Anonymous laid out its case at anonnews.org:
You have abused the judicial system in an attempt to censor information about how your products work. You have victimized your own customers merely for possessing and sharing information, and continue to target those who seek this information. In doing so you have violated the privacy of thousands of innocent people who only sought the free distribution of information. Your suppression of this information is motivated by corporate greed and the desire for complete control over the actions of individuals who purchase and use your products, at least when those actions threaten to undermine the corrupt stranglehold you seek to maintain over copywrong, oops, "copyright".
Your corrupt business practices are indicative of a corporate philosophy that would deny consumers the right to use products they have paid for, and rightfully own, in the manner of their choosing. Perhaps you should alert your customers to the fact that they are apparently only renting your products? In light of this assault on both rights and free expression, Anonymous, the notoriously handsome rulers of the internet, would like to inform you that you have only been "renting" your web domains. Having trodden upon Anonymous' rights, you must now be trodden on.
read more after the jump!
Let's look at this as objectively as one can and think of Anonymous as, quite simply, an organization. Their philosophy could be generally described as a sort of Left Anarchism adapted to the 21st century: Use technology to rally against coercive institutions -- be they governments or corporations -- that have overstepped their bounds, demand transparency in said institutions, support the free flow of information, and generally stick it to thugs and jackals the world over. To this end i've found myself approving of some of their actions -- call it the death throes of youthful idealism. Hal Turner, a white nationalist and all-around despicable human being, found himself suddenly thousands of dollars in debt after his site was overloaded with web traffic. Anonymous came to the defense of Julian Assange, the merits of which have been hotly debated, but at least demonstrated a commitment to the goals of transparency. The governments of Egypt and Tunisia also experienced the wrath of Anonymous after the peoples' uprising in their countries. Then, of course, there was the recent showdown (if you're feeling charitable enough to call it that) between Anonymous and Westboro Baptist Church. Despite being subjected to the Charlie Manson eyes and general air of psychosis that forever swirls around Fred Phelps's doom-spawn like a cold, black mist, I did a feel sort of visceral thrill out of Anonymous's mid-interview attack on their site. There have been other cyber attacks -- some arguably noble, some stupidly frivolous, and a couple that have been downright despicable -- but for the sake of brevity I'll leave it there.
All that being said, the knee-jerk annoyance that I, being a gamer, have to this latest action pales in comparison to the fact that, no matter how even the most apologetically pro-Anonymous may try to spin it, an attack on Sony is a profoundly bad idea. This isn't a bank, a government, or any other sort of institution that has fallen out of favor in recent years; it's a company primarily known for video games. It stands to reason that Anonymous's general "stick it to the man" message resonates with the younger, more internet-savvy crowd. While this may seem like a generalization, anyone who was once a young lad (or lass) remembers the vibrant days of fervent rebellion, and I for one would have been the first to stand behind the "hacktivist" back in the day.
Sony has made its agenda clear: It intends to take a firm line against hackers and keep its system and its workings under its own dominion. One may oppose this agenda, but it goes without saying that attacking Sony's sites does nothing to further Anonymous's presumed goals -- in fact, from a PR standpoint, Sony now finds itself in the position of needing to show that its agenda will no be dictated by hackers and their supporters. Meanwhile, if Anonymous is interested in winning hearts and minds in the long term, it's got a long road ahead of it, all the more so when their actions only alienate the base to which it should be catering.
You can read Anonymous's full statement here