At the time of writing, the hacker group “Anonymous” is threatening to attack Sweden’s official IT systems through a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack. This is the same kind of attack that certain criminal gangs use to extort money from businesses: Give us a five-digit amount of dollars/euros, or we will flood your website with requests until it breaks down, so nobody can get onto it.
To flood a website, the attackers hack into thousands of computers throughout the world and install a virus which turns the computers into “zombies”. The attackers can now trigger them remotely to send requests to the victim’s website at the same time, overloading the site.
The same modus operandi is used by Anonymous. The reason they are now threatening Sweden is that the Swedish authorities have implemented and tried to enforce anti-piracy legislation; for example by blocking access to websites such as The Pirate Bay and shutting down other “file-sharing” sites.
What the Swedish authorities have said is that property is property, even if it is “only” intellectual property, and that theft of intellectual property is theft, not “file sharing”. Which is the truth.
What the hackers of “Anonymous” want is “Something for nothing”. They believe that just because a piece of music has been written, they have a right to listen to it. That if a piece of software (in particular computer games) has been developed, they have a right to use it. And if a movie has been made, they have a right to watch it.
Their argument is that, if they couldn’t download music, software, and movies, they wouldn’t buy them and just live without them. Or, if the composers of music, developers of software and writers of movies would just create higher-quality content, they would pay for it.
But if the quality is so horrible, why do they download the content?
Errr… Because …. errr, ummm…..
The truth is, they do NOT have a right to play a game or watch a movie without paying for it. Somebody worked their hindquarters off to develop the game or shoot the movie, and they like to be paid for their effort. They didn’t create content as a charity, they did it for … yes, for money! And they should be paid money by anyone who wishes to enjoy their content!
This is what the Swedish government has tried to say. This is what the thieves of Anonymous wish to punish the Swedish government for saying.
It doesn’t matter whether the musicians or software companies they steal content from are rich or poor – successful or striving. The basic principle remains the same:
The hackers want something for nothing.
Which means somebody else should get nothing for something!
And when somebody says, “No, you can’t get that!”, they threaten to attack that somebody until they yield.
Their action looks suspiciously like a protection racket. “Give us what we want, or we smash your business!”
No, I don’t consider Anonymous a group of “freedom fighters” fighting for the right to free enjoyment of intellectual property and the rights of the oppressed masses.
Rather, I consider them a gang of thieves and bullies!
Since the 1980’s, alcoholics in Copenhagen have had a place to meet and drink their days and livers away – a small, secluded area in Nørrebroparken, one of the city’s parks, called “Sumpen”. The name literally means “The Swamp” but is also a pun on the Danish word “Sumpe” or “Forsumpe” – going to seeds.
While it is debatable whether a society should pay for a place where people can drink themselves to death, at least to my knowledge the drinkers who came there weren’t bothering anyone and the park kept them out of the way and, hence, prevented them from being a nuisance.
But today, early in the morning, the shrubberies and small sheds were removed. Not to annoy the drunks, as they have left the area some time ago. It was to stop the people who forced the drunks away.
(Link to story – in Danish. Sorry, I don’t think any English-speaking newspapers have the story. For that matter, I have never heard a newspaper speak English. 🙂 )
Drug dealers had taken over the area, driven the relatively harmless drunkards out, and proceeded to use “Sumpen” to sell hashish and marijuana (and possibly stronger drugs). In addition, they hid their “goods” on a nearby playground where children might find them. So the authorities decided to tear the place down. Early in the morning, before the pushers had arrived and could harass the workers. But still, the work was carried out under police protection.
Errrr… Does anyone else see something wrong here?
If the authorities want to fight criminal behavior, it would make more sense to remove the criminals than to remove the place they operate. When the more or less open hashish trade in Christiania was driven out, the only result was that the trade moved to all over Copenhagen, making it harder to control.
And if the police has to protect workers from carrying out their duties for fear of organized criminals, and the work has to be carried out before the criminals can wake up and harass them, maybe it was about time those organized criminals were apprehended and locked up, not forced to find a new secluded place to sell drugs.
The question is simply, who runs the city – the authorities or the criminals?
In the meantime the city of Copenhagen is planning to provide a new place for the alcoholics. Here’s hoping they can have this new place in peace!
(Oh, and for the record – in my opinion the best ways to stop drug-related crime would be to legalize the drugs.)