In 2010, WikiLeaks released film of an American bombing of reporters in Iraq leaked by Bradley Manning, a military intelligence analyst who fell in love with a WikiLeaks operative he knew only as Nathaniel. Bradley Manning fed Nathaniel millions of State Department memos, which further destabilized America’s delicate relations with the Arab world. Some believe Nathaniel was none other than Adrian Lamo, a former WikiLeaks associate who was later known for using Social Engineering techniques to extort confessions from Bradley Manning. In his statement at the court-martial proceedings, Manning admitted his relationship with Nathaniel had become “artificial,” and said he did not even use Tor [encryption] for his final leaks.
Barrett Brown acted as spokesperson for Anonymous, a technofetishistic Internet anarchist subculture, although he was quite fond of stating that he had never declared himself such. Anonymous attacked financial institutions that blockaded donations to WikiLeaks with the use of a Voluntary Denial of Service, which they likened to a virtual sit-in. WikiLeaks also enlisted Anonymous in hacking and publishing documents from Stratfor, an intelligence publication they misrepresented as a “Shadow CIA,” part of the fake operation #Antisec, which was headed by the recently-converted federal agent, Hector Monsegur Xavier, aka, Sabu. Brown viciously defended Sabu from accusations of being a federal agent.
Brown was indicted for cooperating with Anonymous in an attack on HBGary, a defense contractor which engineered Weaponized Social Media, a form of propaganda in which thousands of fake online personas were used to influence public opinion. He was also indicted and raided by police for retweeting [spreading] sensitive identity information of Stratfor employees. Brown was alerted to the raid ahead of time, by Sabu, and hid his laptop in his mother’s dishwasher. Agent Smith, having been tipped off by Sabu, found the laptop in the dishwasher and seized all of Brown’s computers, which contained the only copies of his pending book on Anonymous. Brown’s writing quickly degenerated into paranoid babble as he intravenously injected suboxone, a liquid oral medication prescribed for heroin withdrawal. In a series of YouTube videos released on September 11, 2011, Brown orated majestically from his apartment balcony and declared war on the children of Agent Smith. He was arrested hours later.
Andrew Auernheimer, known to the internet as Weev, was credited with popularizing the gaping asshole image “Goatse,” perhaps the most important staple of Internet shock humor. Weev enjoyed spouting racism and hate speech just to offend but was also a proficient coder and adept hacker. He was most proud of hacks which took the least amount of work, and often spoke of creating impossibly powerful characters in a Multi-User Dungeon game by entering negative numbers for character attributes. In an even simpler hack, Weev unearthed the personal information of millions of iPhone users and released this information to Internet tabloid Gawker. Weev was indicted and after several hearings requested to be incarcerated for the maximum possible time, saying, “You people should be ashamed of yourselves.” As he reached for his iPad, sheriffs tackled him to the ground and handcuffed him. Friends in the courtroom chanted “cocks,” and over 30 people were ejected from the proceedings.
“Aaron Socio”, a self-proclaimed prophet who proselytized pacifism and monism to Anonymous-identifying individuals on the internet, traveled across the United States living in a Winnebago. Socio purchased a persona management network from hackers in Argentina modeled after HBGary and used this to promote his religious teachings. After influencing a powerful brain-injured savant within Anonymous, Aaron Bale, Socio built a team of elite coders headed by Bale who created the ALIO mind virus, a much-improved version of HBGary’s persona management. This system was built upon a botnet, an illegal cloud computer which was programmed to generate its own fake user profiles. These profiles were guided by Socio’s Dehegemonic algorithm and intended to push humanity towards world peace.
Despite successful deployment of this sophisticated software system on December 21st, 2012, Socio became distraught that the world had not transformed as quickly as he had hoped. Just one week after ALIO’s release, Socio sped down a highway in Missouri, pushing his Winnebago to the absolute limit. Missouri state troopers made chase for two and half hours at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour, and finally the radiator of the motor-home exploded, disabling the vehicle, which veered into the median and rolled onto its back. The irate redneck cops in Missouri worked Socio over brutally, and during this beating, Socio revealed the details of his Anonymous operation. Not believing Socio, the police charged him with terroristic threats anyway, along with reckless driving and evading arrest.