p2pnet view P2P | Interviews:- In a world where there’s no honour or pride, where lies, bribes and deceit are the normal tools of daily business and politics, an assembly of Anonymous netizens is saying We’ve had enough.
Under the Operation Payback banner, they launched a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against the the US Copyright Office, Hollywood’s MPAA, Big Music’s RIAA and BPI and other ‘trade’ groups, and the jackal-like lawyers using copyright to extort ordinary people.
The cartels responded, flaunting their control of agencies meant to protect people, not corporations, by siccing the FBI onto Operation Payback.
What do the organisers want? Not much. Simply for people to be treated with consideration and respect, not as criminals and thieves by the real criminals and thieves — those who run the entertainment industry and software cartels, corrupting as they go.
But money isn’t the currency of the 21st digital century. Knowledge and information are. And ordinary people, until this decade distained as cash-cow ‘consumers’, now control and, for the first time in history, have free access to, both.
We’ve been David for long enough. Now we’ve become Goliath.
“I’ve been expecting an Operation Payback-type movement for a long time”, I said to a spokesperson for the group, going on, “ Is this the beginning of something, or the end?”
Anonymous: We hope it’s the beginning of the end of the abuse of copyright and the lack of transparancy within the entertainment industries. We presented Operation Payback as returning the favor for AiPlex’s DDoS attack on torrent sites. In the time that the operation developed, we found out that a lot of people strongly disagree with the current copyright/patent laws and censorship, and find that payback against one company does’t compare to the reign of the entertainment industries.
Newton: I get the impression many, if not most, of the connections are made on IRC. Would that be correct? If not, how are communications managed?
Anonymous: A lot of the communication is managed over IRC. Also, forums, bulletin boards and image boards (like 4chan) are often used. Of course, facebook and twitter shouldn’t be forgotten. Many visitors in our IRC contact (MSN, Google Talk, Skype, AIM, etc) their friends, telling them to join in.
Newton: I grabbed a couple of sentences from the TF post which said “We can safely conclude that this Anonymous group doesn’t have a broad shared set of ideals. Instead, it is bound together by anger, frustration and the desire to be heard. Their actions are a direct response to the anti-piracy efforts of pro-copyright groups. Aside from shared frustration, the people affiliated with the operation have something else in common. They are nearly all self-described geeks, avid file-sharers and many also have programming skills.” Is that an accurate summary? Or are other people from other walks of life also involved?
Anonymous: Yes and yes. Many of us do have very strong ideals, others are just in for the riot. A lot of people in there do have the “geekyness”, where others are rather interested in our motivations. Anonymous are all of us, geeks, normal people, children, parents, politicians. What everybody has in common, is that they think that something should be done about the corporations exploiting both artists and customers.
Newton: When I write about the changes being wrought I often quote Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, written in the mid-1990s when the net was only just beginning to take hold. In a recent post I pointed out the book’s central character is Tyler Durden who says to ‘Them’: “Remember this. The people you’re trying to step on, we’re everyone you depend on. We’re the people who do your laundry and cook your food and serve your dinner. We make your bed. We guard you while you’re asleep. We drive the ambulances. We direct your call. We are cooks and taxi drivers and we know everything about you. We process your insurance claims and credit card charges. We control every part of your life.” I added the executives, politicians and ‘creators’ should have that in neon lights, hanging on the walls in their offices. Does any of this ring bells with you?
Anonymous: The quote fits in this context perfectly (and is also an accurate answer to the previous question as well). This is just a small angry mob among many. Right now, the entertainment industries are sueing their own customers. Eventually, it will end with their customers all in prison, broke or refusing to pay, or — as in this case — they start a rebellion against them. We hope that they see it not just as an angry mob, but as a reason to decide to find alternate ways.
Newton: Who am I talking to at the moment? An individual? Or a hive, so to speak?
Anonymous: I act as spokesman for the organizing group within the operation, though there are others who might express their thoughts as these questions are viewed and answered collectivily. Before interviews are taking place, we discuss the highlights and ideas we would like to get to the media. Usually, some other people check the interview for both factual and grammatical/spelling errors.
Newton: How are Operation PayBack actions brought to life?
Anonymous: When people in our IRC channel make suggestions, there asked to justify why they think who should be attacked (maybe by referring to media articles that a copyright firm, entertainment company or such went to extremes, like sending 5000 lawsuits [Hustler], legally blackmailing people [ACS:Law]), we do some research in their backgrounds, we probe there employees, business interests and servers/services. If there is no easy way of getting the media to the hard work (like leaking ACAPOR’s email systems), then our alternative is Denial of Service, a date and time are arranged, a attack poster is usually produced, the imageboards (4chan/7chan/711chan/420chan/808chan) are notified, Twitter and Facebook are updated. Then we see what happens.
Newton: For years I’ve been writing about the way in which the corporations are mind-raping our kids in their school classrooms. Is there any way I could contact OP to get something happening to the sites which purportedly exist to ‘educate’ children and their parents? In other words, is OP available to people at large? And if it is, how do they get in touch?
Anonymous: DDoSing only works up to a certain level. Like we see in the media now, our attacks are getting old and less worth mentioning. The only long-term solution would be to start or help in awareness actions. This could be starting a news blog about copywrong, joining the Operations’ IRC channel or website, or publicly questioning their motives. Even sending a postcard, written by a small child asking nicely if they can share a song with their friends might motivate people to start the discussion.
Newton: Is there any kind of formal, or informal, central council? If so, who ‘sits’ on it and how are they nominated?
Anonymous: There is a small group who are comprised of original activists, along with a collection of botnet owners and service administrators (people who host the IRC/Website aswell as those who moderate and manage/develop them). Other people participate in researching news articles and law constructions, while others –like me– are participating to write about these events/actions.
Newton: At various times I’ve suggested the people being persecuted are the ones the persecutors depend on for their survival. At the moment, all the OP action appears to be online with sites as targets. Will it ever move offline, do you think?
Anonymous: All things come to an end. With new people, our focus shifted from just attacking websites to making copyright reform proposals and make people aware about what’s really going on. Eventually we will either fade out of the media attention, or continue with a different strategy and/or different name. As long as there are people to support the cause, the operation will continue to exist in some sort of way.
Newton: If OP is completely decentralised, how are projects organised and implemented?
Anonymous: When I first heard of this operation, I noticed that without actual coordination, a lot is achieved. Most people have the same way of thinking, the same way of reacting. It works as some sort of a Darwin-effect: good ideas are repeated by other people, bad ideas are just ignored or forgotten. Targets are presented, posters are made, websites attacked, without actually one or a few persons planning that. I think it’s the chemistry of a couple hundred anonymous people that keeps us going.
Newton: The FBI is going after OP personnel (if they can be called that). Is this worrying?
Anonymous: Not at all, we believe that the FBI have very little power in this specific case, assuming they are actually investigating, which we can’t see the benefit of for the U.S. tax payers. Besides that, what would they want to achieve? That would only fuel the discussion that the U.S. government tries to gain absolute control over its people, eventually referring to the Fight Club quote. Besides, many people do not even live in the U.S., we spotted visitors from Canada, Brazil, Spain, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Great Britain, India, China, Japan, New Zealand, just to name a few. Judge and jury can also decide that this is a protest rather than a viscious attack, which may lead to unexpected results. Besides that, people can always claim that they didn’t know about their computer being “infected by/with a botnet”. There is no evidence that says otherwise.
The only people who should be worried are those who have been conducting “other” activities (such as hacking). Our service hosts may have a hard time working through all take-down notices, though we believe that both groups be smart enough to avoid or evade legal actions. Still, visiting a website, or saying something on IRC that is considered “implicating” is, as far as we can understand with our common sense, not enough to either shut down a server or arrest a visitor.
Newton: Will OP ops branch out to, say, pharmaceuticals? And will politicians who are obviously serving the cartels rather than the people who put them into office ever be targeted?
Anonymous: The Tech Herald published our newest plans last week. We intend to direct the focus of the operation to public awareness campaign(s). Our statement contains, for example, the following proposals: [See the end of this Q&A for the proposals.] We trust that those politicians will be exposed. Whether that is by us, by rogue groups or by competitors doesn’t matter. Eventually somebody will find out and something will be done. We’re just here to get the show on the road. We may not be able to do anything. But we do the thing we CAN do: motivate people to get on with this. The more people read and know about this, the more there can be done about it.
Newton: Do you have a principal goal?
Anonymous: Our primary objective is to raise public awareness; these attacks and threats publish better than peaceful protests. With the attention, people will at least gain insight in the facts as they are presented, and the facts how they really are. This is not about artists being paid, but industries getting their actual profit from suing people. That is a reversed world. People only complain about the situation. We make people aware that something can actually be done about it. We may be known as “evil DDoSers”, but we did put “scammy” firms like ACS:Law out of business for sending people unfounded law threats/bills. We achieved that ISPs are now more careful about handing over their customers’ IPs; the Ministry of Sound even dropped their legal case against BT because of that. We are not against entertainment or their industries; we are against the way that copyright and patent systems are abused. While we have little or no experience with communicating with lawmakers, other people might have, and those people can decide to help us with what we started.
Jon Newton – p2pnet
From 4chan post >>>
Payback is a bitch
In the news, traces of Operation Payback can be found everywhere. It may by now be clear that these are not the actions of a group rebelious vandals, but organized protests against the reign of extreme pro-copyright organizations and watchdogs for the entertainment industries. We prepared a statement why we are protesting on a seperate page.
[Wed Nov 17]: Sorry for the lack of updates here; we have been very busy doing interviews, plotting and considering alternate ways. We postponed the new website and other (yet not presented) changes until we have everything worked out. In the meanwhile, we would like YOU to help raising public awareness: tell your friends about copyright and copywrong, tell them that they can help, just by telling their friends as well.
For everyone who thinks we’re just a bunch of geeky kids, please consider these proposals, just humor us.
The government gave the entertainment industry free reign, heard all their wishes. Now do your task and help your citizens. Heed our wish for uncensored internet. Heed our wish to share what we like and make. And trust us that we reward the people whose work we appreciate. Because that’s what it is still about, right?
Short Term (within the next 2 or 3 years)
Copyright lifetime reduced to ~25 years
- token of good faith towards the general public
- allows enough time for commercial exploitation
- allows remixing/attribution of anything made before 1985 (currently 1935)
No more piracy lawsuits
- no more ruling through fear and intimidation
- no pay-up-or-else scams
- entertainment industries have to come up with new business models that concur with the modern era (read: internet)
Patent lifetime reduced to ~15 years
- companies will have to innovate;
- they don’t have the exclusive rights to build upon the past
- building upon old patents allows for new innovation
Idle patent lifetime reduced to ~3 years
- no patent trolls; patents that are unused are available for new purposes
- where unused patents are usable again, there is place for new innovation
- Censorship will only lead to corruption/dictatorship, by those who censor
- esrb-like ratings / child locks for websites with adult/improper content should be clientside (parent’s home)
Medium Term (within the next 10 years)
Copyright lifetime reduced to ~5 years
- allows remixing/attribution of anything that is considered an “old hit”
- forces artists to stay active and come up with something new, instead of the eternal autotune/repeated shit
Pharmaceutical/medical patent/copyright lifetime reduced to 1 or 2 years
- minimal exploitation
- original purpose lives again: improving/saving life quality (should be a #1 priority)
- room for improving medicines
- no more lobbying for hospitals to use only their medicines
Global patents lifetime reduced to 5 years
- sufficient time for exploitation
- maximum delay for new innovations reduced to 5 years
- (also note arguments for previous statements)
Long Term (longer than 10 years)
Copyright and patent lifetime reduced to 1 or 0 year
- innovation as primary vision, not monetary gain.
- allows full speed innovation;
- no holding back of new technology/creativity
- vision of humanity will improve
- no need for lobbying; no inefficient politics
- common sense wins over monetary gain
THE CHAT HAS BEEN MOVED TO ANOTHER PAGE: CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR CHAT
RULES; FOLLOW OR GET BANNED
- - Read the Channel Topic when you join.
- - Read the FAQ below!!!
- - We already know [insert site] is down/up.
- - No spamming, flooding, trolling, being a faggot.
- - No unnecessary use of colors/fonts
- - Listen to what OPs says and stay on-topic.
Frequently Asked Questions
|Q:||I’m new to IRC, how does it work?|
|A:||Search this site before asking anything: http://www.irchelp.org/
We also intend to write a short how-to here, but that will take a couple days/years.
|Q:||I don’t want to DDoS, how can I help?|
|A:||Talk about us on social networks (facebook, twitter etc), tell your friends about copyright and copywrong, tell them that they can help, just by telling their friends as well.|
|Q:||Can I have OP / How do I become OP?|
|A:||No / We ask you. If you ask us, there will be a significant chance that you get kicked/banned without warning.|
|Q:||I still have questions, wat do?|
|A:||Join us on IRC and ask us!|
Operation Payback banner – Payback is a bitch!, October 30, 2010
siccing the FBI – FBI launches 4chan/Anonymous ‘investigation’, November 10, 2010
TF post – Behind the Scenes at Anonymous’ Operation Payback, November 16, 2010
mind-raping our kids – Brainwashing your child: mind-rape in 2010, November 10, 2010
Tech Herald – Anonymous plans to slow DDoS attacks, outlines patent and copyright reform, November 9, 2010
case against BT – BT Deletes Records of 20,000 Suspected File-sharers, Ministry of Sound Pissed, November 3, 2010
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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