Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Anonymous attacks on Ireland will hurt, not help the case against blocking

My heart sank when I saw this tweet a few minutes ago:
Leave aside, for a moment, the inconvenience and disruption this will cause people trying to make use of government sites, the cost of responding and the controversial question whether denial of service attacks are legitimate as a type of civil disobedience. Quite apart from all these points, the action will do nothing to advance the Anonymous goals.

Until now the Irish campaign against internet blocking proposals has been remarkably effective at getting the issue onto the public and political agenda. With the help of the StopSOPAIreland site, the proposed law has shot from almost no public awareness to national prominence in just a few days, and has seen some Irish politicians genuinely engaging with our concerns. It also is giving many Irish netizens a grounding in political advocacy, something that will help as we confront more of these issues in future.

The Anonymous attacks, if they go ahead, will jeopardise this - making it easier for the music industry to spin critics as criminals, and giving unsympathetic politicians an easy, crowd pleasing reason to ignore the campaign. If the headlines shift from "New law threatens civil liberties" to "Hackers attack Irish government websites" then we will be on the back foot, jeopardising what's been achieved to date.

I don't think Anonymous tend to reconsider their targets once chosen. But if they do, now would be a good time to rethink the Irish attack.


  1. Absolutely. Well said. There is a time and a place for this sort of thing, but now is CERTAINLY not the time. We need the Irish people to unite and legitimately stop these passing of said Legislation.

  2. Too late for that by the look of things.

  3. I love the fact that the above commenters are Anonymous.

  4. Completely agree TJ, and I feel it is often the case.
    I hear the calls on Joe Duffy coming on already..

    (And yes, the "Anonymous" comments gave me a chuckle too)

  5. Totally disagree.
    You give our government far, far too much credibility.

    There is only one thing the government will listen to.
    Anon know that.

  6. I'm not so sure. I think these attacks will further raise awareness. As I said in my comment on The Journal's article (http://jrnl.ie/336623)It’s hopefully going to give the government a wake-up call. While the attacks are one thing, the support that they’ve received and the sharing of http://stopsopaireland.com/ are quite another and should be noted. The Irish people do not want to be censored.

  7. Maybe someone should clarify this: anonymous are not hackers. It is a movement that tries to bring public attention to the problems that are commonly overlooked by public media (ever wandered why?)
    Example: occupy wall street and 99% movement.
    Methods they use and software they choose can be used by anyone who can use calculator on any computer with an internet access. Their power comes from their number not their knowledge or hacking skills. There are no systems in the world that can resist ddos "attack" from thousands of internet users simultaneously as never before so many people have done this at once they are completely unprepared for this. No data is being destroyed or stolen by anonymous. To simply explain this method you can compare it to spamming a website by using a small software tool.

    Below recent true story on ASDA

    Few days ago there were a few people in Poland aware of the fact that in a few days (26/01/12) polish government is going to sign ASDA in Tokyo. After similar attacks on polish government websites over in Poland the topic came to first pages of all national newspapers, tens of thousandths came out on the streets to protests. Online petition in Poland against ASDS has reached 120000 signatures and counting. But polish government remain deaf to the voice of it's citizens and we will not forget that in next general elections. Even if they will sign it at least everyone will know that it happened and that our representatives failed to express the will of people they represent.

    I'm not going to tell you to join anonymous case, I'm foreign and I believe that even tho I live here since a while I have no right to even suggest you anything on how you should approach this matter. But if you are terrified of corporations trying to take away your freedom of speech just to make a bit more money and you are tired of politicians sending you back drafted emails in reply to your concerns, just use google and with a little bit of an effort you will find out where to go and what to do

  8. Lol my post has been deleted in 10 minutes way to go to defend freedom of speech

  9. @TJ McIntyre great post sadly the Irish Goverment never listen it's this or a march on the Dáil Éireann!

  10. I wonder how many will get involved in this as a way to hit back against payments to anglo bondholders too.

  11. What did you and the other solicitors running and cheerleading this campaign expect? You can't choose who is going to support your campaign and you now have a bunch of juvenile hackers in your camp. Well done you

  12. Totally disagree with you. "...making it easier for the music industry to spin critics as criminals, and giving unsympathetic politicians an easy, crowd pleasing reason to ignore the campaign"
    How come that didn't happen in Amerikay last week?

  13. Half the (short) Primetime piece was about the Anonymous attacks. The guys protesting outside the Dáíl were silly to use V for Vendetta masks.