A prominent UK member of the Anonymous online movement has spoken exclusively to IBTimes UK about the power it wields, how the political system is driving new members and how media attention is keeping the movement alive.
Contacting a member of Anonymous is not the easiest thing to do. They are, by their very nature, rather skittish and somewhat paranoid about revealing themselves to anyone in the real world. Following a couple of conversations on Twitters, extended email back-and-forth and finally assurance regarding the protection of his identity I convinced a prominent member of Anonymous to speak on camera to me.
I know he is a white male, and if I had to guess I would say he is in his later 20s. Other than that I don't know much else about his identity. We decided that he would go by the name Ferris Beuller (he had just been watching the film) when arriving at reception in the IBTimes UK office building.
We agreed to distort his voice and he conducted the interview wearing the infamous Guy Fawkes mask which has been the calling card of the group since its inception.
The group was borne out of the imageboard 4chan as far back as 2003, but it wasn't until 2008's Project Chanology aimed against the Church of Scientology that the group came to the attention of a wider audience – and it was also the spark which led Ferris to join the group.
Five years on he is now seen as one of the more experienced members of the group, but he saw new members are joining all the time but for entirely different reasons.
Ferris says that in the UK he has seen an influx of "terrifically disenfranchised teenagers" who feel let down by the political elite - especially by the Liberal Democrats who promised to change so much before the last election.
Read the full interview here: https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/500582/20130821/anonymous-interview-camera-media-fuelled-disenfranchised.htm