In a recent post I made on "Anonymous", commenter "mightygoose" said:
i would agree with matt, having delved into various IRC channels and metaphorically walked among anonymous,i would say that they are fully aware that they have no head, no leadership, and while you can lambast their efforts as temporary nuisance, couldnt the same be said for any form of protest (UK students for example) and the effective running of government.
They are dependent on tools and infrastructure provided by a small, elite group. If it weren't for this infrastructure, 99% of them wouldn't even have a clue about how to even launch a DDoS attack.
A week ago in the Financial Times:
However, a senior US member of Anonymous, using the online nickname Owen and evidently living in New York (Xetra: A0DKRK - news) , appears to be one of those targeted in recent legal investigations, according to online communications uncovered by a private security researcher.
A co-founder of Anonymous, who uses the nickname Q after the character in James Bond, has been seeking replacements for Owen and others who have had to curtail activities, said researcher Aaron Barr, head of security services firm HBGary Federal.
Mr Barr said Q and other key figures lived in California and that the hierarchy was fairly clear, with other senior members in the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Australia.
Of a few hundred participants in operations, only about 30 are steadily active, with 10 people who "are the most senior and co-ordinate and manage most of the decisions", Mr Barr told the Financial Times. That team works together in private internet relay chat sessions, through e-mail and in Facebook groups. Mr Barr said he had collected information on the core leaders, including many of their real names, and that they could be arrested if law enforcement had the same data.
Many other investigators have also been monitoring the public internet chats of Anonymous, and agree that a few seasoned veterans of the group appear to be steering much of its actions.
Yes... just like I already said in December. There may be many participants in Anonymous that would like to believe that they have no leadership, no head, but the fact is that any sustained and effective effort of any kind requires leadership.
It's funny how some people like to portray Anonymous as some all-wise decentralized collective, but like I said, if /b/ were shut down, they would all scatter like a bunch of ants. Anonymous has the weakness that it isn't unified by any coherent philosophy. This is not any kind of intellectual group. In contrast, groups like Transhumanism, Bayesianism, and Atheism are bound together by central figures, ideas, texts, and physical meetings.