Problem-Reaction-Solution: Anonymous Promises to Take Down the Internet
March 22, 2012
They’re back. The FBI’s Lulzsec promises hijinks on April Fool’s Day. On Saturday, the supposed hacktivist group infiltrated – and we can presume created – by the U.S. government released a YouTube video promising more mayhem. “Lulzsec will start targeting governments, corporations, agencies, and quite possibly the people watching this video. We are here for the lulz, the fame, the anarchy, and the people,” the video proclaimed.
Targeting “the people watching this video” – mostly average people who have nothing to do with the government or large corporations – appears to be the next step in an ambitious psyop designed to manufacture consensus for government regulation of the internet.
Lulzsec may not get the chance, if we can believe the hype. A couple weeks ago, sister organization Anonymous (also rumored to be a government creation) said it would not just take down a few government and corporate websites, but the entire internet. It plans to do this on March 31st using something called DNS amplification.
DNS, or Domain Name System, is sort of like the White Pages of the internet. It is used every time you type a website address in your browser. Anonymous plans to attack the DNS servers. Here’s an in-depth explanation of how DNS works and how Anonymous supposedly plans to attack it and disable the internet.
In the past, Anonymous responded to things like the Pirate Bay and Megaupload takedowns by the government and SOPA and PIPA, but has morphed into what the government would consider to be a terrorist organization. It’s latest “anarchic” activity is not connected to a political idea of principle. It does, however, coincide with an orchestrated propaganda campaign portraying the shadowy group as dangerous.
“Beyond causing a relatively minor and short-lived inconvenience to government agencies and corporations, the longer term usefulness and effectiveness of the hacking collectives’ attacks is questionable,” writes Brit Dee. “The public is generally unsympathetic to LulzSec’s and Anonymous’ attacks due to the inconvenience they cause, the seeming lack of coherence in the groups’ aims, and the somewhat juvenile image presented by both groups.”
This inconvenience will reach terminal velocity if the group manages to shut down the internet by swamping DNS. If this happens, it will be a case of problem-reaction-solution on steroids. The government will propose a raft of draconian legislation to regulate the internet and the people will cheer them on.
“It would be grimly ironic if groups proclaiming to fight for internet freedoms were in reality being used as a tool — infiltrated and steered by the very intelligence agencies they have apparently attacked — to kill those very freedoms,” notes Dee.
It fits a well established pattern dating back to at least the 1950s when the FBI not only infiltrated targeted political organizations but also created them from scratch. Lulzsec and Anonymous appear to be government part of COINTELPRO, a government program that never went away as we were told back in the 1970s.Share