As the internal battle at Anonymous Operations plays out, the group’s spokesman, journalist Barrett Brown, officially jumped ship, taking with him close to two dozen members.
A civil war among members of the online activist group has dragged on now for more than a week after a rogue administrator, “Ryan,” and a small group conquered the two main websites of Anonymous Operations and its IRC (Internet relay chat) room where operations were formerly planned.
His reason was based on a growing sentiment among Anonymous members: the group’s lack of a leadership weakens it.
Brown told Threat Post that the battles for control were among his reasons for leaving. “You’ve got kids fighting for control of an IRC channel. I’m a researcher. I’m into revolutionary stuff. But there are other people for whom its about exerting power,” he said.
Brown has gone on to start a new movement, Project PM, which aims to “improve the distribution of accurate and informative news, couple journalists with scientists in order to make useful information more readily available to the masses, and to help develop undeveloped regions of Africa with as much efficiency as attainable.”
The internal battle at Anonymous Operations is interesting. It is a near mirror image of the Great Hacker War in the early 90s between the Legion of Doom and the Masters of Deception. In both cases, hackers are posting personal data about each other online, exposing identities that could lead to their arrests.
As Brown has shown, the drama is a bit too much for some members.
Still, despite the disagreements, Anonymous Operations has gone back online with a new IRC channel. It is yet to be seen, however, the full impact the disagreements had on its membership — after all, when you’re launching cyberattacks (DDoS, particularly), the real strength comes from sheer volume. If Anonymous has lost too many members, their effectiveness may have been greatly reduced.