(Editor’s Note: This column was written by the founder of Arm The Homeless, Ryan Nelson, and was published in print and online on February 13, 2012 by The Daily O’Collegian.)
On Dec. 25, the Internet "hackivist" group Anonymous hacked into the servers of a private intelligence firms called STRATFOR.
Among the stolen data were more than 50,000 credit card numbers, 25,000 phone numbers, 86,594 emails (many of them .gov and .mil domains), and 40,000 encrypted passwords. They also gained access to STRATFOR’s email database, which is proving to be one of the “lulziest” hacks by Anonymous thus far.
Members of Anonymous claim they have obtained more than 200 gigabytes of data and 500,000 internal emails.
Since the initial hack, Anonymous has been slowly releasing email threads online.
Although the emails they have released thus far have been no more than embarrassing for the company, their most recent revelation was anything but funny.
An email thread from within STATFOR’s private internal email database from Marc Lanthemann, a STRATFOR “watch officer” or undercover intelligence agent, described his infiltration of Occupy Austin and the Texas chapter of the radical environmental group Deep Green Resistance.
This leak was published online by Anonymous on Jan. 26.
Lanthemann goes on to describe Deep Green Resistance as an eco-terrorist group working with Occupy Austin. “Eco-terrorism” being defined as the destruction or sabotage of infrastructure as a means of protecting the environment.
Or it could be that so called “eco-terror” has a smaller carbon footprint than the usual terror (most usually perpetrated by the U.S. government). Either way, I like the sound of it.
He also goes on to describe Deep Green Resistance as a movement inspired by Nazism, implying that their goal is to reduce the world population dramatically in order to save the planet.
As someone who has extensively researched Deep Green Resistance and served as a part-time organizer for the Oklahoma chapter, I can tell you with absolute certainty that Lanthemann has no idea what he is talking about when he says that DGR wants to blow up pipelines because they are Nazi-inspired environmentalists. This uneducated elaboration of DGR further solidifies my opinion that the so-called intelligence industry is rather incompetent and is not deserving of the title “intelligent” at all.
Furthermore, the fact that intelligence firms, who also have contracts with governmental intelligence agencies, are spying on and infiltrating activist organizations should be very concerning to say the least. Although, this should come as no surprise that these sorts of unethical and disturbing activities occur.
The FBI deployed counter-intelligence agents to infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement, Black Panther Party, and the anti-war movements in the 60s and used such tactics as wiretapping, intimidation, and even assassination to disrupt and sabotage the movements.
The United States is quickly becoming a surveillance state where private contractors and government agencies spy on citizens who are organizing against corruption and wrongdoing within the government and the corporate world (as if the two are really separate).
Yet, the public outrage is minimal and the press coverage is nonexistent. However, within activist communities, something long overdue is brewing beneath the surface. There is a transformation occurring in which activist organizations are becoming full-fledged resistance groups.
Just yesterday, Occupy Oakland attempted to take over city hall. They stormed the building, destroyed displays, cut electrical wire, and burned an American flag. On the outside of the building, Anarchists spray painted the word “REVENGE” in retaliation of police brutality against protestors in recent months.
Like it or not, a global uprising is building up behind the scenes. It seems governments are taking notice and are beginning to gather intelligence on activist groups who want a radically new government or no government at all.
I predict that World War III will not be between governments, but between governments and their people. It becomes more evident everyday that even our own government isn’t what it seemed, and people are beginning to realize that; that our government is a fascist/totalitarian government that calls itself a democracy.
Perhaps it is time for you to begin to take notice of the world in which you live, and maybe you will realize that you are unhappy with the current state of affairs. Perhaps you will wake up from the hypnotic trance you’ve been in all of your life and you will find the will and courage to take action.
There is a war going on for your mind. It’s time you either choose to fight with those who wish to live in a free, just, and sustainable world, or you continue on with your daily lives by forgetting this column and stand idly by as the world crumbles around you.
This choice is yours. For all of our sake, let’s hope you make the right one.