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Anonymous: Protesters or Terrorists? Fog of cyberwar obscures truth

As the hype over impending cybergeddon heats up in Congress, could American citizens soon be considered terrorists for simply voicing dissent online? In the fog of cyberwar, freedom may be first to go.

Cyberwar. Some dismiss it as hype, fueled by government contractors eager for profit, without much concern about the consequences to the net or to freedom. But in Congress, the gloom-and-doom talk about the need for American "cyberwar" preparedness lately is quite real. And for some lawmakers, it’s a clear and present danger.

“A cyberattack is on its way. We will suffer a catastrophic cyber attack,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., recently said at a hearing. “The clock is ticking.”

The Pentagon has even developed a policy that now deems major cyber attacks to be acts of war – which could merit a military response. Bombs for bits, so to speak. "If you shut down our power grid," an anonymous Defense official told the Wall Street Journal, "maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks."

Traditionally the suspicion has been aimed at foreign cyber enemies. Hackers from China, North Korea and Russia often named as the culprits in the mainstream media. But in this year of the protest, the invisible enemy has a domestic face:

Anonymous.

It’s a leaderless hacker movement with a political purpose. One that has joined forces with the Occupy Wall Street movement to fight corporations, banks and governments.

“We stand for freedom,” says one anonymous protester. “We stand for freedom of speech. The power of the people.”

Are they cyber protesters or cyber terrorist? For the U.S. government, there may be little difference between the two.

Just today, media reports revealed that the head of the National Security Agency sees Anonymous hackers as a serious threat. In private documents and meetings with White House officials, Gen. Keith Alexander warned that Anonymous take down the U.S. power grid in the US through a cyber attack.

“There is a deep insinuation that dissent is somehow connected to or an accessory to terrorism,” said J.A. Myerson, an independent journalist who covers the Occupy Wall Street movement. “That's a really horrifying prospect.”

A horrifying prospect that is now a reality for a government busy fighting the endless War on Terror.

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said it would be “crazy” to exempt terrorist suspects who are Americans and are arrested inside the country from battlefield-style detention.

“If you are an American citizen and you betray your country, you’re going to be held in military custody and you’re going to be questioned about what you know,” Graham said on the Senate floor. “You’re not going to be given a lawyer. ”

And freedom of speech and the internet may soon follow. Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut) has been pushing for the U.S. government to develop an internet shut-off switch which he says is needed to defend the economic infrastructure from a cyberterrorist attack.

“Right now China can disconnect parts of its internet in case of war,” Lieberman said on CNN. “We need to have that too.”

And that, says Retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, is pushing the U.S. down the road to tyranny.

"I don't think they're doing this based on their fear of terrorists,” Wilkerson said. “I think they're doing it based on their ultimate fear of the Occupy Wall Street cum other movements in this country.”

And as Anonymous and the Occupy Wall Street movements grow, so will those fears. Dangerously blurring the lines between who’s a freedom fighter and who is a terrorist.

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Added: Feb-22-2012 
By: Brainwashedilluminant
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Tags: Anonymous:, Protesters, or, Terrorists?, Fog, of, cyberwar, obscures, truth
Views: 3200 | Comments: 28 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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  • Comment of user 'rclark951' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Ah FFS. We the people of the world have to take down and reinstate our goverments, country by country. We need to stop this paranoia bullshit before we all end up living our lifes as in Orwells 1984...

    Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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  • The perfect excuse.
    Any kind of protest is treated like treason, possible connection to terrorism ending in the end of your liberties.

    Fascists.

    Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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  • Yes lets take Example from China the Communist country. Lets have that here. Fucking tool just pointed out he's Pro Communist. 1:30

    Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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  • HAHAHAHA when shit hits the fan in the US the word "terrorism" starts to come out of every corner, pathetic...
    These people are just pissed off because your shitty government is censoring everything in the internet and i certainly can't blame them.

    Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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    • @Ferrante what is our country cesnoring?

      please, do explain this to me...

      especially a brit like yourself, who really is censored and monitored on the internet, you have ZERO rights compared to us, lol you cant even watch the daily show with jon stweart without your government censoring it! LMFAO!

      Peasants...

      Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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    • @VikingRapeSquad
      Your country is censoring the whole internet! with your SOPA bullshit and now we're gonna have ACTA as well, inform yourself about these
      PS: I'm not british as you can clearly tell from the flag under my username...

      Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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  • Im not all for anon or anything but the government is basically saying if you reveal our treasonous acts we'll prosecute you for treason or worse... there are very few things that a government does that should be hidden from the people under that government. No i'm not a liberal im just not for the way the US government is run anymore.

    Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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  • wtf is america going to bomb the lawn mower man now???

    Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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  • Chicken or the egg?

    Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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  • lolz, war against those anonymous trolls? gotta laugh, sorry

    Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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  • In response to the very first paragraph....

    There is a HUGE difference between voicing dissent and actively hacking websites and disrupting services. Voicing dissent in this country is NOT the issue. Hacking websites and maliciously disrupting services IS.

    "Anonymous" was good at exposing scientology......too bad they did not keep their focus on that.

    Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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    • @ArrestU Yeah, too bad they shifted focus to the other evils in this world, eh?

      You don't get what Anonymous is yet.

      Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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    • @hellgremlin

      I know what anonymous is. I know what they are about. I just think they are counter productive.

      Hacking and disrupting services is just going to continue to drive the government to enact laws restricting our rights on the internet.

      Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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    • @ArrestU And for every law that restricts rights that is enacted, more people will become Anonymous.

      Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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    • @hellgremlin

      That, my friend, seems a bit naive to me. The majority of the people in the world work and have other priorities. Most people don't care about the cause.

      Believe me, I am all for freedom, especially on the internet. But If people think the government is going to bow down to a bunch of hackers, they are are naive.

      Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'PimeTaradox' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • 美国是最大的恐怖分子,操美国妹的!美国灭亡世界就和平了!

    Posted May-15-2012 By 

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  • Cianonymous! They want you to think there is more fear to worry about so that more of your freedoms can be taken away. The game is up!. They now must get you to think that Cianonymous will spread more terror so that they can clamp down on the internet!.

    Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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  • they are terrorists, they use threats and intimidation and destruction of property to coheres people into giving them what they want..they are by the very definition: terrorists.

    Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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    • @VikingRapeSquad by that definition a play ground bully is also a terrorist. Sorry for me to call someone a terrorist you have to hurt more than reputations

      Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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    • @VikingRapeSquad

      "they are terrorists, they use threats and intimidation and destruction of property to coheres people into giving them what they want..they are by the very definition: terrorists."

      Agreed, the US government is bad. Damn evil I tell you.

      Posted Feb-23-2012 By 

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