Black, Yellow, Blue: By John Walker

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I'm posting this blog on behalf of John Walker, whose account is temporarily having some 'down time'...

Recent reports have stated that the Anonymous Hacktivists group is to set up its own social networking site and service, after they were understandably rejected from the fledgling Google+ site. To redress this situation, and to reflect their own group’s interest, they are proposing to create ‘AnonPlus‘.

There is no doubt that it is extremely important here to understand that, we, as a society are living in an electronic age where the internet is a pervasive commodity for large numbers of people. Equally, however, the internet is also a source of fear and worry for another sizeable element of the population, who are scared to utilise the fantastic creation of the internet, because of the well reported, and know threats.

Against this backdrop, Anonymous' intention to create its own apparently secret, darker-net - social networking site will not go down well with the latter section of the public, and will only yet again serve to reinforce the negative stereotype that the group's activities have conveyed of purist anarchy, and logical rebellion.

Whilst the underlying reasons for the creation of Anonymous may be understandable from their point of view, possibly it may be time to open up the mind, and look a little deeper back in history, to understand what ‘may’ be the present.

Now I realise that what follows may be a tad controversial but is it possible that in 50+ years, when we look back to the year 2011, it could be that, what we see today, could morph into a very different perspective, representing the political rebels that sprang up in the 1850s under the auspices of the Whig Party, later to become known as the Liberal Party and who formed a UK government in the latter part of the 19th century? This same group later returned to power with a landslide victory in the early years of the 20th century.

Not to stop there, those early political rebels later merged with the SDP in 1988 and – as the Liberal Democrats – who now form part of the Coalition Government of today, now walk the halls of Westminster, which just goes to show that yesterday's rebels can wield real democratic power for many years.

In many ways the political rebels of the 1850s could be considered the equivalent of today's Anonymous online collective, because they represent the views of an online minority, who feel oppressed by what they see as the unfair actions of the majority.

Anonymous is the first manifestation of the new international electronic democracy of the internet. The danger the group faces is that their latest proposed actions could lead to them being viewed as just a bunch of Black Hat Hackers with crazy ideas. And that is just a few steps away from being branded electronic criminals.

Sadly, whilst their own intentions may be fully understood by their own group, they may have lost sight of the implication on the wider, ordinary public who also wish to use the internet unfettered from manifestation of logical interference, abuse, and insecurity.

I hope that freedom of speech will always play a part in our society, but how such freedom of speech is articulated with a mission statement of the organisation is important – don’t pre judge, but use a little imagination to look to the future. Nevertheless, looking to the Global pressure that has been brought about by cyber driven confrontations, I do feel a balanced view should be maintained in an era where the ‘establishment’ has demonstrated it has not lived up to the public aspirations!

To close on a very positive note, with Google + now running at almost 20 million registered users in just three weeks, does tend to demonstrate just how popular the world of Social Networking really is.

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