Since their haphazard formation on the internet post-board called “4chan,” a group of internet hackers has been collaborating and working together to form a sort of decentralized internet moral police which seek mainly to keep the internet open and unregulated (for the most part). The group has claimed ownership of online “attacks” which have shut down government websites from various countries who have shown interest in restricting or closely monitoring the goings on of the web. Interestingly enough, the group has also sought to bring justice to those who would use the internet to hide their own crimes– specifically last year in which the group hacked into a hidden website which was a large distributor of child pornography. Their efforts led to the publishing of the names and credit card information of all those subscribed to the site as well as cutting the site itself off from any users.
Their latest attack on November 16 involved the country of Israel due to its recent hopes for a closely monitored country internet. The group has pulled out all the spots in a very short period of time; Taking down over 600 Israel websites as well as wiping whatever database they could find aw well as leaking various internets onto various open, untraceable sites.
Despite their seemingly noble intentions, many people are weary of the groups secretive nature as it’s decentralized structure holds no body accountable for any actions in the case of a mistake or issue. Also, the generally hive-mind makeup of the group often creates an environment which can be easily rallied and honed as a weapon without any definite proof or a clear sense of direction.
Because of its anonymity, the group is distrusted and handled from a distance by the computer illiterate as well as governments worldwide, often leaving the question of “whose watching the watchers.”