In what can be described as a great battle for the freedom of the internet, Anonymous — those self-proclaimed hacktivist — have launched a series of attacks on Israeli websites owned by the Israeli Military or Government. The attacks come in the midst of a huge Israeli offensive on Gaza, but contrary to what CNet would have you believe, the attack themselves were not in retaliation to the Gaza offensive, but rather a retaliation to the Israeli ‘threat’ of severing all internet communications in and out of Gaza.
Anonymous are being more than consistent here, they’re side-stepping the murky geo-political history of the conflict by clearly stating that they’re targeting the Israelis because they threatened to cut of to the population of Gaza from what is a ‘basic human right’ of access to the internet. That’s it. No long story that starts with World War 2, or Yom Kippur War or back to the time of Moses. Nobody cares about that–the message from Anonymous is clear, even in times of war–the Internet should be allowed to stand.
In a statement from Anonymous:
“…[When] the government of Israel publicly threatened to sever all Internet and other telecommunications into and out of Gaza they crossed a line in the sand. As the former dictator of Egypt Mubarack learned the hard way –- we are ANONYMOUS and NO ONE shuts down the Internet on our watch…”
The truly apt, “No One Shuts down the Internet on our watch” is a quote we will hopefully teach in the history textbooks of the coming decade, when we as a species look back at this particular time and realize that for the first time a group of loosely aligned individuals could band together and do more than just embassy protest or pink flower rallies–the internet has enabled Anonymous to actually launch a real attack against a nation while the rest of the world just sits back and passively watches on CNN.
The internet has revolutionized revolutions.
Imagine if Rwanda had full internet penetration during it’s dark days, or if twitter was around during the apartheid times of South Africa, closer to home imagine how soon Aung San Suu Kyi would have been released to start the democratic renewal of Cambodia had the internet been around in Cambodia 10-20 years ago.
It is truly an amazing moment when citizens of a country can hold it’s government responsible for any atrocity, it’s even more amazing if citizens of other countries can hold foreign governments responsible for atrocities against our fellow men.
*I’m in no way taking sides in a conflict that has spanned generations and most don’t even remember the point off (much like the 30 year old feud your aunt has with her neighbour). The point is that Anonymous is apolitical–until you take away someones internet–then you’ve got something to worry about.