Anonymous: ‘This Protest Will Be On For As Long As It Has To Be’
Yesterday, hacktivist group Anonymous brought down the website of MTNL, the latest in a series of attacks to protest against the government’s blocking of websites such as Vimeo. Ahead of Saturday’s protest at Azad Maidan, we spoke to them via their IRC chat room to find out what we can expect next and what they’d say to Mukesh Ambani. Excerpts:
Anonymous: Welcome MB.
MB: How does Internet freedom in India compare to other countries?
Anonymous: MB, in the sense? Didn’t quite catch it!
MB: In terms of censorship?
Anonymous: But…what I understand, well presently the Internet freedom in India is being taken away/censored as u know…
MB: In other words, where do you think we fit on a scale, with say Egypt being on one end and the US on the other.
Anonymous: The same is happening across the world.
Anonymous: Somewhere towards the top.
Anonymous: Or the highest point on the scale.
MB: So we’re closer to the US?
Anonymous: It isn’t the scale of censorship that is taking place in India, but I feel it is the awareness of the political parties that the Internet shall become a strong mass media, for which they would like to censor it. All the countries have realized that I guess…that’s why they try to take the power into their hands.
MB: What’s the end goal for Saturday’s protest? How many people are you expecting?
Anonymous: Not sure, I would hope at least 1k+
Anonymous: MB no fixed numbers! We are organizing #occupyIndia that is #opIndia phase 1 to create awareness among the citizens of India!
Anonymous: If no one showed up, it would be really embarrassing lol.
MB: What’s the ideal outcome from Saturday’s protest? That the govt. unblocks Vimeo and other sites?
Anonymous: MB we sure hope the govt does that
Anonymous: Cos we are presently going easy on the govt. It would be great if they dropped the whole censorship thing altogether.
MB: And if not? Will there be more protests?
Anonymous: Of course.
Anonymous: MB if not, we shall intensify our measures to pressurise the govt to stop censorship.
Anonymous: Well, I suppose this protest will be on for as long as it has to be.
MB: Does that mean hacking into more sites?
MB: What kind of measures?
Anonymous: It will also mean, ALL the data obtained will be released.
Anonymous: Like the Reliance Leaks…
Anonymous: Which were released! But few media personnel preferred not to share it!
MB: Has the govt. attempted to reach out to you guys?
Anonymous: They consider anonymous as a “group of hackers” and not as its people who are sitting on the Internet.
MB: Which is the least evil ISP in India do you think?
Anonymous: BSNL strangely hasn’t blocked anything.
MB: Is there a country that you’d consider a model of Internet freedom?
Anonymous: The country which provides Internet as birth right
Anonymous: MB, we are not modeling any country on basis of another.
MB: Do you have an Internet superhero? Someone you guys look up to?
Anonymous: It is just that we oppose whoever denies us freedom. We have no heroes here.
MB: Do you guys consider yourself heroes? Many people see you as freedom fighters of sorts.
Anonymous: Nope, we don’t look up to anyone. We are not heroes. We are just common people who voice our opinions and who demand freedom that is rightfully ours.
Anonymous: We just see ourselves as people speaking up, putting our foot down and insisting that actions be democratic and life affirming.
Anonymous: MB we are netizens of the world!! We are not heros XD
Anonymous: MB just to let u know MTNL is our tango down today As in, we crashed the site.
MB: Yea, it’s not loading…
Anonymous: Yes we don’t bluff.
Anonymous: Like CERT claimed their SITE wasn’t down with our DDoS…and said they had taken it down for maintenance, MTNL might come up with something equivalent or interesting BOGUS story.
Anonymous: But the uncensored true version is we brought it down
MB: Other than coming for the protest, how else can the average person support the fight for Internet freedom?
Anonymous: By tweeting, posting on FB, spreading the message, DDoS!!!!!!!
MB: What do you say to people who accuse you guys of being pro-piracy?
Anonymous: <— I mean I just laugh XD
Anonymous: MB we are against piracy.
MB: If you came face-to-face with Mukesh Ambani, what would you say to him?
Anonymous: We never come f2f to anybody, we are anonymous.
MB: Virtual face-to-face then…say if Mukesh were to join this chat…
Anonymous: MB we will ask him to stop running behind money! and help India become a better place, to protest against govt. orders of censorship or the court orders! Ask him to join Anonymous and start DDoSing the sites that come up as targets on votes!