Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous

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Verso Books, Nov 4, 2014 - Political Science - 256 pages
Here is the ultimate book on the worldwide movement of hackers, pranksters, and activists that operates under the non-name Anonymous, by the writer the Huffington Post says “knows all of Anonymous’ deepest, darkest secrets.”

Half a dozen years ago, anthropologist Gabriella Coleman set out to study the rise of this global phenomenon just as some of its members were turning to political protest and dangerous disruption (before Anonymous shot to fame as a key player in the battles over WikiLeaks, the Arab Spring, and Occupy Wall Street). She ended up becoming so closely connected to Anonymous that the tricky story of her inside–outside status as Anon confidante, interpreter, and erstwhile mouthpiece forms one of the themes of this witty and entirely engrossing book.

The narrative brims with details unearthed from within a notoriously mysterious subculture, whose semi-legendary tricksters—such as Topiary, tflow, Anachaos, and Sabu—emerge as complex, diverse, politically and culturally sophisticated people. Propelled by years of chats and encounters with a multitude of hackers, including imprisoned activist Jeremy Hammond and the double agent who helped put him away, Hector Monsegur, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy is filled with insights into the meaning of digital activism and little understood facets of culture in the Internet age, including the history of “trolling,” the ethics and metaphysics of hacking, and the origins and manifold meanings of “the lulz.”

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - M.Campanella - LibraryThing

Don't read this book. It’s awful. A more apt title should be ‘Anonymous and I’, because the book, particularly the first half of it, does not strike me as being about Anonymous per se, but about ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SebastianHagelstein - LibraryThing

This book shows well what the hacktivist culture is about. It shows events and episodes mainly about the activist/hacker/prank group Anonymous and illustrates both the good and the bad in the hacktivist movement. Read full review


And Now You Have Got Our Attention
On Trolls Tricksters and the Lulz
Project ChanologyI Came for the Lulz but Stayed for the Outrage
Weapons of the Geek
The Shot Heard Round the World
Anonymous Everywhere
Moralfaggotry Everywhere
Revenge of the Lulz
The Desire of a Secret Is to Be Told
The Sabutage
A Note on Sources


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About the author (2014)

Gabriella Coleman holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, she researches, writes, and teaches on computer hackers and digital activism. She is the author of Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking.

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