over the world.
Publishing all of the contact information of a parent who ran an eBay auction for Beyblade toys featuring a picture of her crying children who had destroyed the family bath-tub with the toys. The parent received death-threats, shut down their Facebook page, changed their phone number, and Anonymous tracked the parent down again and released all of their new contact information.
Releasing personally compromising information on law enforcement officials, including private e-mails between girlfriends, wives and other family members, including personally identifying information including phone numbers and residence addresses.
I dated a girl in high school. One Christmas, we were sitting on her couch, and I looked up, and there was a picture of a guy in a military uniform with a *swastika* on his cap. I was shocked and a little offended.
The girl told her mother. Her mother was deeply embarrassed, and insisted on talking to me about it. Her father, my girlfriend's "umpa" - was a German foot soldier. He built bridges. He died when he fell off a bridge. He never saw combat against Allied troops.
The idea of displaying a picture of a solider with a Swastika over your mantle when you live in America is a questionable one - I'll admit. But what we see on the surface also isn't necessarily the full story. In fact, even if this was just a cover story, we live in a place where you are free to be a Nazi sympathizer, or a communist sympathizer, or almost any other ideology you believe in - and that is part of the STRENGTH of our ideals. It has always troubled me on a certain level that it is ILLEGAL in Germany to possess Nazi paraphernalia. This is not because I am a Nazi sympathizer, but because I don't think prohibitions on thought, regardless of how offensive that thought is, work.
But if a group exists that can disagree with your sympathies and stifle free speech through fear - that disrupts democracy.
I wouldn't support the federal government pushing an agenda of a "red scare" or McCarthyism. How is it different if the threat comes from the FBI, or from Anonymous?
I've suggested this hypothetical question before:
How long before Anonymous decides to directly influence a political election because they don't like one of the candidates? How long before it becomes a common practice for "Anonymous" to start digging the dirt out on any candidate they don't like? Worse yet - because Anonymous is a collective, how long before we get a group calling themselves "Anonymous" doing this for the ideals of the LEFT, while another group claiming "Anonymous" does this for the ideals of the RIGHT? What kind of damage does something like that do to the democratic process? It depends on how far they take it.
"We are so opposed to the idea of another Bush presidency, that we've hacked the ballots and elected our own candidate in the sake of sanity".
Of course, Anarchists think this sounds like a great plan, because the "system is already a corporate controlled police state as it is".
So my concern is simply that we have the ability to have open dialog where we can safely voice these concerns without the fear of reprisal for questioning the methods or motivations of Anonymous (or any other organization, group, or federal institution or government).
When the response is, "Just get along with Anonymous (or any other organization, group or federal institution or government), and you don't have to fear their reprisals"...
There is something wrong.
This idea should be getting more up-votes, not down-votes.
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