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Insider tells why Anonymous ‘might well be the most powerful organization on Earth’
May 15, 2012 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Christopher Doyon, a.k.a. Commander X, is currently on the run from the U.S. government. In this interview with the National Post he talks about his work with Anonymous and what it means for the future of information: "Right now we have access to every classified database in the U.S. government. It’s a matter of when we leak the contents of those databases, not if. You know how we got access? We didn’t hack them. The access was given to us by the people who run the systems. The five-star general (and) the Secretary of Defence who sit in the cushy plush offices at the top of the Pentagon don’t run anything anymore. It’s the pimply-faced kid in the basement who controls the whole game, and Bradley Manning proved that. The fact he had the 250,000 cables that were released effectively cut the power of the U.S. State Department in half. The Afghan war diaries and the Iran war diaries effectively cut the political clout of the U.S. Department of Defence in half. All because of one guy who had enough balls to slip a CD in an envelope and mail it to somebody. Now people are leaking to Anonymous and they’re not coming to us with this document or that document or a CD, they’re coming to us with keys to the kingdom, they’re giving us the passwords and usernames to whole secure databases that we now have free reign over. … The world needs to be concerned."(via)
posted by AElfwine Evenstar (49 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
I first read it as "running for US government" and was momentarily hopeful.
posted by Nomyte at 9:54 AM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Knowledge is power, but just like a blackmailer, when the info is released, all power is lost.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:06 AM on May 15, 2012


Guy from Anonymous thinks that Anonymous is super strong. So?
posted by weinbot at 10:07 AM on May 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


we now have free reign over. … The world needs to be concerned.
Love to know what was in that ellipsis.
posted by fullerine at 10:09 AM on May 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Right now we have access to every classified database in the U.S. government.

Yeah, not even close to being possible. And these guys don't really have a good track record on this level of boasting.

You know how we got access? We didn’t hack them. The access was given to us by the people who run the systems. The five-star general (and) the Secretary of Defence who sit in the cushy plush offices at the top of the Pentagon don’t run anything anymore. It’s the pimply-faced kid in the basement who controls the whole game, and Bradley Manning proved that.

This, however, bears repeating. However, I doubt there's nearly as many wannabe Mannings as they claim, at least for now. From my admittedly limited experience, most of the intelligence staff, even the young people, believe strongly in the goals of their various organizations and protect them accordingly.

Love to know what was in that ellipsis.

From the way the sentence is structured, it just looks like it's for effect.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:12 AM on May 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


@weinbot, you have been reported to @AnonOps.

Kidding aside, shopping someone to Anonymous has become the new "I'm going to report you to your ISP" threat on the internet.
posted by clvrmnky at 10:12 AM on May 15, 2012


effectively cut the power of the U.S. State Department in half. [...] effectively cut the political clout of the U.S. Department of Defence in half.

I would wish for a better understanding of how the world, and institutions, actually, y'know, work, from those who would be the new BMOC.
posted by OmieWise at 10:15 AM on May 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 10:16 AM on May 15, 2012


The concept of political power this guy displays is delusional. "Cut the power of the U.S. State Department in half"? Anon could really use a little background in Marx — "the weapons of criticism cannot replace the criticism of weapons; material force must be overthrown by material force."
posted by RogerB at 10:16 AM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


How many divisions does Anon have?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:19 AM on May 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


Comic book guy watches Wargames, gets idea.

These guys have been burned before, usually because they don't have the military, law or intelligence backgrounds to know what's good.

Case in point the issue with the "mortgage fraud." They got it all wrong and the stuff didn't say anything like they thought it said.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:20 AM on May 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Quantity over quality.
posted by maryr at 10:23 AM on May 15, 2012


In Syria and Tunisia, Libya, Egypt in Nigeria in the Ivory Coast, we have saved so many lives I can’t even count

I think I can count them. Zero.
posted by empath at 10:24 AM on May 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


How many divisions does Anon have?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:19 AM on 5/15
[3 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Play Call of Duty Black Ops 2 and find out!!!
posted by Bwithh at 10:27 AM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


How many divisions does Anon have?

Like political and ideological divisions? Infinite.
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:28 AM on May 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Anonysterical.

These guys have been burned before, usually because they don't have the military, law or intelligence backgrounds to know what's good.

Does anyone know if they have attracted more of these specialists to assist the way their alternative Internet project (if it is indeed theirs) has attracted some serious engineers?
posted by michaelh at 10:31 AM on May 15, 2012


I love how in this dude's "narrative", freedom-loving Canadian govt contacts are secretly helping Anonymous ( he goes on to criticize Quebec police tactics later on but maybe his "friends " are in the federal govt).
Someone should maybe tell him a bit about the Harper government...
posted by Bwithh at 10:31 AM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Someone should maybe tell him a bit about the Harper government...
He's clearly referring to disgruntled civil servants and mid level employees, not the PMO.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:36 AM on May 15, 2012


Like political and ideological divisions? Infinite.


This is the Anonymous People's Front.

Splitter.
posted by ocschwar at 10:40 AM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mid-level civil servants who Help determine Canadian foreign policy grand strategy !
"We might be wrong, but our understanding is that the Canadian government is about equally concerned with Anonymous and the United States. Their approach will be: “Step lively, don’t stay long, and you’ll be fine"
posted by Bwithh at 10:42 AM on May 15, 2012


Oh - For a minute, I thought this was about Mr Awesome. (Link potentially not safe for work).

Not sure if this is better or worse. Probably better.
posted by symbioid at 10:43 AM on May 15, 2012


[This comment deleted by Anonymous]
posted by miyabo at 10:44 AM on May 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's also worth noting that "thanks" to Bradley Manning and Wikileaks, and the Anonymous crowd, the names of Iraq's seven remaining Jews became exposed, necessitating their rescue.

These guys can't keep pretending that they aren't inflicting collateral damage.
posted by ocschwar at 10:55 AM on May 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


So a member of the most powerful organization on Earth is on the run from a wimpy, cut in half US government? Yeah. Pull the other one.
posted by spicynuts at 10:56 AM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


[This comment added by Anonymous]
posted by -harlequin- at 10:56 AM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


a wimpy, cut in half US government?

That's still 400 pounds of gorilla :-)
posted by -harlequin- at 10:58 AM on May 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


According this , Commander X is in his late 40s

Well, I was surprised
posted by Bwithh at 10:58 AM on May 15, 2012


Yeah, I'll believe they've got access to every classified database on the planet when I see it.
posted by sotonohito at 10:58 AM on May 15, 2012


Actually, that's mostly pork, harlequin.
posted by maryr at 11:01 AM on May 15, 2012


Interesting: Q: As strictly an online army of hackers, how powerful is Anonymous?
A: Anonymous is kind of like the big buff kid in school who had really bad self-esteem then all of a sudden one day he punched someone in the face and went, “Holy s— I’m really strong!” Scientology (one of Anonymous’s first targets) was the punch in the face where Anonymous began to realize how incredibly powerful they are. There’s a really good argument at this point that we might well be the most powerful organization on Earth. The entire world right now is run by information. Our entire world is being controlled and operated by tiny invisible 1s and 0s that are flashing through the air and flashing through the wires around us. So if that’s what controls our world, ask yourself who controls the 1s and the 0s? It’s the geeks and computer hackers of the world.

posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:18 AM on May 15, 2012


Well I'm certainly glad to see that Scientology no longer exists.
posted by symbioid at 11:25 AM on May 15, 2012 [9 favorites]


There’s a really good argument at this point that we might well be the most powerful organization on Earth.

What's the name of that trick where a government organization creates an opposition that looks big and dangerous, in order to secure greater funding and autonomy?
posted by fatbird at 11:39 AM on May 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


What's the name of that trick where a government organization creates an opposition that looks big and dangerous, in order to secure greater funding and autonomy?

911?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:46 AM on May 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


"The entire world right now is run by information. Our entire world is being controlled and operated by tiny invisible 1s and 0s that are flashing through the air and flashing through the wires around us. So if that’s what controls our world, ask yourself who controls the 1s and the 0s?"
I love the way Ben Kingsley delivers these lines.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:47 AM on May 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


Who else is going to change the world, Marty? Reddit?
posted by maryr at 12:09 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was going to do it, but I there was something good on TV.
posted by -harlequin- at 12:22 PM on May 15, 2012


The entire world right now is run by beans. Our entire world is being controlled and operated by tiny beans that are piling up on the plates around us. So if that’s what controls our world, ask yourself who overthinks the plates of beans?
posted by jason_steakums at 12:31 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


The most entertainingly daffy part of all this—well, after naming your splinter cell "The People's Liberation Front"—is where a leader of "the most powerful organization on Earth" is wanted on charges of participating in a DOS attack on the county of Santa Cruz's website. It's like Barack Obama being wanted for keying some guy's car.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:58 PM on May 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


That guy totally deserved it. Did you hear what he said about Michelle?
posted by maryr at 1:22 PM on May 15, 2012


Anon could really use a little background in Marx — "the weapons of criticism cannot replace the criticism of weapons; material force must be overthrown by material force."

RogerB, he also could benefit from a little Sun Tzu, some Edward Gibbon, any history book ever written...

In short: Anonymous and LulzSec turn out to be a slightly more headline-worthy versions of Script Kiddie #5,485, or that guy that totally trolled your favorite gaming forum and derailed everyone for months.

The tools they're making famous, however, are really, really important. See: Stuxnet (sponsored by USA/Israel), attacks on US DOD sites (sponsored by China), etc. The game is different, but it won't be run by angry little men trading pron on Usenet forums.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:29 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anonymous is kind of like the big buff kid in school who had really bad self-esteem then all of a sudden one day he punched someone in the face and went, “Holy s— I’m really strong!” Scientology (one of Anonymous’s first targets) was the punch in the face where Anonymous began to realize how incredibly powerful they are. There’s a really good argument at this point that we might well be the most powerful organization on Earth.

Funny, looks to me as though the CoS is still very much alive and kicking. A fringe cult based on science fiction (albeit one with boatloads of money and lawyers) barely felt the effects of Anonymous, but we're to believe they have the global governments by the balls.

The inflated sense of self-importance of these guys never fails to amaze me. "Most power organization on Earth"? God damn, guys. What happened to Habbo Hotel raids?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:06 PM on May 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


...cut the political clout of the U.S. Department of Defence in half.

As long as the online maps are accurate enough for a bomber droid to find his house, DOD still has plenty of clout.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:05 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


every email database [...] has had crimes in it. Not one time that I’ve broken into a corporation or a government, and found their emails and thought, “Oh my God, these people are perfectly innocent people, I made a mistake.”

I know how this book ends:
But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:33 PM on May 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


How many divisions does Anon have?

According to their marketing they are legion, so half to one sixth of a division?
posted by ersatz at 5:13 PM on May 15, 2012 [10 favorites]


The entire world right now is run by beans.

Human beans.

(I'll show myself out.)
posted by chavenet at 8:10 AM on May 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anon "strikes" again: They claim they've hacked the "US Bureau of Justice," which doesn't exist. Turns out they hacked the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which is part of the Department of Justice. And what does the Bureau of Justice Statistics do? They collect and analyze aggregate crime data into a form that can be released to the public. That's right, they've managed to do the unthinkable and...download public data.

These guys are proving themselves to be nothing more than egotistical idiots.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:04 AM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bradley Manning defence team says US military is withholding key evidence
posted by homunculus at 12:29 PM on May 28, 2012


Is Anonymous The Internet's Most Powerful Mirage?
posted by homunculus at 12:31 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Inside LulzSec: How the Superstar Hackers Met Wikileaks
posted by homunculus at 2:38 PM on May 30, 2012


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