The internet was briefly snorting up thick lines of hacker hype this week, abuzz over claims that Anonymous was going to attack bloodthirsty Mexican drug lords. Anonymous, the internet's antihero, versus Los Zetas, drug scum. Too bad it's completely bogus.
The Guardian argues Anonymous "retreats" from their plan to expose members of the notoriously violent (and vindictive) cartel. The Daily Beast says the collective "rethinks" the operation. But there was never really any #opcartel to begin with. Nothing to retreat from.
It's not just that #OpCartel has delivered zero Mexican fruit—Anonymous is a shell of its former self. Their top shelf talent is mostly arrested, their organization muddled since the LulzSec heyday, and, most importantly, Anonymous' members were way too scared to even consider going after the drug game. And for good reason—security firm STRATFOR outlines Zetas' means of tracking down online troublemakers. And murdering them. They've done it before, and had Anonymous unmasked Zetas and their cronies, it's likely some hacker blood would've spilled.
But this is all irrelevant. As I said, there was no plan. The original threat video that started this all could have been made by anyone with a few bucks to buy a Guy Fawkes mask. Although Sabu, the lone remaining Anonymous strongman, claimed #opcartel was in the works via Twitter, Anon groupies have shown nothing but the opposite on IRC:
Splendide: Dude that shits dangerous
burn: I personally don't support opcartel and have not seen any suggestion from others that it is real
root: THERE IS NO #OPCARTEL
Wolfy: fucking FB bullshit. we still getting nubs running their mouths about that?
katanon: lol Wolfy, yes. It's the meme that won't die
When Anon shows a willingness to fuck the world with some ostensible sense of purpose—they're enormously powerful. But right now, Anonymous is a victim of both its prior strength and current anemia: burdened with their own reputation, and too weak to execute on it.
You can keep up with Sam Biddle, the author of this post, on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.