These goofy Kim Jong Un pictures on hacked North Korean propaganda websites and social accounts courtesy of Anonymous are all fun and games (until someone loses a city), but if you have a more serious interest in North Korea’s bizarro-Internet, The Jester (aka th3j35t3r, in some circles as ɹ3ʇ53ظ3ɥʇ or “That Tango Down Guy” whom I’ve written about) offers an expose on what’s doin’ digitally across the DMZ. His account sounds legit, certainly the most enlightening material I’ve come across on this subject. His sources include Motherboard which may have more on the topic.

Jester is an intriguing man. He butts heads with Anonymous (it’s complicated), actually I feel slightly uncomfortable complimenting him or even linking his site, his site’s RSS, his support page, IRC directions if you want to say hi, also on his Twitter, his Twitter’s RSS (might as well give you that), given that I may provoke his enemies to attack this website. Hopefully, as in the past, their participation can be limited to offering their versions of the truth in the comments of these posts.

Hey, you know what? I think it’s kind of screwed up that I feel like I need to worry about my social being spread around on 4chan in addition to a hive rig of LOIC aiming at this dinky server (which I bet you can take down with pyloris on an old Android phone) in case I come off as too flattering about someone. Anonymous stands for a very wide and random array of things, those things change, but one fixture, one motif, I’d imagine is a general respect of one’s free speech. And because of the nature of the (lack of) structure of the group, I can’t go check on their IRC channel to see if it’s cool if I say this or that, because they’re a wildcard. Maybe I’m exaggerating in my head the risks of writing even this one paragraph, but they’ve had their share of victims, their responses are often disproportionate (or even targeted in the wrong direction) to any perceived provocation…

I actually was going to start out to write about Anonymous hacking these sites, but then I saw that Jester is actually being lumped in by the media in cooperating with them (rather than acting independently), so I figured I’d shy away from this one and not pour any additional gasoline on that tension which nobody needed. So I moved on and ran into something related but not incendiary, and now I’m sidetracked on Anonymous.

I guess my point is that I am at least one guy out there who likes to write stuff and yes get attention but because of Anonymous’s lack of structure and totally erratic behavior, which includes ruining people’s days (I’m not talking just ordering you a bunch of pizzas, though that often is a good place to start while they brainstorm), because of Anonymous, I feel like I need to be careful about what I say about certain things that they might have some involvement with.

Were I concerned someone, for example Jester, would take exception to something I said, I could ask him, he’d give me a straight answer (and PGP key). Can’t do that with Anonymous. Hell if I tried that could be enough to provoke them, because it would be so fucking stupid of me and that’s funny enough to light their fuse.

Maybe I’m completely wrong about this, I hope I am. But if I’m right about that, and if I’m not the only guy out there who feels like his speech is curbed because of Anonymous, that there’s a chilling effect out there as a result of Anonymous, then at the risk of sounding critical of Anonymous, it strikes me as being at odds with the beliefs they tend to go with. Is that truly the sort of power they want over everyone? Isn’t it odd that the feeling I have now is congruent to that of someone living in North Korea, afraid of wearing the wrong lapel pin, and that’s the country Anonymous is presently targeting?

I would call that a problem for Anonymous to consider resolving in general somehow, though I have no idea how that could be possible. I believe, and I hope most of Anonymous would agree with me, that I shouldn’t have to feel like I’m about to regret hitting the button on this post. But hey, fuck it, right?

Oh right, as I was starting to say before thinking out loud excessively, the North Korean Internet is sealed off as you might expect, though one noteworthy thing is that visiting journalists get wired up full speed no censorship and read more here.

Stay frosty,
Doug Simmons

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Biographical info.. hmm. I have a history of not being able to strike the balance between what is “safe” to put into these forms and what is, in my mind at least, funny. Can’t do it.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I thought Anonymous was all about freedom of information and taking down oppressors, not being oppressors? I completely agree with what you are saying though, it seems like you need to act like you are walking on thin ice anytime you mention Anon. And I absolutely love the way that Jester handles most issues. Knee jerk reactions are not the way to go through life.

  2. I know what you are saying about being worried what you post.
    The threat of “Anonymous”unreasonably striking you is just one example.
    Then there is the employer or school administration having a problem with your online persona.
    Or your kids, parents, grand parents…etc
    Makes a smart person want to hide behind…whatever it takes to not be seen. I don’t even bother.
    Kinda Sucks!
    Stay Frosty, Peace

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