Media outlets–including The New New Internet–have struggled to correctly describe the phenomenon Anonymous, labeling the loose coalition as hackers, online vigilantes and hacktivists. In an effort to set the record straight, Anonymous on Dec. 10 issued a press release to clarify what it really is and what it wants. Just don’t call them a group of hackers–they are an Internet gathering of Internet citizens.
“Anonymous is not a group of hackers. We are average Interent [sic] Citizens ourselves and our motivation is a collective sense of being fed up with all the minor and major injustices we witness every day,” the press release said.
Those associated with Anonymous have no interest in stealing personal information or credit card numbers, nor do they seek to “attack critical infrastructure of companies such as Mastercard, Visa, PayPal or Amazon.”
“Our current goal is to raise awareness about WikiLeaks and the underhanded methods employed by the above companies to impair WikiLeaks’ ability to function,” the statement said.
According to the statement, Operation: Payback never intended to target critical infrastructure of any of the companies or organizations affected, but to focus on their online “public face.” Although an attack on Amazon.com was announced on Twitter and reported by the media, it never happened because “attacking a major online retailer when people are buying presents for their loved ones would be in bad taste,” the release said.
“The continuing attacks on PayPal are already tested and preferable: while not damaging their ability to process payments, they are successful in slowing their network down just enough for people to notice and thus, we achieve our goal of raising awareness,” the statement concluded.