Are we going to see more leaks?
Yes. A lot [of Anonymous members] are mid- to high-rank NCOs. They are well-respected, have connections, and overly large security clearances. A lot of people who are part of the [Anonymous] culture are just dying at this point for something to come across their table that isn’t already out there. It is so easy to leak information that if you want to, you can do it.
– From Buzzfeed’s recent article Anonymous’ Secret Presence In The U.S. Army
It was only after watching the excellent documentary We Are Legion: The Story of Anonymous, that I really understood the history of the decentralized hacktivist collective. It was also where I first learned of Barrett Brown and his groundbreaking investigative journalism into the murky world of defense contractors such as Booz Allen Hamilton.
People’s opinion’s on “Anonymous” are varied and often confused, which makes sense considering it is more of a collection of ideas, rather than a top down organization with a specific and well defined platform. However, no matter what you think of it, there is no doubting the movement’s political influence. An influence that now extends deep into the bowels of the military-industrial complex. From Buzzfeed:
An active-duty Army captain and member of Anonymous describes how the organization operates, his own involvement in the Arab Spring, how the crackdown on Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden has affected soldiers, and how more leaks are on the way. He has agreed to speak with BuzzFeed on the condition of anonymity.
Are there a lot of members of Anonymous in the Army?
There are more than you would think, more heavily in the techie world [of the military] — especially at Fort Huachuca, where all the intel people are. A lot of them wanted to get the job [there] because they want to learn secret stuff and have a better personal understanding of how the world actually works.
What are the most popular operations amongst soldiers?
Anonymous is so distributed and leaderless that everyone has operations they love and hate. Operation Cartel, especially at Fort Bliss. Operation Dark Net was universally loved. And Operation Payback was pretty well received.
Why do Anonymous members outside the military trust you?
My credibility is incredibly suspect in the group. I admit I work for the feds, and I provide information on myself so that they are comfortable. There are people who I only know as screen names but I have put my career in their hands.
Are the retaliations against Manning and Snowden discouraging Anonymous activity and the desire to leak information?
A lot [of Anonymous members] have been in long enough and are jaded. They are watching as the government comes down harder and harder. There is a growing sense of disdain and hatred because we are complicit in it. There are some secrets that need to be secrets but the stuff [the military] keeps secret just to protect the bottom line — you just feel like you are selling your soul every day. That is a lot of the motivation. Especially for people of the generation that believe that information should be free.