Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Practicum #3 - Patrick

Browsing the various communications channels I found for Anonymous, especially for OpLibya, was enlightening to say the least. Here is a network that is far from what most people would ever interact with, a combination of activists and trolls joined together to fight for...well, who knows? Some are there because they want to save lives, while others are there fighting for "the rights of people everywhere", while others admit they're only there to poke a bear in its eye and for the resulting lulz (which can be essentially be defined as schadenfreude).

The conglomeration never tries to make sense of itself as a whole. The idea of philosophical unity seems to be hilarious no matter how much some activists wanted otherwise. Regardless, there were general agreements amongst those I talked with and from what I observed. First, security was paramount. Regardless of whether someone wanted to just talk, to help with getting communications through, or take down the Libyan government, self-protection came before anything else. You needed to expect your online activities to be tracked, observed, and even attacked, no matter your role. What I learned on security will be talked about in the next forum post.

The second agreement was that if you were there, you were doing something or you were worthless. You needed to use whatever expertise you had to teach people on the other side of the world (often through Google Translate or the like) or to attack the tools of the Libyan government, such as websites, networks, or propaganda.

I went into this hoping to be involved non-aggressively. That is, I didn't want to be involved in any denial of service actions, or to otherwise hack Libyan websites. A combination of worry about legal implications and of drawing attention back to myself made that decision for me. From reading about my options, I decided I would help by setting up a Tor Relay, a way for encrypted traffic to use the internet connections I had available to get through censorship software and avoid eavesdropping.

No comments:

Post a Comment