Hackers: Heroes or Villians?

Three members of the Anonymous hacker network have been arrested in Spain. Spanish police began looking for members of the group after a denial of service attack on a government website last October.

Although Anonymous has been implicated in that attack as well as recent ones on the Sony PlayStation network; it is not clear at this time whether the three suspects in Spain had anything to do with those particular attacks.

Anonymous has been under investigation by government officials worldwide, and the kinds of actions they’ve taken have caused a great deal of concern at high levels.

For example, NATO recently warned member nations about the possibility of cyberattacks, and there actually were attacks  this week on government websites in India and Turkey. 

In Turkey, the attacks were made in protest against mandatory government internet filters that will go effect in August. Those filters will allow the government to monitor and track all internet use.

It wasn’t the first protest against the filters. There were also protest marches in the streets of more than 30 Turkish cities last month.

Earlier this week, Anonymous attacked the site of an Indian government IT organization to protest alleged corruption there.

While I’m certainly in favor of freedom of information and unfettered internet access; I wonder if Anonymous hacks might one day disrupt the ability of legitimate government agencies to actually protect the public.

Since we don’t know who is actually in the loose-knit group of hackers, and exactly what their plans might be, we don’t know their real agenda.

We also don’t know if government actions to shut them down are actually justified, or if they are as Anonymous seems to believe, examples of repression and corruption that really should be protested.

So, are they modern day Robin Hoods trying to protect freedom of information for the citizens of the world, or are they are dangerous criminals who ought to be prosecuted?

What do you think?


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