By now, many people know the anonymous hackers mask, originally known as the guy fawkes mask. A new type of activist has been born, the “hacktivist”. These hackers use their skills to protect freedom of speech, people’s right to information, human rights, information ethics and to protest against government surveillance(or so they say).
One could be inclined to view hacktivists like Anonymous as heroes fighting for the freedom of the people. They defy the governments and big cooperations by whom many people feel threatened in one way or another. They do this in a non violent manner and in a digital world. This makes the heroic view only more compelling, especially since people sometimes seem to think that what happens in cyber space can not harm them. The amount and the type of information about themselves people put on Facebook illustrates this perfectly.
However, we have to remind ourselves that they are vigilantes who undermine the rule of law, and thereby threaten the very freedoms they claim to protect.