(TFC)— After catching wind of a new string of Anonymous hacker ops, The Fifth Column hopped on the thread. Once the initial announcements for #OpIsrael and #OpUSA were located, TFC was able to get exclusive comment from the hive handling these projects. Among what the hive touched on was the December 14th net neutrality vote, and the importance of protecting internet freedoms.
#OpIsrael and #OpUSA followed President Donald Trump’s announcement that the US embassy in Israel is moving to Jerusalem. The controversial US president, in the same speech, declared Jerusalem as Israel’s new capital. Of course, that didn’t sit well with the Palestinian people, who view Jerusalem as their rightful capital. It’s a dynamic century-old, still fueling bloodshed today.
Almost immediately after President Donald Trump’s announcement, protests and international condemnation filled the web. Demonstrations in Gaza were massive and subject to crackdowns by Israeli Army tear gas and “less than lethal” bullets. Since then, live round exchanges have been recorded, as well as Israeli jet bombings and arrests. Jihadi groups based in Palestinian zones have already drawn lines in the sand as both sides prepare for further clashes.
Not long after that, Anonymous relayed it’s new ops to the world. A list of domains was published—mostly US and Israeli government sites–and messages were pinned on a website CyberGuerilla. TFC was able to find the forums where planning is underway and took the extra step of reaching out. Besides discussing #OpIsrael and #OpUSA, which TFC covered in another piece, the hive from Cyber Guerrilla touched on net neutrality.
The Federal Communications Commission voted on December 14th to gut net neutrality, throwing the nation into limbo. The regulations prevent ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) like Verizon and Comcast to lock off parts of the internet behind extra fees. Without the regulations, it becomes possible for ISP’s to slow connection speeds for competitors, hide or remove content. Not to mention the risk of ISP’s sectioning off the internet into chunks, each one demanding its own fee. Think beyond retail, and imagine what this means for things like independent media, and just the idea of the internet.
Some have gone as far as to mark December 14th, 2017 as the day the internet died. However, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai still needs to contend with the courts. Millions of net neutrality supporters and countless tech companies, big and small, have banded together to decry Pai’s FCC.
“In these modern times”, the team working on #OpIsrael relayed to TFC, “the internet is fast becoming a basic human right. Just like any human right, we think that it is wrong to infringe upon it.” The Anon’s aren’t alone, and stand in the company of the United Nations which, in 2011, ruled internet access as a human right. Furthermore, WIRED reports, cutting off internet access is illegal and considered a human rights violation internationally. How these statements fit with FCC’s vote remains to be determined.
“To threaten to cut people off from the global consciousness is criminal and abhorrent”, Anonymous told TFC. “To move to censor content on the internet based on State prejudice is at best laughably impossible, at worst, morally reprehensible. The unjust restrictions the State(s) impose on the internet will meet with disaster and only strengthen our resolve to disobey and rebel against tyranny.”
As stated in another TFC piece interviewing this Anonymous group, they stated Anon’s will continue assisting “anyone that needs secure internet and communications.” That was asked in the context of if Israel cuts off internet access to protesters or journalists in Gaza. Whether it’ll translate into the future will depend on Anonymous.
“The hundreds of billions in cash thrown into the maw of the god of free markets are unavailable for maintaining the people’s well-being”, the group told TFC. They were speaking in terms of everything from social reforms to education and even space exportation. Anything that could benefit society, Anonymous notes, can’t be sustained by the troves of funds levitated up the socio-economic strata. They advise FCC to “not ease the regulations” and squander “our labor, our money, and our life’s energy.” Punctuating their statement to TFC on the December 14th vote, the crew at Cyber Guerrilla said the following:
“We can choose to use new technology for radical positive change or let it be used against us. We can choose to keep the internet free, keep channels of communication open and dig new tunnels into those places where information is still guarded. Or we can let it all close in around us. As we move in to new digital worlds, we must acknowledge the need for honest information and free expression. We must fight to keep the internet open as a marketplace of ideas where all are seated as equals. We must defend our freedoms from those who would seek to control us. We must fight for those who do not yet have a voice. ” ~Anonymous