“I do not believe in leaks. I would execute leakers. They’re betraying our country.”
-Ralph Peters, U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel
A loosely-knit — or completely unknitted — network of hackers, called Anonymous, has pledged a protracted campaign attacking enemies of democracy. Shortly after their announcement, over a dozen hackers, said to be associated with Anonymous, were arrested for attacks on PayPal. They launched these attacks on PayPal because the website cut off the account for donations to WikiLeaks. After their arrest, the hacker group Antisec attacked over 70 servers for law enforcement departments. Part of the information they acquired includes 10GB of private law enforcement data containing mail spools of police officers from dozens of different departments; usernames, passwords, social security numbers, home addresses and phone numbers to over 7000 officers; alist of hundreds of snitches who made “anonymous” crime tips to the police; and hundreds of internal police academy training files.
The insecurity of government information, in this case the release of personal details about informants who believed to be protected by the veil of anonymity offered by police agencies, is threatening fundamental control mechanisms the state relies upon. This digital monkey-wrenching brings us one step closer to democracy.