Courage our network

Reject #OpIsis and the Co-Opting of Anonymous

In this new writing, Jeremy shares his views on Anonymous, #OpISIS, and the recent wave of anti-immigrant sentiment that has been sweeping the nation.


The attacks in France were a terrible but unfortunately predictable response by desperate people who, after a decade of war and occupation, want the west to taste what we have been regularly dishing out. But we cannot allow them to be used to justify more war.

In the wake of the Paris attacks, the Western governments are provoking Islamophobic hatred in order to escalate military operations in the Middle East and push police state powers. It’s a familiar script, and from prison, I’ve been following these developments, disturbed about the attacks on immigrant and Muslim communities and the resurgence of the fascist right.

I remember in the wake of 9/11, the waves of blind patriotism and xenophobia that the war-mongering politicians used to push police-state laws, mass surveillance, and rampant militarization. It was never about fighting terrorism or weapons of mass destruction, but about US empire: control over land, oil, and drug production, like all wars. Hundreds of thousands of innocents were murdered by the US military over the longest war in our history while we escalated drone warfare elsewhere in Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia, creating the conditions which gave rise to ISIS in the first place.

That same post-9/11 hysteria is back and all the war-mongers are again frothing at the mouth with hate for immigrants and refugees, pushing for national Muslim registration databases, and for regime change in Syria.

But I never thought Anonymous would join in on their frenzied call for war. Apparently, GhostSec and others purportedly associated with Anonymous have been DDoSing forums, taking down Twitter accounts, and reporting IP addresses to law enforcement in collaboration with shady military contractors like Kronos Advisory. The naïve fools behind the operation are being manipulated by intelligence agents taking advantage of the emotional reaction to the Paris attacks to harness our skills to fight their hypocritical “war on terrorism.”

As someone who hacked with Anonymous and marched against the war in Iraq, I completely oppose #OpISIS and any attempts to co-opt our movement into supporting the government’s militaristic agenda. Escalated US military involvement is certainly going to result in more civilian deaths, as it already has. All deaths of innocent civilians are a tragedy, and we cannot value one life over another. (And you are still more likely to be shot down by police than in a terrorist attack.)

The same intelligence industry that runs their own NSA hacker operations against ISIS uses the same counter-terrorism justification to spy on everyday civilians with no regards for rights to privacy, encryption, or anonymity. They have always targeted Anonymous and other dissident groups as terrorists, and when they aren’t trying to discredit or imprison us, they are attempting to co-opt us – sometimes openly by attending conference like DEFCON, seducing us with promises of money or calls for patriotic duty, other times covertly lurking around IRC channels attempting to steer us unwittingly into supporting their agenda. Remember, Sabu asked me to hack government websites of Syria and Turkey, among others, which I did, unaware he was an FBI informant. They didn’t want to talk about it at my sentencing hearing, but they did condemn my attacks against police and military contractors at length. The agents out there encouraging you to “hack the terrorists” will have no problem turning around and locking you up for years if you are not useful to their agenda.

We won’t let Anonymous be unwittingly used to further the military industrial complex’s imperialistic operations around the world. We don’t work for the government – we are against all governments. We are on the side of the oppressed, not the oppressors. We support the victims of war, not the war-makers. If you want to report membership lists and IP addresses of suspected terrorists, go join the CIA or hang out with wannabes like Stratfor or the th3j35t3r. Call it state-sponsored hacking, patriotic hacktivism, whatever – just don’t you dare call yourselves Anonymous.

I urge my comrades still out there in the trenches, sitting on some hot 0day, ready to loot databases and trash systems. If you want to stop war and terrorism, target who Martin Luther King Jr. called the “largest purveyor of violence in the word today” – the US government. So Anonymous, get to it – drone manufacturers, white hat infosec contractors, CIA directors, Donald Trump, and your local police department – they all have blood on their hands, they are all fair game.