From doxing the EDL to putting the #tangodown on a whole host of Turkish government websites, chances are you'll have heard of hacktivist 'collective' Anonymous by now. But you don't have to be knee deep in code to get involved. Follow our 5 point guide and you'll be sailing the Lulz Boat in no time.
Buy A Guy Fawkes Mask
For many protesters in Turkey who have found themselves caught up in the riots these last few weeks, the Guy Fawkes Mask has given them a powerful, united front for dissent. But it's starting to get banned. Even in the UK, police can implement a 'Section 60' on a certain area, which makes it an offence to cover your face. Anonymous don't care though; they won't die out with it. The mask is just a meme, and memes come and go. In any case, they are liscened by Time Warner, so avoid buying one from a commercial outlet. Try here instead, or Ebay.
Take Part in Online/Offline Protests
In case you haven’t heard yet, Anonymous is DDoS-ing the shit out of the Internet on a daily basis. A DDoS attack is just the virtual equivalent of a sit in. Imagine what would happen if 100 demonstrators were to block a doorway. Now imagine if 1000 computers were to blast a website with 85Gbps of useless data. There are tools you can download to allow your computer to take part in one (a botnet is installed which then bombards the selected website with data) but it's illegal.
Don't worry though, online and offline are coming together more than ever now. Anonymous have rallied on parliament on Nov the 5th for the past 2 years, and fortunately for you, this year ‘Operation Vendetta’ is set to be more of a meet 'n' greet/festival of ideas.
You could also become a legal observor. It's imperative to have people on hand to monitor any unlawful behaviour when things get out of hand.
Keep a Low Profile
Use your common sense. If you really want to stay 'anonymous' online you just need to follow the same principles as staying 'anonymous' anywhere else. Don't go around with your ‘identity cards’ on show so to speak. And try not to leave a trail – if you do, make sure that if anyone was to follow it back, there are enough twists in place for them to get lost.
Be very careful about which websites you trust your personal details with.
In terms of using programs to keep yourself Anon, Tor is a good place to start, (an 'anonymity' browser that connects you to the internet by an unconventional manner of bouncing from IP to IP, making to very difficult to trace.) Here are some tips on how to use it. Finally, try to resist the temptation of becoming 'internet notorious'. Last year, the girlfriend of a hacker called w0rmer posted a photo bragging about his hacking exploits. They got dawn-raided by the FBI.
Go Deep on SM
Follow the right people. @YourAnonNews is the main Anonymous twitter feed and they regularly retweet lesser known accounts. Regularly check #OpNewBlood on twitter, too.
Facebook has its uses for 'ground-ops' (ops means projects). Find your local Facebook group here and take it from there.
IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is the place to go for real time discussion.
Anonymous ops are often promoted via video. Connor Liberty is an influential YouTuber on the www.
Actually, the best way to learn the ropes is just to lurk.
Forget Everything You Know About Anonymous
You already are Anonymous. There is no real way to ‘be Anonymous’. And yet you already are Anonymous. Whether you're helping out at the 'Anon camp' at Occupy or taking down FBI websites on 'FUCKFBI' Fridays with LulzSec, a PHD doctor or 15 yr old, a pro at Linux or a ‘newfag’ with precisely zero hacking skills.
Anonymous is just an idea, where political points sit alongside practical jokes, white knighting next to abusive trolls. It’s the name of the most free part of the internet. The crux of this guide? Be yourself online with no fear!