Last class, we discussed Anonymous, and focused heavily on determining the criminality of the group. Personally, I do not believe that what the group is doing is a crime. As was stated in class, this is simply a case of civil disobedience. Nonetheless, many citizens worldwide view this groups’ actions as criminal. Certainly, they are hacking into government documents and releasing information deemed as private. I question why governments hide information from their citizens. Certainly, this secretization of information reinforces the power dynamics between government officials and the general public. Only those individuals with the political power are granted access to information that directly affects normal, every-day citizens around the globe. I strongly believe that if the group Anonymous is to be considered criminals. so should governments worldwide. It is interesting that society is quick to label Anonymous as criminals because they are exposing the contradictions within governments, however, it is acceptable for governments to privatize information.
I contend that governments are committing crimes against their people. For example, during the Presidency of George W. Bush, the general American public were told that the War in Iraq was necessary because the country had weapons of mass destruction. The media, which Americans rely heavily upon as a source of valid information, deemed this acquisition as true. However, it was later determined that the Bush campaign regarding weapons of mass destruction was false. In fact, the UN weapons inspectors had been unable to locate any WMD after months of highly intrusive inspections. Moreover, the charge that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction was selected , as Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz later admitted, for “bureaucratic reasons”—i.e., it was the one allegation that the State Department, the Pentagon and the CIA all agreed could provide a serviceable cover for the real motives: seizing vast oil resources and establishing US dominance of the Middle East.
In this particular case, it is evident that the US government privatized information in order to relay the messages they wanted the American people to hear. Shouldn’t it be a crime to lie to citizens about War? I mean, it it their money that is funding war efforts. Certainly, if Americans had the knowledge regarding the true reasons for the War in Iraq, many of them would not have supported it.
Source: “Bush’s “big lie” and the crisis of American imperialism” http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2003/06/wmd-j21.html