rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Why does Anonymous need to be anonymous?

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Photo: Mattia Notari/flickr

"Transparency," explains the computer-altered voice belonging to the face hidden behind the mustachioed, comic-book smirk mask, "is of the utmost importance."

Irony, it would appear, is lost on Anonymous, the self-anointed Secret Santa sheriffs of the Internet netherworld.

Late last week, Anonymous Maritimes, an apparent branch plant of the leader-less worldwide network of you-are-one-if-you-say-you-are Internet "hacktivists" -- which began in 2008 with an attempt to "take down" the Church of Scientology, which appears, unfortunately, to be still standing -- issued its latest YouTube manifesto.

"Greetings, citizens of Nova Scotia," the three-minute-and-25-second message began after a suitably news-flashy opening featuring a spinning globe, ominous music and the ubiquitous headless suited man. "We are Anonymous."

The issue that has Anonymous's knickers in a knot this week is one that exercises many of us: electricity rates. They're too high. Most of Anonymous's so-called demands -- "reasonable and balanced" rates, no disconnecting power just because people can't afford to pay, basing rates on actual rather than estimated usage, a wage freeze and end to excessive executive bonuses -- resonate. But they are garden variety frustrations you can hear in any Tim Hortons any morning anywhere in our city… from people who are more than happy to put their names to their complaints.

So why does Anonymous need to be… well, anonymous.

"We have information that will confirm there is corruption and more coming to us every day (sic)," Faceless Disembodied Voice declares.

Really?

Anonymous seems to be threatening to release this evidence -- "We intend to make an example of you" -- if Nova Scotia Power and "Mr. Stephen McNeil" don't bow to its blackmail.

Forget for the moment that power rates are complicated. Fossil fuels, carbon, climate change…

Why wait, Anon? If the corruption is serious enough to make politicians and corporate executives cower -- effectively forcing them into changing policies and reducing power rates (Earth to Anonymous: heard of the Utility and Review Board, which regulates power rates?) -- then surely we should all know exactly what Anonymous has uncovered.

If Anonymous actually released evidence of corruption at Nova Scotia Power, its members might be able to justify hiding behind their cutesy masks and voice-altering software.

But they aren't. For now, they're just blusterers. Hiding their faces. And playing their games.

This article first appeared in Stephen Kimber's Halifax Metro column.

Photo: Mattia Notari/flickr

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.