Anonymous boasts of itself as being a loose collective, a patchwork of mixed, at times conflicting ideals, sans leadership. It seems to work well for them! Except this nebulousness also lets in pretty much anyone. Including the cops.
MSNBC reports the recent rash of Anonymous arrests, spanning Spain and South America, can be traced back to a single chat room. And this chatroom, like pretty much all of Anonymous' chatrooms, were ripe for monitoring:
In the communique released on its blog, Anonymous Iberoamerica said the 25 [arrested] were snared not through "inteligence work or informatics strategy" but rather through "the use of spies and informants within the movement."
Anon faces a tricky balance here. Its power to swarm websites with DDoS attacks and recruit new talent capable of more sophisticated assault relies on a big, swinging open door. But this same nonexistent door policy means a great deal of the group's communication and planning is available to anyone who wants to see it. Most participants use commonplace methods to encrypt their identities, but as we see, at least 25 didn't.
As long as you can navigate IRC—and most of you can—you're in. This means Anon's chatrooms are packed with eager subscribers—and a few eager feds. [MSNBC]