FBI arrests alleged Anonymous members in wide-ranging raids: Are you next?

There's more than one "heat wave" going on in the U.S. right now as the FBI conducts numerous raids targeting the group Anonymous, resulting in over a dozen arrests across the country.

According to CBS News, law enforcement officials have carried out more than a dozen raids across the U.S. today, targeting alleged members of the Anonymous group, including locations in New York, New Jersey, Florida, and California.

CNET News reports that at least 14 arrests have been made in the FBI-directed raids:

Details were not immediately available on the arrests, which a U.S. government official told CBS News and another unidentified source confirmed to CNET. An FBI spokesman in San Francisco said he could neither confirm nor deny the report. U.S. Department of Justice representatives did not immediately respond to a call and e-mail seeking comment.

It's been quite a day for skirmishing among those who would hack, crack, and otherwise access (and expose) information that corporations and government entities have been unsuccessful in locking down. What with Rupert Murdoch being pie-attacked during testimony before British lawmakers in regard to his knowledge of the so-called "phone hacking" scandal rocking the UK, LulzSec bouncing back with new targets in mind, and this spate of raids in the U.S., it's looking more and more like the Wild West. Talk about asymmetrical warfare.

Can a decentralized group like Anonymous and its offshoots really be stopped by good, old-fashioned physical raids by law enforcement? Or is it more about the statement -- that they're not going to stand around doing nothing as one organization after another gets picked off (or just picked on)? And what about your garden variety, white-hat hackers who could get caught up in the wide-cast net? It might be time to check on your friends and neighbors!

What's your take on the Anonymous threat and how law enforcement is meeting the challenge?

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By Selena Frye

Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...