Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011


Anonymous has been called many things, mostly in relation to computer infiltration — hackers, hacktivists, an international hacking collective — but the so-called group is really more of a way of life than something that's easily definable. Anonymous has changed the way the world thinks about hacking by turning it into a form of social activism. A fixture with the Occupy Wall Street protests, Anonymous has also been linked to nefarious hacks like the one that took down Sony's PlayStation Network this year. Yet it has reportedly engaged in vigilante justice as well, including the takedown of a massive child-pornography ring. Despite having no central leadership, Anonymous has seen its reputation grow, thanks to the nature of its anyone-can-join mentality. Did Anonymous members really threaten a Mexican drug cartel? Did they really take down the PlayStation Network? That's the power and peril of an organization as inherently disorganized as Anonymous.