A Study Of The Group Anonymous: Are They Hackers Or Trolls?

1805 words - 7 pages

Modern scholars have in the recent decades engaged in the controversial debate on the actual classification of the group Anonymous. Some scholars classify the group as trolls while other associates it with hackers groups. As defined, hackers are individuals or groups that search and exploit the computer system weakness (Messmer 65). In most instances, hackers engage in discouraging and unappealing activities for multiple reasons including challenging the existing systems, protesting against the prevailing rules and regulations, and for profit making. On the other hand, trolls are groups of individuals who engage in the process of sowing discord on the internet through instigating arguments that aim at upsetting community members and leaders (Keith 11). Trolls are also popular for posting off-topic, extraneous, and inflammatory information on the internet. Although hackers and trolls are the main actors in the current threatening cyber crimes, the two groups have varying reasons for abusing the existing technology. Moreover, despite the existence of detailed and intensive strategies to address the two groups of crime, the actors have been outshining the global policy implementers and formulators in numerous occasions (Messmer 65). However, based on the available evidence, the Anonymous group is more of a hacker group than a troll group.
Historically, the Anonymous has been engaging in activities that qualifies the group as hacker group as opposed to troll organisation. The group began its operation on December 2010 by attacking the MasterCard for blocking the Wiki Leaks website donations (Coleman 1). In January 2011, the Anonymous group attack the Tunisian government website for using illegal means against protesters. In February 2011, the group hacked the Egyptian government website to protest against the government mistreatment of the protesters. The 2012 Anonymous group attack to the United States government forced the international forces to label the organisation as hacker group (Coleman 1). Therefore, based on the historic background of Anonymous, the group is a hacker group that poses major threat to global security.
Based on the group background, the Anonymous has numerous traits and characteristics of a hacking group. The group constitutes of unknown people who use the existing weakness on the computer and internet to exposes individual private information to the public. The group is also popular for hacking and exposing critical government information (Keith 11). In June 2011, the federal security agency confirmed that the group is composed of unpopular individuals who are a threat to the state security (Coleman 1). Therefore, compared to many trolls groups, the existence of unknown people in the Anonymous and the use of computer weakness in accessing organisation’s private information is a confirmation that the group is a threatening hacker group (Messmer 65).
Although the group has gained substantial level of respect in advocating...

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