Two weeks ago the internet hacker group “Antisec,” aka Anonymous, made the serious claim that they had in their possession 12 million Apple Unique Device Identifiers. They then posted 1 million of the numbers with the boast that they had pulled them from an FBI laptop, implicating that the FBI had used them to track the iPhone users since at least March when the hackers took the numbers.
The FBI was quick to rebuff, saying there was no evidence their computers were hacked. Apple soon chimed in that they had never given the FBI the information either.
Despite the discrepancies in their claim, Anonymous stuck to their word until Monday when the app developer, Blue Toad came forward. They made the statement that the numbers posted by Anonymous matched their user-base and corresponded with a breach in their security two weeks before.
Anonymous’ claim has now been revealed as a lie. The first attempts at goodwill and charity have turned into an act equal to Internet terrorism — the spread of lies and misinformation for the sole purpose of spreading paranoia and fear.
Anonymous has always been primarily known for hacking websites and databases with the single intent of spreading mischief and mayhem, never justifying their breaches as anything beyond petty revenge or “for the lulz.”
But in a day and age where commercial websites track and store unknowing users’ information and credit card security breaks are just a few clicks away, groups outside the law we need are those like Wikileaks, who are computer literate enough to serve and inform the people.
It was unfortunate but unsurprising last week that Anonymous was outright lying about having the best interests of the public in mind and that they would pretend to have such is nothing short of sickening and backwards.
The last thing our world needs is yet another party spreading misinformation across the internet with the illusion of facts backing them. This is how fear and conspiracies begin and when people could easily have tracked and monitored those using the numbers Anonymous released, their lie could have just as soon have been a reality.
However, even if their information was legitimate, Anonymous could never be the group needed purely by their own definition. Anonymous is literally anyone on the Internet claiming to be one of them.
It is impossible for Anonymous to ever hold a single agenda, political or otherwise, because of their leaderless, anarchistic structure. They can never be trusted because for every single member of Anonymous with genuine intentions, there are half a dozen other members who would seek to undo it.
As a group, they are not to be trusted, graduating from occasional nuisance to online terrorist with no doctrine, beliefs and worst of all, no one with any interest in bringing them to justice.
Patrick Larose is a creative writing sophomore and may be reached at email@example.com.