On the podcast this week, Gabriella Coleman, anthropologist and the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy in the Department of Art History & Communication Studies at McGill University, discusses hacktivist group Anonymous. Coleman begins with an overview of Anonymous originating with online pranks that eventually evolved into political activism. The group, according to Coleman, began seeking “lulz” on the message board 4chan. The pranks consisted of Internet memes and practical Internet jokes called trolling. She then discusses how the group moved into activism using denial of services attacks to shut down websites and how it issued a series of videos against the Church of Scientology. The discussion then turns to the recent arrest of several LulzSec members, including Sabu, the hacker turned FBI informant.
- “Anonymous: From the Lulz to Collective Action”, by Coleman
- “Arrests Sow Mistrust Inside a Clan of Hackers”, New York Times
- “Why Anonymous will never be able to take down the power grid”, JerryBrito.com
- “‘We Do It for the Lulz’: What Makes LulzSec Tick?”, Time Techland