Operation Last Resort: "Anonymous" Takes Up Arms Against the Government

By Samuel Wilkes on January 30, 2013

Photo courtesy of Matt Cunnelly via Flickr.com

Internet “hacktivist” group Anonymous has launched the first out of a series of attacks known as ‘Operation Last Resort,’ a ploy aimed at forcing the government to alleviate what they see as unfair policies. This whole conundrum started as a response to the tragic suicide of Internet guru and RSS innovator Aaron Swartz, a suicide that Anonymous claims Aaron was bullied into committing. They state he was “killed because he was forced into playing a game he could not win– a twisted and distorted perversion of justice– a game in which the only winning move was not to play.”

The initiating factor of the “game” was when Swartz allegedly accessed and downloaded millions of documents from MIT’s JSTOR database, documents of which Swartz was noted to have returned. JSTOR publically announced that they would not pursue Swartz because he swore that the information that he downloaded and returned “was not and would not be used, copied, transferred or distributed.” That didn’t deter MIT and the federal government from persecuting Swartz, as they hit him with 13 felony counts and the threat of up to 35 years in prison. Anonymous claims that this intimidating persecution is what ultimately led to the suicide, seeing as Swartz only had one option (He was being faced with more jail time than your average rapist or killer). And this persecution is exactly why Anonymous is firing back.

On Saturday, January 26, 2013, Anonymous infiltrated the servers of the  United States Supreme Court (USSC) website leaving behind a nine minute video, an eloquently written statement, and several files that they referred to simply as “warheads,” named after the court justices. They made their intentions crystal clear: the federal government is to either relinquish what they see as a vice grip on American freedom or be faced with an all out assault. Their statement is as follows: “We have enough fissile material for multiple warheads. Today we are launching the first of these. Operation Last Resort has begun.” Operation Last Resort supposedly means the release of encrypted and sensitive data to several news and media outlets. This initial attack has left the Supreme Court’s severs reeling.

On Sunday the USSC briefly regained control of their servers only to be pushed off again. As I currently write this article, the websites of the USSC and Probation Office for the Eastern District of Michigan are fighting heavy loads of traffic and site defamation from a game known as “Asteroids” that Anonymous installed on their servers. The game encourages the harboring of harsh sentiment towards the government by allowing visitors to “symbolically” attack, destroying several components of the websites and pillars of American law (When completed it reveals an image of Guy Fawkes’ famous mask). And Anonymous is far from finished.

The government pursued Swartz as a terrorist even after he relinquished files that most agree the public should have access to in the first place. The government also withholds directing any sentiment of wrongdoing on their part to the family and the public, even after JSTOR, whom had its files “stolen,” refused to press charges. Until the government publicly expresses remorse or shows any signs of regret, I don’t expect Anonymous to relent in its protest of what it sees as a vicious and premeditated attempt to subordinate the American public.

And as for the game that I referenced in paragraph four,Anonymous’ direct tweet explaining it can be found on the web along with the video.




Samuel Wilkes is a freshman at Clemson University. He's an English/ History double major. He is a weekly contributor to Clemson's student newspaper, "The Tiger." He enjoys writing, drawing, and reading.

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