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#OpCartel - Has Anonymous Bitten off More Than They Can Chew?

Daily Dot
Anonymous are not to be trifled with. In the days since the Paris attacks they've been hunting down ISIS online activity and shutting it down on a colossal scale. Before that, they released a list of political and legal figures in the US who were also, allegedly, members of the KKK and other white supremacist groups. It's hard to understate how dangerous they can be when they rally to a common cause, but even they have limits.

One of their other recent initiatives - #OpCartel - appears to have backfired significantly. As the name suggests, it had been intended to target a Mexican drug cartel, known as the Zetas. Much like the KKK operation, the plan was to track down and expose key members of the gang, forcing them to go into hiding to avoid arrest. Those plans quickly fell apart as reports surfaced that the cartel was looking into hiring its own hackers to do the exact same thing to them.

The key difference is that whilst Anonymous just wanted to out them so that they couldn't cause any more trouble, the Zetas would likely threaten, abduct, assault or even murder any hacker whose personal details were uncovered. Two key members of Anon have already pulled out of the venture, citing the risk of loss of life as the reason, but there aren't any reports yet to suggest that the operation has completely shut down.

If the Zetas did manage to track down any of the hackers and retaliate, it certainly wouldn't be the first time. A woman who had allegedly posted information about them on social media was found decapitated in September with their trade mark Z scrawled on a message at the scene. Sadly, that grizzly killing is far from the only one the Zetas have committed because of online activity, something Anon probably should have taken into account when they targeted them.

The idea seems to have been to oust members who might have been doubling as journalists, police, cab drivers or whatever else provides a convincing cover and allows them to further the cartel's needs (abductions are frequently made using taxis). The operation was also allegedly motivated by the kidnap of an Anon member in Veracruz, though the validity of this claim has been called into question both inside and outside of the group.

The information was supposed to have started surfacing on November 5th, and thus far only one name has actually been dropped. Some supposed Anon members have voiced their determination to carry on with this, but since the focus has shifted so heavily to ISIS, it's hard to say what will end up happening.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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#OpCartel - Has Anonymous Bitten off More Than They Can Chew? Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, November 20, 2015 Rating: 5

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