The recent YouTube video from Anonymous threatening a diabolical attack upon Facebook on November 5 continues a long tradition of civil unrest.
First, let us journey back to 1605. Here we find Guy (sometimes known as Guido) Fawkes sitting guard duty on a large pile of gunpowder under the English House of Lords where he was discovered by the authorities.
Oddly, these authorities took a rather dim view of this discovery, and of his part in plans to restore a catholic monarch (principally by destroying the House of Lords and all souls contained therein). Thus, Mr Fawkes was scheduled to be hung, drawn and quartered soon after, but his suicide on approach to the scaffold put paid to these plans. The gathered throng was much disappointed.
Two rather related themes arise from this. Firstly the well-known rhyme, “Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!” Seemingly although the plans were well acknowledged, the catholic thrust of the event was lost rather quickly.
Secondly, we have the old joke, “Guy Fawkes, the only man ever to enter parliament with honest intentions.” Perhaps the use of ‘honest’ is a little broad here.
So, lets come back to the ‘Anonymous’ pronouncement. They claim that on November 5 this year, they will unleash an attack upon Facebook, saying “Your medium of communication you all so dearly adore will be destroyed. If you want to protect the freedom of information then join the cause and kill Facebook for the sake of your own privacy.”
Are the ‘punters’ bothered about this? Seemingly not – members of my own family pointed to a link to the video from within their own Facebook account! Their general amusement suggested a lack of belief.
However, perhaps we should put our security hat on for a moment. If I was to announce such a major ‘incursion,’ I’d probably want to be pretty sure that I already had the means to achieve it at my disposal. And that suggests Anonymous has ALREADY completed the incursion, has planted their ‘bombs’ and are sitting back waiting for the House of (Facebook) Lords to crumble on the appointed date.
Four hundred and six years is a long time between attacks upon the castles of the rulers of our lives, but one might suggest that there is less to differentiate the Protestant King James from the doth-protest-too-much ‘king’ Mark Zuckerburg.