Anonymous Resurfaces to Take on Mexican Drug Cartel

Beginning roughly last winter and continuing through summer, the hacker wars dominated news. It seemed like every week there was a new attack announced by Anonymous against some government or corporate abuse, or a new hack by LulzSec on just about anyone. Under the umbrella of counterculture rebels using information technology to fight against the establishment, the different groups took on distinct identities and much ink was spilled analyzing their different agendas. Anonymous, it seemed, was focused on targeting large establishments and government agencies on behalf of individual liberties.

But with the ascendent Occupy Wall Street movement, Anonymous and the hacker wars in general seemed to recede into the background. In fact the last major Anonymous hack to make the news was in late September when the group publicly exposed the identity of Anthony Bologna, the NYPD police inspector who baselessly pepper sprayed a group of girls protesting in Union Square.

The I.D. by anonymous (or “dox” in hacker speak) went a long way toward pushing Occupy Wall Street to the foreground of news media—but simultaneously Anonymous seemed to go quiet.

This weekend, however, Anonymous resurfaced with a new operation: OpCartel.

Unlike previous attacks that have been aimed at corporations and government agencies, OpCartel sets its sights on the Mexican drug cartel Zetas. Alleging that the cartel kidnaped a member of the Anonymous community, OpCartel threatens to dox members of Zetas one after another until the hacker is released.

From the Anonymous statement:

We are fed up with taxi drivers, commanders and ‘police-Zetas’ officers of Xalapa, Córdoba, Orizaba, Nogales, Río Blanco and Camerinos, who are chickens and have made themselves the most loyal servants of these assholes. For the time being, we will not post photos or the names of the taxi drivers, the journalists or the newspapers nor of the police officers, but if needed, we will publish them including their addresses, to see if by doing so the government will arrest them.

OpCartel departs from previous operations in that it not only doesn’t target the government, but actually calls on the government to act in rooting out heinous crime and corruption.

So far 34,000 have died in the cartel violence that has gripped Mexico over the last five years.

As RawStory points out, the effect of doxing cartel members is anyone’s guess. It could actually increase violence by marking individuals for attacks by rival cartels. It could help matters by giving police badly needed intelligence to start making arrests. And if they can dox enough members of enough cartels, it might even be able to rattle the very foundation of Mexico’s cartel system.

But for now the group seems to be focussed on freeing the member of its community—unlike Occupy Wall Street, Anonymous Operations have always had clear and unequivocal demands. With the frustration over focussing the message of OWS into actual policies to benefit the 99%, it’s good to see Anonymous back in action.

– Article originally from Death and Taxes.