December 27, 2011

Anonymous

So you are sitting around the Anonymous club house with your buds, and you're asking yourselves, "What can we do to really shake up the military-industrial complex?" Forget for the moment that most folks have never heard of your target. In the cloistered world of self-appointed do-gooding, anything you decide comes complete with its own moral imperative. Actually, this is a crowd Newt Gingrich would fit right in with.

Anyhoo . . . someone says, "Hey, let's hack Stratfor and take the credit card information of all their subscribers and use it to make donations to charities of our choosing. What could be bad about that?"

Gee, I don't know. How about this for starters? You are running a perfectly legitimate charity, minding your own business, when up pops this contribution for $500 from Mr. X. This is followed very shortly thereafter by a phone call from Mr. X. informing the charity this his credit card information was stolen by a bunch of hactivitists who used it to fraudulently make a donation and would you please undo the transaction. No problem, says the charity, as soon as we pay the credit card company a $35 processing fee for the refund.

Seems to me if you are wizard hactivists looking to throw a monkey wrench in the gearworks of the military-industrial complex you ought to know enough about what you are doing to avoid collateral damage.  Expecting legitimate charities to accept ill-gotten gains is ... well, let's be charitable and just leave it at naive. Not understanding that it will actually cost them money to undo your efforts is just plain dumb. I can see why they prefer to remain anonymous.

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