finding purpose from a shared sense of nihilism

Recent rumblings by hackers – who acting in league with wikileaks – are are forcing John Perry Barlow to reconsider some exhortations made in simpler times. But what it is more interesting to see an empire-strikes-back federation of hackers, that was once founded by a federation of slackers.

…even Mr. Barlow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation appeared to have second thoughts about where such escalation could lead: On Thursday, he said that the Anonymous group members represented “a stunning force in the world.

“But still,” he said, it is “better used to open, not to close.” He added that he opposed denial-of-service attacks on principle: “It’s like the poison gas of cyberspace. The fundamental principle should be to open things up and not close them”

Things were hardly so serious when Anonymous first made a name for itself. The group grew out of online message boards like 4chan, an unfiltered meeting place with more than its share of misanthropic behavior and schemes.

Mr. Housh said of Anonymous: “It was deliberately not for any good. We kind of took pride in it.”

via Web Attackers Find a Rallying Cry in WikiLeaks – NYTimes.com.

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