I’ve always been a traditionalist when it comes to information leaks: There are some things I just don’t think we need to know. I figured government secrets were secret for a reason. I was never heavily into politics. I did some research, elected people, and just trusted them to run the city/state/country. From the two terms of President Bush and leading up to and following the election of President Obama, I was much more aware. And disturbed. The lies of Fox news and hateful rhetoric used to influence their viewers, the viewers who believed them even though there were facts that said otherwise, amazed me. Almost daily, congress became a major source of entertainment and fright. It was a cross between a soap opera, SNL sketch, Onion article, TV thriller and con-artist show. Seeing what were supposed to be respectable elected officials act like children, blatantly lie, throw tantrums and just unashamedly show their ass in public was the scary part. You don’t know if they are really as obtuse as they appear to be, or if they appear to be so for political/monetary gain, or what is worse: an idiot or someone who appears to be one while knowingly ruining the country, blocking good policies and enacting nonsense at the expense of our citizens. Anyway, prior to the last 10-12 years, I was basically tuned out. I only paid attention near election season. In regards to leaks: If someone leaked information in a “whistle blower” fashion, exposing wrong doing, I was OK with that, but leaking information for the sake of leaking information, well, I really couldn’t stand behind that. I had seen some write ups and news releases about wiki-leaks and the cyber group “Anonymous”, and I just figured they were cyber criminals and sooner or later someone would catch up with them.
Then came Ferguson, Missouri.
Before Ferguson, I never really paid much attention to the hacker group Anonymous. Not wanting to be seen as behind something illegal, I reluctantly followed some of them on twitter, because they were one of the few places I could see consolidated information regarding the events taking place in Ferguson after the killing of Mike Brown. I was still on the edge about hacking and bringing down police and other public sites, but their passion and compassion for the people of Ferguson could not be denied, which I had to respect. Then the respect grew. Ferguson is not the only cause they are involved in. They are speaking truth to power, being a voice for people struggling without one and amplifying the voices of people who have little to no power in areas all over the globe. A group I would have once dismissed, I’ve come to root for and admire. Now, I don’t want anyone to catch up with them. On one hand, I cringe at the thought of someone’s privacy being invaded, but on the other hand, they seem to get results, or at least a response. When people are stone walled and locked out by the powers that be, they go in a window and let everything air out. Their actions, in turn, encourage others to investigate and uncover truths for themselves. It’s a risk, because what is being used for good could very easily be used for evil, but it’s hard to be against something or someone who is in your corner, and helping the underdog. I’d like to thank all the different Anonymous groups for their support and help in bringing attention to the corruption and abuses in Ferguson. Things may change in the future, but for now, I wish Anonymous and their band of Merry Men (and women) all the best.