It is hard to describe in words what Anonymous really is. To most, it is a group of hackers who disrupt web pages and steal data. However, some think that they are doing good things for society.
The irony of the situation is that Anonymous is not a group that can be traced to a building or to a country. They are dispersed around the world — they have no offices, no leaders, they do not follow a strategy.
With its ever growing popularity, it has become a case of whether or not they can actually be considered criminals.
At Orange Coast College, most haven’t heard of it, but the students who had agreed that while they are hackers, they do things that benefit society.
Jairo Navarete, 24, computer science major, said Anonymous is a group of Internet activists and it is good when the group exposes bad information about certain companies.
“The government should not punish them with long sentences, because what they do not affect the company’s people — only the money,” he said.
Another student said the group usually has the people in mind.
“They are a group that speaks in favor of society’s best interest and only mean well,” said Garret Smith, 19, a video-game science major.
Some students said releasing confidential information can be valuable for society.
“I know they expose information that would be valuable for the public to know, that otherwise is kept secret to fulfill the government’s agenda,” said 20-year-old Jimmy Wakem.
The Obama administration says organizations such as WikiLeaks and hacking group LulzSec may conduct economic espionage against U.S. companies.
In fact, Anonymous members work independently but when they finish, they leave their calling card where they use their famous quote, “We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”
Anonymous has millions of followers on the Internet. Their Youtube videos have millions of views and they have become a type of cyber heroes.
Heroes or villains, the government has doubled its efforts to stop Anonymous’ activities, but it seems that the hacktivists are multiplying and Anonymous is growing every day.