Why The Anonymous 'Threat' To Campbell Newman Isn't Really A Threat At All

It's being reported today that Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has been personally threatened by the hacktivist collective known as Anonymous. Don't believe the hype.

The front page of the Courier Mail in Queensland looked like this earlier on today:

GUTLESS, reads the headline, underneath the image of a figure wearing a Guy Fawkes mask.

The story is about a video posted on YouTube over the weekend reportedly by Anonymous objecting to his so-called "bikie laws", designed to crack down on outlaw motorcycle gangs.

The video is standard Anonymous faire, featuring the Fawkesian figure gesticulating while holding a piece of paper and a digitised voice reading a script about how these new laws violate freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. No matter what you think about it, you should know that a silly little YouTube video posed no threat to Premier Newman. Regardless, Queensland Police are spending resources looking into the video and for those who issued the "threat" to Newman.

Here's what the mainstream media don't know about the video: all it took to make was one bored privacy activist who thought it would be cool to send a message that no petition, newspaper campaign or protest march could get across. These videos are pretty simple to make. All you need is decent editing software, a bit of stock footage and an internet connection, and BAM: you're a feared hacker.

The Fawkesian mask-style video with the epic pre-roll graphic has been used time and time and time and time again to make protest videos under the flag of hacktivist collective Anonymous. So much so that there are guides on how to make said videos online that are just a Google search away.

The Anonymous name bears weight after high-profile breaches like the Sony attacks, which makes any "threats" instantly more serious. Plus, Anonymous is a decentralised group, which means there's no formal leadership to run ideas by when it comes to protest videos, which means that literally anyone can make one of these videos. Hell, Premier Newman himself could make one if he had some downtime.

Anonymous is an idea, not a group. It represents the ideas of freedom of information, speech and assembly, which brings us back to Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and the reason this whole debacle kicked off. The video in question sees "Anonymous" cover off on recent news events related to the so-called Bikie Laws, before reading out sections of the bill.

Very scary start.

Then there's this:

For those of you who believe this is going to be used against criminal bikie gangs and only on bikie gangs, we urge you to think again and do some research into the documents. This is what happens when governments pass laws that do not take into account what people have done, but who they associate with: innocent people get hurt. Premier Campbell Newman has gone too far. It breaches our basic human rights, liberties and Australian Constitution. In the name of community safety, the new legislation makes very large and serious incursions into fundamental human rights, including the right to be free from arbitrary detention, the right to a fair trial before an independent judge and the right to free speech and association.
Australia's Constitution does not contain a comprehensive Bill of Rights in practise. This means that the courts have limited tools with which to scrutinise laws which infringe on individual liberties. Campbell Newman's bill has come with a slew of propaganda suggesting that normal people won't be targeted, but along with his broken election promises, this is not the first time he has lied. These laws make no mention whatsoever of bikies. They apply to any association. Laws which make it illegal to be a part of any association with members violate...freedom of speech. There is nothing criminal about being in a group, or in association with a group. This is a direct attack on our rights. We will not tolerate it.
We are Anonymous, we are Legion. We do not forgive, we do not forget. Campbell Newman, expect us.

You're likely to hear the first two paragraphs come out of the mouths of normal people like you and me. Imagine a talkback show host saying that and it's fine. Imagine a student protester shouting it and it's fine. Even imagine someone in Queensland Opposition saying it and there's no drama.

That last bit, however, is of particular interest and it's what mainstream news outlets are holding up as the lightning rod for their stories, but there's a problem: "Expect Us" isn't a threat, it's a motto.

In an attempt to sound as scary as possible, all Anonymous missives end with the phrase: "We are Anonymous, we are Legion. We do not forgive, we do not forget. Expect us." Can't you see it's a motto? What's the motto with you?

Saying that the Anonymous tagline is a threat is the same as saying that "Always, Coca Cola" insinuates that the caffeinated beverage is the key to eternal life. Grow up.

The real threat comes from real people, not piddly little YouTube videos from disguised activists. Earlier today the Premier's contact details and home address were reportedly published to social media websites, not by "Anonymous", but allegedly by someone who worked in a car dealership that had previously dealt with the now-State Premier. Let's devote Police resources to real breaches, shall we?

When Anonymous members want you to take a hit, they don't often post a preachy YouTube video about it first. They do it after an attack. They make claims rather than threats, like the claim just today that Indonesian Anonymous members have breached "several Australian websites" in retaliation for Australia spying on the country's communications.

Let's all keep our heads next time one of these "threat" videos go "viral", ok?


Comments

    The only problem with this story is that anyone that reads this and similar sites should already know this, and those that don't will believe the main stream BS.

      Others might see it, if this article was to be tipped off to media watch.

      (no, i'm not going to do it myself)

      Right now, there are hundreds of retirees huddling in the basement of their gold coast 'lifestyle' villages, scared of the internets ANONAMOUS terrists that The Courier Mail/Alan Jones told them about.

      Last edited 04/11/13 4:20 pm

        Id be more worried aout the bikies, they way the media makes it out, they'd follow you home and murder your family, if you bought the last loaf of bread and they wanted it

          Some of them probably would, though. A Tattooist here on the Gold Coast a few years ago was renovating a shop he was intending to turn into a Tattoo parlor, and the bastards were already there trying to extort money out of him, before the bloody thing had even been finished! He had to abandon the whole thing. Fucking bikie Scum.

            Quick, someone has some random anecdote about this one guy who his mate's sister knew who this happened to - stopthebikes!

              It was actually the Tattooist that I go to. Luckily he was able to open a shop at Bundall instead. Feel free to give him a call and ask him about it, Pommy Paul at 383 Tattoos. Dick.

                Brilliant.

        Oh my God, I don't want to know what Alan Jones has said about this today. I cringe just thinking about it.

    Well this was 4 minutes of my life's reading that I wont ever get back.

    As a journalist, you actually sound mad in this piece like they've somehow wronged you or you're directly being affected. Those laws around bikies in Queensland can extend to other groups. So far its made the paper / news where Police have interrogated church riders, vietnam veterans groups and other smaller charities / riders. They are draconian, they dont help the situation and are likely to be open to abuse.

    Given you live in Sydney Luke and you've not had the 'experience' of having a Premier (twice in fact) with unfettered power AND no opposition to keep them in check, I think it reasonable that you dont understand what's going on in Queensland.

    As they say, theres a reason elections are won and fought in Queensland.

      I think you may have got the wrong message from the article.

      What I got from it is that Luke is angry at the sensationalist media reporting surrounding the video, and also the laws being put forth, not anonymous themselves or people opposed to the new laws, so you would in fact be in agreement with him against the 'bikie laws' and how they are open to abuse.

      Not to mention licenced establishments are now expected to enforce these laws or be fined. My cousins heavily tatoo'd friend who has never riden a bike in his life was refused service by a bottle shop because they're not allowed to serve bikies. In what way should everyday sales assistants and bar tenders be expected to be able to tell the difference?

        That can't be the law. Can it? That sounds like the shops condition of entry to me. Can't blame the politicians for that one.

          Up to 11k personal fine. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-01/hospitality-workers-face-fines-for-serving-bikies/5064104

            Nice work on the link. and Wow. If they keep pushing them into a corner like this, they're going to get desperate.

            Hasn't anyone seen the Dark Knight? Don't they know what can happen???

      Actually Newman's new law against bikies is profoundly stupid. It promises a year in a bikie prison for crimes that can result in gaol terms of up to 15 years in the mainstream legal system.

    Ahh the annoying thing about the group of hackers that once called themselves anonymous VS random dipshits off the street who buy a mask and post youtube clips by themselves.

    People somehow still get these mixed up, it baffles me.

      ... which is the point of the article. The Courier Mail article conflates this video with serious Anonymous action and the publishing of the Premier's personal details on Facebook. It's typical of their fear-mongering and will be the primary source of news, and thus misinformation for many Queenslanders.

      There was never a hacking group called anonymous, the whole thing started with internet pranksters on websites where anonymity was enforced. Anonymous became "hackers" after fox news misunderstood that they were trolls and started calling them things like "hackers on steroids" and "domestic terrorists". Some people misunderstood the pranks and started taking "anonymous" seriously. The people using the sites where anonymous began still laugh at this shit even today.

    Watch out Luke, the script kiddies will get angry with you! /hides

    "posed no threat" ? When I saw him on the television he was sweating.
    No idea why we suck up to Indonesia. Our government bows before them.

    Last edited 04/11/13 3:55 pm

      And the sweating was due to being worried about the bikies and nothing else.... like say... IDK... ITS BLOODY HOT!!!

    Until Anon comes out and says it wasn't them and they have not jumped in bed with organized crime, I will assume that it is Anon, and that they condone the slaughter of innocent people in the name of control of city streets so they can deal drugs.

      Is that you, Campbell? Or one of your lowly paid UQ law grad staffers? Where has this wholesale slaughter of innocents occurred?

        seen the news recently? random people spraying random homes with bullets? Brawls in the street and airports?

        Also I think you need to read my post again. I didn't say "wholesale" anywhere. A single innocent person gets killed by a stray bullet, or mistaken identity, and it has happened, that is bad enough.

        How many innocent people being killed or injured, or mentally scared, do you feel is acceptable?

          How many people being targeted unfairly, bullied, and mentally scared by police tactics used against all motorcyclists, not just 1% criminal bikies, do you feel is acceptable?

            Well I don't ANYONE whose had this issue. How many people do you know are being harassed by the police?

              Quite a few actually, my mothers cousin is a member of a Vietnam veterans club. He's a tatoo'd bloke with handlebar moustache that rides a Harley. Cops have been hassling him and his friends non stop since this started.

              Last edited 04/11/13 8:37 pm

                I'd hassle him too. Just the other day we had a shooting here and it was a pair of so-called tattooed Vietnam Vets. Not bikies at all... Sure. Right. I believe you. Just like I'm totally not lying. Are you retarded - why would you say shit like this unless it's complete BS?

              What about the article in the Gold Coast Bulletin a few weeks back that mentioned a motorcycle rider who was targeted by the Queensland Police 11 times in one week, he isn't (and never was) part of an outlaw motorcycle club or any bike related clubs of any sort. If that's not harassment, then I don't know what is.

          Still waiting for a specific example of 'the slaughter of innocent people' perpetuated by bikies.

          If I wanted more baseless rhetoric and Daily Tele-level hyperbole, I'd listen to Alan Jones.

          Last edited 04/11/13 6:18 pm

            This. My local paper keeps painting bikies as murders, rapists, thieves and outright scum who will kill anyone who looks at them.

            Here, let me google that for you.

            http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/family-of-jason-de-ieso-plea-for-help-to-find-men-who-shot-him/story-fni6uo1m-1226699832135

            Police stress that Mr De Iseo was an innocent bystander, caught up in the tensions.

            Is that enough? How many innocents is too many? 10? 100? 1000? Or is it as long as it's not someone you know personaly it's OK?

            To add to @tonyintsv there http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-28/two-shot-at-gold-coast-shopping-centre/3978046

            There's far more. Just search for Gold Coast Shootings.

            @jjcf you wanted specific examples. Examples have been given. and now suddenly you have stopped replying. Do you not have more comments on how innocent people are not getting hurt and killed by bikies?

      Tony, have you read the legislation? It makes no mention of outlaw motorcycle gangs, ie the people that these laws are supposed to target, it is very general and could be very open to interpretation and abuse. That is what Anon are talking about, they are not condoning organised crime.

        So, you wan't the legislation to specificly mention the exact organization it's targeting? So that next time there is an organization that becomes a threat, say the militant wing of the Salvation Army (yes I took that from Austin Powers), new legislation has to be drafted and passed to deal with them, so that you can winge and moan about wasting money.

      Not sure if joking or just fucking stupid...

      Your assertions are grossly over-simplified, as is most of the discussion about the new anti-bikie laws in Qld. People need to look at the big picture here. First of all, the way the new laws are worded, they can easily be applied to anyone, not just bikes. The effect of that is already becoming obvious. There was a story today about coffee shops in areas frequented by weekend recreational bikers (not bikies) recording a 30% drop in trade since the new laws were introduced. Two of these businesses will probably have to close by Christmas because anyone riding a motorcycle is too scared to be on the road. The new laws are also affecting the judiciary with one judge refusing to rule on a case because of perceived political interference. That matter is going to appeal in the supreme court. In another case, a judge required the police to prove that a suspect had bikie links. They failed to do so and the judge released him on bail.

      All this and the Qld Police's own statistics show that only .6% of crime in qld can be attributed to outlaw motorcycle gangs. They're spending millions (including $800,000 on a TV ad campaign) to fix .6% of the crime while taking resources away from solving the other 99.4% of crime. To me, that makes no sense at all. This is just a publicity campaign to fool gullible Qlders into thinking they're tough on crime.

        You know that most laws, drafted every where in the world are applied to everyone right? For example, if the cloth of the seat of your car is torn, even a little bit, the police or transport department can declare it un-road worthy. Of course, such things are reserved for hoons and other such wankers to take them off the road.

        Just because a crime can't be directly attributed to a person or organization, does not mean that that organization didn't do it.

        You see, statistics can be manipulated and twisted to suite the needs of the person using them. How many crimes in Queensland go unsolved and therefor unattributed?

        Rather than look at police statistics, lets instead look at things like, unexplained income. Where does all the money come from? Where does the money for these clubhouses come from? Do they walk into the local bank and take out a loan?

      Everyone just ignore this guy, he is a Liberal propaganda bot. He was created to spread their lies and dictator-style policies. I hope he is a bot anyway, no one should be that gullible.

    There is no 'Anon' to come out and deny anything, we are all Anon. This is not the normal MO of Anon but the video and statement are correct, the civil liberties of Australians and anybody within a group or organisation may now be the target of police arrest and questioning akin to riot laws and terrorist activities because of these unspecific laws. They are aimed at 'bikies' but technically now a group of four or more present at a CWA meet can be the subject of these laws, or if you wear a 'Sons of Anarchy' t-shirt or perhaps just because you ride a Harley. The Internet gives normal people a voice now and this makes more of a statement to the public (via the alarmist news) than the disgruntled employee who actually released the Premiers personal details.

    I like how Anon is now a "group". It's never been a set group. It's a collection of random people on the internet with the same opinion and the technically knowledge to do something disruptive.

    Stupid accent. I normally kinda like the idea of Anon & some of the issues they draw attention to like the rapes perpetrated by 'untouchable' connected football heroes in small town USA.

    I hate the idea of a police state but I fucking absolutely hate bikies with a passion from my own real world experience of intimidation, fights, threats & court appearances. Anyone who is dumb enough to advertise on their jacket the fact that they are 13%ers (drug dealers & users) & 1%ers (active criminals) need to be fucked up & rubbed out.

    So fuck them & fuck their stupid Harleys they rode in on.

    PS I used to have hotels.

      That would be fine if these laws would actually work, but they wont and they are unfair.

    Make that "stupid low tech Harleys"...........

    Sorry Luke, you have made a slight mistake.

    The QLD Liberal Idiot's address was published on the car mechanics facebook page a while ago and subsequently removed. He appologised for letting it out.

    It's been re-posted today on a "social media site used by Bikies".

    There has been no comments or suggestion that the original person posted it again.

    Anyone who hears about these laws and isn't immediately worried should have a good hard think about the kind of country they want to live in. It would be bad enough if this applied only to bikies, but it would seem these laws are very generic and could be applied to anyone , and if they can get away with it in Queensland, that sends a message that other states can get way with it too.

    Will we soon be seeing those that hold opinions the Government doesn't like being targeted too? And with rubbish media rags being in bed with the entire process (the pictured headline from a newspaper makes me feel ill) it's pretty important that we don't let such bastardisations of our laws go quietly.

    Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but citizens simply cannot allow their governments to have such powers.

    The aim of the video was to highlight the issue that a horrible bill is being pushed using the guise that its going to stop world war III (bikies revenge). I think all liberal governments have had a meeting and declared they want to revenue raise the f*ck out of everything.
    Sure bikes are violent occasionally, they are a problem, but the laws announced are so extreme, they are infringing on the rights of non bikie members. infact they could be infringing on everyday people.

    The video also raised an issue that our consitiution is in desperate need of revision (I'd rather wait untill scumbag Abbott is kicked out, before touching this tho).

    These are the values our government should be raised on.....

    So threats against public figures are cool as long as they're against the LNP, Luke?

    If you can't see why the message was a threat, then you should probably never visit the zoo because all you've shown is that you think bikies are cuddly and that disgruntled strangers behind masks are the answer to the world's problems.

    When a group of criminals feel bold enough to hold one of your police stations under siege, wouldn't you question if the old sentencing was working?

      lol it makes me scared that there are people like you out in the world voting. Same people that support the NSA and things like that because "im not doing anything wrong why should i care" failing to understand the bigger picture of it all.

    Newman's right-wing Law and Order Politics are a social poison and the real threat here. Good on Anonymous for publicising this, as we all know journalists in this country are too GUTLESS to do so.

    Last edited 04/11/13 10:42 pm

    NSW has had anti-association laws since the 1920s and the Commonwealth has had them since the 1970s.

    The sky hasn't fallen in yet.

    Just because this is the first time you've heard about them doesn't make them new and scary.

    For anyone that's used to reading the way legislation is written you'll see that it's language is similar to other modern criminal Acts. I'll give an example.

    Old laws are very, very narrow. It means that you can't be charged for larceny (stealing) for stealing part of a house, like a window or tiles, or oysters from an oyster farm, or plants or any number of wacky loopholes. So they had to create individual offences for each of them. Modern legislation talks about "things" and "objects" and "prescribed organizations".

    The whole thing is a non-event the laws will be enacted Police will continue to spend their meager resources doing what we pay them for and life will go on.

      +1

    First of, yes they are Draconian and are likely to be abused.
    Perhaps under this law anybody wearing a mask could be held responsible, which is kind of ironic really given the film of the comic book of the historical character the 'logo' is abstracted from.

    Now, is it a motto or a threat?
    If it isn't intended as a threat borrowing the mantle of capability they could as easily
    I am not Anonymous, It is just me. I do not forgive as long as it isn't too much effort, I do not forget, I do foment and I do a nice bit of text formatting
    Expect me (Not meant as a threat, just an affirmation that I will continue to observe and occasionally spam you to death, whoops, sorry spam you to mild annoyance )
    It may not be very threatening but do you honestly imagine the poster thought it completely innocent? No little bit of assumed authority?

    The problem with being anonymous is that the brand is inherently and readily exploitable if anyone should chose to do so. Recipients can hold any message up as a threat, nobody can credibly explain or retract unless they can be verified as the source.

    Anybody can post and claim representation and for good or ill anything anonymous gets assigned to Anonymous.
    When anonymous indonesia hacks carbon monoxide and smoke alarm sellers, because they have so much input into national security, tell me that wasn't Anonymous.
    They are trending a star chamber just like every other star chamber, start out as a principle but end up with a lot of collateral damage and self justification. It is what people with power who take it as a matter of faith they are right always do.

    When you think you are right then surely something so right can stand up to an examination
    'honestly consider for just a moment what it would look like if you sincerely believed what you now believe to be true is wrong'.

    That being said, anyone who rides a deliberately amplified motorised whoopie cushion past my open window will die, sometime in the next 100 years.

    Luke Hopewell, I was inspired by your article (on Anonymous) to post some non-threatening but insightful literary references with Campbell Newman's name or position inserted. My purpose was be satirical and to make my political point about him being overly sensitive to our free speech and maybe a bit paranoid. I put 3 of them up on Facebook last night. This morning they are gone.
    What do you make of that?

    Next stop: car enthusiasts. Or as the media would portray them, car hoons. Because a bunch of kids in cars with shiny wheels will murder your children.

    Last edited 06/11/13 5:07 pm

      Actually, I know a guy who died hooning. True story - we went to school together and he was a really great bloke, but got in with the wrong crowd and died during a street race. Mudgee, NSW - around 10 years ago now. Look it up. These hoons are dangerous petrol heads, and they should be executed while their families (especially their illegitimate children) look on. Police state!! YEAH!! Death to freedom!! But seriously, it's all a beat-up and I agree with you totally.

    Its no surprise to me that the Courier Mail would twist the videos message. Twist it into a sensational headline. After all, they desperately need something to report. A reason for people to buy that paper. Consider that when you buy sensational headlines, your buying desperation.

    Frankly, Anonymous needs to think for the average Aussie Bloke and Sheila, because they sure as hell don't do it for themselves.

    real anon dont get caught lawl you will never find us and nublets making videos hahaha keep it up great distraction linking photos to facebook dumb ass double lawl kiddie scripters. Indo boi's great work but soft ass targets. anon is a collective of targets just for when we dont know who to have fun with. hacktivist lawl.

    I can't believe people are calling anonymous persuasive names to brainwash humanity... ITS HUMANITY'S TIME TO WAKE UP

    Queensland has THE most corrupt Pig Force the world has EVER known. They have "pulled the teeth" of the CMC & made the CMC it's bitch.
    The feral corrupt scum MUST be purged from the Police Force, MAYBE then we can start to have SOME respect for them.
    Right now they deserve NOTHING but a good kick in the ass.

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