The below video is a warning message from the hacktivist group Anonymous to the Syrian regime.
If the real Anonymous is behind this, I will be worried if I was in the Syrian regime propaganda tools shoes. Anonymous, with a bit of anarchic background, had been involved before in high profile hacks (usually for good causes hence hacktivist term). Anonymous got big names under their belt like Bank of America, Sony, and many governments around the world. They have been heavily supportive to Wikileaks by targeting governments which censored their leaked documents.
They participated in the Arab Spring before by hacking government websites during the uprisings in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Syria. Syria’s share accumulated last month by hacking into Asma Assad (the Syrian President’s wife) personal website, and the website of the Ministry of Defence. They published passwords of email addresses of officials from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco during the pro-democracy protests. They supported the Green Movement in Iran by participating in launching an Iranian Green Party Support site called Anonymous Iran, but they still defended the Iranian nuclear programme by announcing an attack on the Israeli Knesset website. The attack never took place, and I am not clear if it was abandoned or a failure (they abandoned an operation against facebook too. I can’t imagined a bigger task for anyone!)
On Syria, I think they were invited by the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad himself, when he saluted his hacking group (called Syrian Electronic Army) in his June speech. I have never seen a head of state endorsing these activities before, and surely this was a precedent. Usually officials distance themselves from these ‘illegal’ activities, but it seems everything is allowed in Syria these days on the official level.
Anyway, back to Anonymous warning, this is their message, expect us…:
Greetings to our friends around the world,
We are Anonymous, the global resistance to tyranny.
As you read this, Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria, wages a bloody and brutal war on his people who seek nothing more than self-expression in the face of oppression.
The Syrian government actively controls the free flow of information for its own sinister motives through a complete international media blackout. The state owns a monopoly over the Syrian media, prohibits any critical analysis of the regime, and freely arrests journalists and bloggers on a whim. Digital surveillance is common, and upon arrest, many citizens are tortured until they reveal their social network accounts and passwords.
For all the attempts to hide their atrocities from the media, Assad and his corrupt cronies cannot hide the blood and teers of the Syrian people. For months, security forces have systematically engaged in murder, beatings, torture, disappearances, imprisonment and other inhumane acts aimed at stopping the quest for freedom and democracy.
In early August, forces pulled thousands from their homes, herded them into a sports stadium, seized their IDs and cell phones, and detained them for days. A two-year old girl was shot in the eye and killed. her father then shot and detained as he rushed to her lifeless body. A popular blogger was detained in July and has not been seen since then. A famous political cartoonist was beaten, had both hands broken and warned to stop satirizing government officials. Yet the Syrian government claims it has only engaged in operations to combat armed terrorist gangs. However, what gangs are spread over 185 thousand square kilometers and are comprised of children, bloggers and cartoonists?
Anonymous will not stand by idly while states like Syria degrade the common humanity of their citizens through the menace of violence and repression. We will actively challenge governments that engage in censorship and that wage bloody wars on their own people. We will strike in defense of the Syrian people. We will ensure that the world knows of your brutality and of the suffering of your people. Your blatant lies will be laid bare for the entire world to see. we will do everything we can to assist the Syrian people until you are toppled from power.
Today, Syrians struggle for the very soul of their country. As long as the state uses oppressive tactics to restrict its people, we will not rest. The road to Damascus has been taken and there is no turning back now.
Come for the revolution, stay for the lulz,
We Are Anonymous.
We are RevoluSec
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.