Recent cyber attacks have made the hacktivist and trolling entities Anonymous and LulzSec look chaotic, vindictive and more than anything, shrouded in mystery. A deluge of press attention in recent months has told us a bit about the folks involved, but now the Anons, as they call themselves, are being given a platform to write up their personal stories and explain in their own words why they’ve joined this new modern-day insurgency, risking arrest for the sake of bringing down a website or two.

A co-founder of LulzSec known online as Topiary last week set up an account on Pastebin, the online text application beloved by hackers and LulzSec itself, to publish essays and stories from various supporters of Anonymous. The goal of Voice, he says in the introductory document, is to “capture the motivation behind the recent movement.”

“Anonymous has been moving exceptionally fast with the birth of AntiSec, so we’re trying to capture the personal moments in between the chaos while spreading our creativity through images, text, and videos,” he added separately.

So far the main submissions seem to be text only, but he hopes to get videos, music and imagery too. It’s similar to the stuff users of 4chan (an image board that preceded Anonymous) upload and share everyday to reinforce their belonging in an Internet subculture while poking fun at the rest of the world.

There have been eight submissions so far to Voice, from people claiming to be former American soldiers, activists and college students. Just don’t expect clear-cut descriptions of what they do for a living or, (Heaven forbid) where they live. Instead these are philosophical, often passionate eulogies to a movement that apparently wants to be everything at once, as one called EFG explains:

In the past two years I’ve lived in London, Paris, New York, San Diego, Vancouver, Berlin, Dublin, New Dehli, Phoenix, and a place known only as “Bumfuck Idaho.” I go to college, but not really. I’ve been an underaged n00b, and a 38 year old naysayer. I’ve gone from wealth and success to hunger and homelessness, I’ve been a hacker, and a programmer, and a newfag begging for a LOIC hive. I am a Socialist. And an Anarchist. And a Communist. And a Democrat. And a Libertarian. I am the all singing all dancing crap of the world. In short, I do not exist.

Another named ti pointed out that while everyone came from different backgrounds, they were united by a desire to fight something.

I go to college. I have goals. I have fears. I have problems like anyone else. The funny part? In Anonymous, none of this matters… Anonymous is made of people who see something wrong with the world around them, who have different backgrounds, different ideals, and different cultures. I can’t stress enough the amazing diversity in the people I’ve met. But being Anonymous means none of this matters anymore: you join for the cause, much like I, or anyone else, did. We all have our reasons to fight.

An activist called choobear sees Anonymous as a new form of protest:

For years I have been an activist. I’ve been to many marches. I have stood for the environment, protested against government policies, yelled at the top of my lungs about war, marched in support of gay and lesbian marriage, made pro-choice signs, gone to planning meetings…you get the point. This is an old model of activism. It is still a very valid form of activism and it can get things done, but there is a new wave of activism. It’s called Anonymous.

While another called Tylasaur says Anonymous has changed the very definition of “hacker.”

What do you think of when you hear hacker? I used to think of computers, smarts and patience. Now I think freedom, liberty and lulz… Anonymous has personally changed me for the better. I more easily understand how the media’s food chain works. Big shot white-hats rule the world with not a bit of courage.

It’s a mixed bag of rhetoric, but the statements all seem to point towards the insurrectionary nature of those who take part in Anonymous, and that it is becoming more of a process than any kind of real group.


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