Anonymous backs off threats against Mexican drug cartel
Anonymous has decided not to reveal names of Los Zetas collaborators in light of the return of a kidnapped Anonymous member and threats of Zeta violence against civilians in retribution. REUTERS

Online activist movement Anonymous has declared war against corruption in the Mexico government, calling on all the global hacker community to attack government agencies in the country.

The operation, dubbed #OpCorrupción, comes after #OpCartel, in which Anonymous planned to target the ruthless drug cartel Los Zetas but hds to call it off after the kidnapping of one of his member. Eventually, the hacker has been released but Anonymous declared a truce with the Zetas.

With #OpCorrupción, Anonymous is committed to release 25,000 emails out of a cache of 18,000 stolen during a hack on the Mexican government.

"We appeal to all the world's Anons, the entire global hacker community, to set aside our differences, and to ruthlessly attack all government agencies in Mexico: their web presence, their email, their servers," reads a statement on Anonymous Iberoamerica website, the official blog for the Spanish-speaking faction of the hacker collective. "To bring to light all the hidden information that demonstrates that Mexico is corrupt. We officially declare war against corruption in Mexico."

However, this operation is likely to spark more criticism among sceptics of the "hacktivists". Operation Cartel, aimed at taking down the violent Mexican drug cartel, already raised serious concerns among Anoymous members in South America. Many argued in internet chat rooms that the risk of torture and death was too great to carry on. Several activists told the Mexican newspaper Milenio that the operation was cancelled out of safety concerns.

Last week, Adrien Chen on Gawker accused Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown of exploiting press attention on Operation Cartel to promote a book about his experience working with Anonymous, for which he received a six-figure offer from Amazon's publishing branch. "The whole Operation Cartel business was probably bullshit-a lot of sound and fury signifying people's lurid obsession with the boogeymen of Anonymous and the drug cartels," Chen wrote.

Many experts are unconvinced on Anonymous real commitment to release hacked emails. "The spat between Brown and Chen aside, we're still not convinced there will ever be a release," wrote Adam Clarke of The Atlantic Wire. "Anonymous tends to brag a lot about planned operations, then fall silent when they miss their deadline, as they recently did for their November 5 attack on Facebook."

OpCartel was one of the most controversial operation the online "hacktivist" group has ever carried on. Arrests have been made in connection with Anonymous denial-of-service attacks against PayPal late last year and alleged theft of data from Sony Pictures Entertainment earlier this year. And the group has targeted numerous law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and elsewhere and even alleged child porn rings.