Prolific “spokesman” for Anonymous leaves the hacker group
By Nate Anderson
In one year, Barrett Brown made himself into one of the best-known public faces of the hacker collective Anonymous—and now he’s stepping away from the group.
“There’s little quality control in a movement like that, which was not a huge problem when the emphasis was on assisting with North African revolutions and those who came on board thus tended to be of a certain sort,” he told Ars this week.
“But as things like OpSony arise, you attract a lot of people whose interest is in fucking with video game companies—which is not to say that there aren’t legitimate reasons for OpSony or that the majority involved aren’t quality people, but to the extent that someone sits things out when we’re working to promote liberty and fight dictatorships but then hops on board when we start going after an electronics firm that’s perpetrated far lesser villainy, one has to question those peoples’ priorities.”
Brown has been an unofficial “spokesman” of sorts for Anonymous, a go-to guy whenever a news outlet needed a real name or a face to put on TV. He and another Anon, Gregg Housh, have become public symbols of a movement that largely cloaks itself in anonymity, hiding behind Guy Fawkes masks and Internet Relay Chat handles.
How many other Anons would sit for a lengthy profile of the sort featured in the March issue of Dallas’ D magazine that talks about Brown’s heroin use, his sexual escapades, and the reason he wears cowboy boots—while running a photo of him slumped in a chair beneath a stuffed bobcat? And that featured descriptions like this?