Businesses have suggested it. The government has all but confirmed it. And according to one alleged member, they both might very well be right. A hacker tied to Anonymous says the loose-knit collective may be the most powerful organization on Earth.
"The entire world right now is run by information,” Chris Doyon tells Postmedia News from an undisclosed location in Canada. “Our entire world is being controlled and operated by tiny invisible 1s and 0s that are flashing through the air and flashing through the wires around us. So if that’s what controls our world, ask yourself who controls the 1s and the 0s”
“It’s the geeks and computer hackers of the world,” says Doyon.
In a world where the most critical of information isn’t locked up in vaults but instead encoded in easily obtainable binary, Doyon says that crackers like those in Anonymous are in possession of some of the most powerful knowledge known to man.
Doyon, who is reported to be in his late 40s, was charged last year for partaking in a Distributed Denial of Service attack on the website for the county of Santa Cruz, California. Since February, however, he has resided in Canada after using what he says is the new “underground railroad” to escape persecution for alleged computer crimes in the States.
Authorities say that, under the handle of Commander X, Doyon acted as a ringleader of sorts of the Anonymous collective, an operation described by its own participants as one that lacks leadership altogether.
"If you are asking me if he's an activist and tried to change the world for better. Yes, he did. I don't know if that makes him a member of Anonymous, but he is certainly an activist working on social change for the betterment of mankind," his attorney, Jay Leiderman, told Cnet in September.
“Yes, I am immensely proud and humbled to my core to be a part of the movement known as Anonymous," Doyon reportedly told reporters upon leaving a California courthouse last year.
Regardless of if he can actually be linked to the organization — and to what degree — Doyon says that the group is capable of more than one might imagine.
“Right now we have access to every classified database in the US government. It’s a matter of when we leak the contents of those databases, not if,” says Doyon.
It wasn’t computer nerds slaving over codes to help crack the system uncover that info either, says Doyon.
“You know how we got access?” asks Doyon. “We didn’t hack them. The access was given to us by the people who run the systems. The five-star general (and) the Secretary of Defense who sit in the cushy plush offices at the top of the Pentagon don’t run anything anymore. It’s the pimply-faced kid in the basement who controls the whole game, and Bradley Manning proved that. The fact he had the 250,000 cables that were released effectively cut the power of the US State Department in half. The Afghan war diaries and the Iran war diaries effectively cut the political clout of the US Department of Defense in half. All because of one guy who had enough balls to slip a CD in an envelope and mail it to somebody.”
“There’s a really good argument at this point that we might well be the most powerful organization on Earth. The entire world right now is run by information,” he adds.
Doyon landed in hot water after he allegedly launched a DDoS attack against authorities the Santa Cruz website after the county imposed a ban on outdoor camping. According to authorities, Doyon engaged in the assault in December 2010, nearly a year before the Occupy Wall Street movement encouraged protestors to camp outdoors in public spaces from coast to coast. In September 2011 he was formally charged in the DDoS attack and fled to Canada five months later. Had he stayed in the US, he would have been prohibited from using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as chatroom clients that connect to IRC networks.
"They've taken away my freedom of speech," he explained to the Santa Cruz Sentinel at the time.
Today Doyon says he is safe north of the border but is awaiting another move abroad. “[W]e’re in negotiation with several countries in Europe to try to get a permanent political asylum situation set up for myself as well as for any other Anons and information activists who might need it,” he tells Postmedia. “It’s too bad Canada will not find the political courage to protect information activists from America like they did in the ‘60s with the draft dodgers. That’s the reality of it, but they will probably not actively seek to track me down.”