Twitter User @Revolution1Anon
Anonymous Fighting TrapWire and follow up "more info" link
In August 2012, Anonymous Hacked into Strafor and acquired emails and documents describing the implementation of TrapWire, "an intricate global intelligence infrastructure" that networks private and public security cameras for massive, holistic surveillance. After sending these documents to WikiLeaks, Anonymous put out a call to action to disrupt this infrastructure by disabling surveillance cameras, one camera a time.
I had originally seen a link that had outlined the ways in which you could participate from the safest to the most dangerous. If you didn't want to get arrested, you could add CCTV cams to a Google Map. More daring actors could shoot silly string or spray paint at the lenses. Or you could go and bash cameras with a bat or an ax. The Schnews.org.uk link is very similar. The element that piqued my interest initially was that participation in the name of Anonymous had primarily been designed for elite users. Leaving the rest of us to play the Audience. But now there were clear suggestions (instructions?) on what to do and how. And in addition to that, by articulating tiers for buy-in, they expanded the participation, attention span and even volume (via link forwarding) of the Audience.
Does this mean that Anonymous is more porous? No. Inclusive? Not really. But this inspiration for Collective Action - collective, independent, uncoordinated, singular actions - is a means to an end. Messages from Anonymous travel quickly and widely on the web. Though they did set an October date for the "start", the primary value of a start date is publicity. Meanwhile, the encouraged action could begin at any time before or after October 20th. Similar to Bank Transfer Day, the data related to the inspired action have narrative value and help momentum, but the point to be taken is that people should be standing up to the tyranny of the status quo and should be conscious of this dynamic all the time.
In relation to our readings, this would be a case of "Intuitive Politicians" engaging "Intuitive Economists" to opt in at personal comfort levels. Here Comes Everybody points out, "Collective Action is different than Individual Action, both harder to get going, and once going, harder to stop." In this case, it is very easy to describe what to do, but difficult to orchestrate en masse. But if the goal is to create awareness while inspiring some action then nearly any action is a win.
Though the owner of @Revolution1Anon is not the author of this Action, he/she is making a political statement by endorsing and disseminating the Action. The Action itself makes a statement about the increase and motives of this surveillance environment. Every call to action, every video, pastebin doc, even the articles talking about it, explain with some detail what the problem is, what the symptoms are, who is involved and why. This gives the message more power and stickiness.
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Twitter User @Revolution1Anon