Purported Anonymous video appeals to world to speak out against SA [Update]

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A person purporting to be a part of online hacker collective Anonymous has posted a message and video appealing to the wider hacktivist community and the world in general to speak out against the actions of the South African government.

In the video, the person (at one point they refer to themselves as “I” indicating that they’re not speaking for a group in particular), cites the gunning down of 34 striking miners last year, and the alleged spending of taxpayer money on South African president Jacob Zuma’s personal household as signs that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has gone from liberator to oppressor.

Initially it seemed there were a couple of indications however that this might not be a completely legitimate Anonymous operation. The message came as a plea for help (which was spread to the media) rather than a call to action. Even when Anonymous does send out a call to action, it usually does something first — hacking, or at least defacing, a prominent site.

Memeburn has since learned however of the existence of a pastebin with what appear to do be confidentail databases relating to private and state-owned entities showing a message similar to the one sent by the purported Anonymous member.

The pastebin itself provided another interesting nugget of information. The document claims that the database hacks were the work of Team GhostShell:

“Team GhostShell has finally managed to fingerprint the entire top business infrastructure of South Africa, tracing some of its activities to other countries across the continent,” it says.

For anyone unfamiliar with the hacking world, Team GhostShell is the group behind a massive hack that affected the sites of the FBI, NASA, Pentagon and others late last year.

A glance at the group’s Twitter account shows a tweet linking to the same pastebin, potentially lending the claim a shred of legitimacy. Anonymous and Team GhostShell are known to be friendly toward each other. It should be noted however that GhostShell has not said anything relating to the message sent out from the person purporting to be a part of Anonymous.



Update: The original person claiming to be from Anonymous has distanced themselves from the GhostShell attack, apparently because it contained databases of student information from South African tertiary institutions. “We, the group communicating with you, would like to condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms, as we believe they serve little purpose to the cause and ethos that we are sworn to”, it says. “We are sworn to fighting corruption and uplifting the country, and that especially applied to the academic sector”. The full statement can be found at the bottom of the article.

We have asked a number of the more prominent Twitter accounts associated with Anonymous if the person behind the message and hack is legitimate, but have yet to receive any response.

Original statement:

Hello Citizens of the Media,

We are Anonymous, and we have turned our focus on the corrupt practices in South Africa. For two long we have watched in silence as tax payers money is stolen, as blood is spilled, as the police turn a blind eye, instead choosing to line their own pockets.

So now, the eyes of the collective will turn, look at South Africa, and then expose that which we see the world at large.

To this end, we have published the following call to the masses to assist us. Mass distribution and drawing attention to this video will commence shortly via various means.

That being said, it is critical that the people of South Africa and the world understand our philosophy and our fight, and as such, we would like to state the following:

We the legion do not seek war with the South African government
We the legion do not seek the downfall of the South African government
We the legion do not seek the resignations or downfall of any innocent individuals

We the legion do however seek to expose the corruption
We the legion do however seek to show the world that without change, the blood spilt in the cause of freedom will have fallen in the desert, where it is absorbed with no gain
We the legion do however seek to show the world that the liberators have become the oppressors

We the legion ask, nay, demand, that a culture of accountability and adherence to our constitution is reintroduced.
We the legion demand an end to censorship by the state
We the legion demand an end to the culture of corruption within our police force
We the legion demand our children be granted the education guaranteed by the constitution
We the legion demand an end to the theft of tax payers money by corrupt officials
We the legion demand that the voices of the people be heard.

We are without race, without tribal affiliation, without association with any South African political party.

In addition to this, we say this to you, a Citizen of the Media. For security reasons we are limiting our messages to media outlets that have been hand selected. Questions can be addressed to this email address and will be answered as promptly as possible. Lack of response will force us to assume that your publication is not infact interested in this story and we will remove you from our list of media contacts.

Remember – The Corrupt Fear us, The Honest Support us, The Heroic join us

We hope to hear from you

We are Anonymous
We are Legion
We do not forgive
We do not forget
EXPECT US

Second statement:

Some further information.

We sincerely regret having to post this so early in our campaign but this
is extremely important. Within the last 72 hours a group calling
themselves The Ghost Shell who claimed to be allied with Anonymous South
Africa performed a series of penetrations on various systems and leaked
the information of some 700 thousand individuals.

Having examined the institutions they targeted and the type of information
released, we, the group communicating with you, would like to condemn
these attacks in the strongest possible terms, as we believe they serve
little purpose to the cause and ethos that we are sworn to. We are sworn
to fighting corruption and uplifting the country, and that especially
applied to the academic sector.

As such, to have individuals targetting educations of higher institution
is met with horror and distaste. The following is our published statement
on the issue with regards to the higher education attacks, and this has
been tweeted as well.

— Message to Academia follows —

A Message to the staff and students of South African Academia.

In the wake of today’s revelation that confidential data containing
student and staff information was taken from your institution and
distributed on the Internet, we, those involved in Anonymous Operation
South Africa felt it critical that we make a clear and concise statement.

While in the next few days it will become obvious that we have appealed to
help from the Anonymous collective to expose the corruption in this
country, and to shed light on the descecration of our human rights by a
corrupt regime, we do NOT condone the form of behavior that was seen
today.

Anonymous is made up of hundreds of thousands of individuals, the vast
majority of which have a collective ethos of fighting corruption,
oppression and censorship. We believe in freedom of information and
believe that the Internet should be free without government censor and
control. We believe that the elite few should not have the right to
enrich themselves at the expensive the poor. We believe that corruption
should be exposed and those that cause pain to others in order to enrich
themselves should be brought to book. We believe that globally the
systems are failing us as the masses, with governments the world over
attempting to censor and regulate that which they fear most, the free flow
of information.

Those individuals in Anonymous South Africa who are involved with this
operation also believe firmly that education is key to the upliftment of
this country, and there is no excuse for the state of the academic sector
in South Africa at the moment, as caused by the incompetance of the
current ruling party.

Therefore, we would like to send a clear message, we condemn the actions
of any group that attacks the academic sector. We condemn the actions of
those attack innocent companies who are simply trying to get by. We
condemn violence. We believe in peaceful resistance through words, and
through the distribution of information that is censored only to assist
the corrupt. We applaud those who stand up censorship, corruption and
violent conduct through peaceful means and peaceful civil disobedience.

I would ask you and the whole of the South African society therefore not
to judge all of us under the umbrella of the few that choose to break away
from the stated cause in search of their own twisted amusement.

As has been distributed to the media, we once again state the following:

We the legion do not seek war with the South African government
We the legion do not seek the downfall of the South African government
We the legion do not seek the resignations or downfall of any innocent
individuals

We the legion do however seek to expose the corruption
We the legion do however seek to show the world that without change, the
blood spilt in the cause of freedom will have fallen in the desert, where
it is absorbed with no gain
We the legion do however seek to show the world that the liberators have
become the oppressors

We the legion ask, nay, demand, that a culture of accountability and
adherence to our constitution is reintroduced.
We the legion demand an end to censorship by the state
We the legion demand an end to the culture of corruption within our police
force
We the legion demand our children be granted the education guaranteed by
the constitution
We the legion demand an end to the theft of tax payers money by corrupt
officials
We the legion demand that the voices of the people be heard.

We are without race, without tribal affiliation, without association with
any South African political party.

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  • http://twitter.com/roxbradnick Rox Bradnick

    Finally – about time we got off our butts and started doing something more than boycotting and bitching on News24 articles. People power!

    Few things to add with my (somewhat limited) understanding of Anon…

    As ‘it’ is a collective, with no leader or spokesperson or headquarters, an appeal like that is legit. There is an SA Anon Twitter account, and I guess that unless we all get behind it/try and work together at bringing about change, this will just phase out when the latest cluster-fck comes along.

    It is a good thing that media are being targeted with this message – even from a personal point of view, it made me happy, hopeful, sad, proud and angry all at once.

    You are wasting your time trying to find out who is ‘behind’ the message though. Maybe instead we can all look at ways to support the cause (such as it is?)

    Otherwise, start with @Anonymous_ZA.

  • Pingback: Purported Anonymous video appeals to world to speak out against SA – Memeburn | americanpeacenik.com

  • Expatriot23

    Legitimate operation is legitimate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nick-Wilkins/557557245 Nick Wilkins

    They have my support!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1339118434 Enigste Kubaan
  • http://www.facebook.com/johanna.vandokkum Johanna VanDokkum

    This is such a complicated story that only IT-experts can make any sense of it.

  • Pingback: Anonymous video appeals to world to speak out against SA • CENSORBUGBEAR

  • http://www.facebook.com/panthisza Alex [SS] PsyChoPanthis

    As a fellow South African… i agree with this 100%

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SO2A5YYXCUCTWBM5Q22BLRKC5M Anonymous

    To the Citizens,

    The Operation South Africa is a legitimate operation. As stated in the article, Anonymous is a wide, diverse group that has no central leadership structure. Individuals choose to associate themselves with Anonymous should they choose to do so, and what binds Anonymous together is a common belief in the freedom of information, a drive towards ending corruption, a hatred for pedophilia, and a belief that Government’s should not control our lives, but should rather serve those who elected them.

    While Operation South Africa has multiple factions that act independently of each other and there is a lot of segregation (this for one provides security), there is a general feeling that to create change we need multiple things, but most of all, public support and more individuals who will associate themselves with the Anonymous banner.

    This was heavily referenced in a post by one of the South African Anon’s which was posted last night and can be found at: http://www.anonpaste.me/anonpaste2/index.php?a9ca41306d8c4ab7#GTo0D7Wvq3S0e08lCcZS4Nr1vKXR8rdoJYKXcuFltyQ=

    Further more, with regards to the legitimacy of the campaign, please see the following:

    Official PR: http://anonrelations.net/opsouthafrica-official-pr-1036/

    #OpSouthAfrica tag on twitter
    @anonopsza1 Twitter Account
    Email contact can be initiated through opsouthafrica@yahoo.com

    We are Anonymous
    We are Legion
    We do not forgive
    We do not forget
    Expect Us

  • http://www.facebook.com/habit47 Ivan Ayliffe

    Doesn’t feel like an Anonymous posting. And the ‘OH FUCK’ demotivational poster at the end derails crediblity. A pity.

  • AnonyFucked

    Anonymous can suck my balls.

  • Pingback: AnimalFarm.org » #Anonymous video appealing to hacktivist community and the world speak out against the actions of the SA government. http://t.co/Sdfboim1YR

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