Anonymous, Occupy launch ‘Our Polls’ campaign against SOPA, PIPA, NDAA supporters in Congress

Our-PollsAnonymous announced today a joint campaign with the Occupy Movement called “Our Polls,” which targets members of Congress who supported a variety of bills these groups find particularly offensive. Namely: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The groups call on voters to remove all those who supported these bills from office on November 6, election day.

The primary message of the Our Polls effort is that Washington is corrupted by money, and that the politicians who were elected to represent us worry more about the thickness of their wallets than the lives of their constituents.

“We are calling on voters, activists and keyboard warriors under all banners to unite as a single force to unseat the elected representatives who threaten our essential freedoms and who were so quick to minimize our individual constitutional rights for a quick corporate profit,” reads a statement, released on the popular Anonymous-affiliated website, YourAnonNews.

The groups single out all members of Congress who are up for re-election this November, and supported SOPA, PIPA and/or NDAA, .

As many of you likely remember, SOPA and PIPA — a pair of anti-piracy bills in the House and Senate, respectively — were both stopped in their tracks thanks to a mass online blackout on January 18. NDAA, on the other hand, passed with an unnerving provision that technically allows the US military to detain suspected terrorists indefinitely, without trial — even if those suspects are US citizens.

While the concerted Our Polls campaign is new, the collaboration between Anonymous and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is anything but. In fact, OWS has Anonymous to thank for its early widespread attention. According to Fast Company, Anonymous attempted to launch the first “99 Percent” protest in New York City last March, an event entitled Operation Empire State Rebellion (#OpESR), which only drew a handful of people in Manhattan and other cities in the US. The group was not deterred, however, and prior to the first day of OWS demonstrations on September 17, Anonymous helped spread the word through their variety of well-followed Twitter accounts. (YourAnonNews, for example, has more than 540,000 followers.) And they’ve never stopped since; over the last four and a half months, Anonymous members and supporters have acted in concert with OWS protesters around the world, both online and off.

And this, I believe, is one of the most important facts to remember when talking about Anonymous: The loose-knit group is more political activist movement than hacker legion. While many of the group’s exploits are labeled “hacks,” there is no actual hacking taking place. (Of course, this is not always true.) Instead, most high-profile Anonymous “Operations” involve distributed denial of service (DDoS) “attacks,” which are nothing more than sending too much traffic to websites, thus rendering them temporarily inoperable. Is DDoS disruptive? Of course — but so is a group of 20,000 protesters standing in the middle of a Manhattan street.

Disruption is the point.

The real value (or threat, depending which side you’re on) of Anonymous and OWS is their ability to affect social change. The Our Polls campaign provides an opportunity for these factions to prove their effectiveness. We’ll just have to wait until November 6 to see the results.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.


EA is losing out on the true potential of Titanfall studio with ‘Apex Legends’

Apex Legends is a solid battle royale game, but one can’t shake the feeling that its creation was dictated by Respawn’s new owners: Electronic Arts. In the process, the studio’s soul could be lost.

Last gen had some hits! Take a look at the best PS3 games of all time

Choosing the right PlayStation 3 game can be a conundrum, especially when there are nearly 1,500 titles to choose from. Thankfully, we've rounded up the best games to have ever made it to the platform.

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (March 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.

The 'Anthem' demo's crash landing raises more questions than answers

Bioware bravely allowed gamers to see a large chunk of 'Anthem' over two demo weekends, but it backfired. Lackluster missions, performance issues, and muddled messaging over micro-transactions leaves the game with an uphill battle.

In the age of Alexa and Siri, Cortana’s halo has grown dim

In a sea of voice assistants, Cortana has become almost irrelevant. The nearly five-year-old voice assistant is seeing little love from consumers, and here’s why it is dead.

Apex Legends proves battle royale is no fad. In fact, it’s just getting started

Apex Legends came out of nowhere to take the top spot as battle royale in 2019, and it now looks as if it'll be the biggest game of the year. Its sudden success proves the battle royale fad still has plenty of life left in it.
Home Theater

Apple is arming up to redefine TV just like it did the phone

Curious about what Apple's answer to Netflix will be? Us too. So we combed through some patents, and looked at the landscape, to come up with a bold prediction: Apple's streaming service will be way bigger than anyone thinks.
Home Theater

How the headphone jack helps Samsung out-Apple the king

Samsung’s latest flagship phones and wearables unveiled at the Galaxy Unpacked event had plenty of exciting new tech. But one of the most useful features Samsung revealed is also the oldest: The mighty headphone jack.

Age of Empires II thrives 20 years later. Here's what Anthem could learn from it

Age Of Empires II is approaching its 20th birthday. It has a loyal following that has grown over the past five years. New always-online games like Anthem would love to remain relevant for so long, but they have a problem. They're just not…

Devil May Cry is Fantastic, but I still want a DmC: Devil May Cry sequel

Capcom's Devil May Cry 5 is one of the best games of 2019 and a welcome return for the series, but its success should not discount just how wonderful Ninja Theory's DmC: Devil May Cry really was.
Smart Home

Alexa may be everywhere, but it’s Google’s Assistant I want in my home. Here’s why

The Amazon Alexa may have the Google Home beat in quantity of skills and compatibility with other products, but does that really matter when Alexa falls flat for day-to-day conversation?

DMC 5’s greatness is a reminder of all the open world games that wasted my time

Devil May Cry 5 modernizes the stylish action combat while retaining its storied PS2 roots. More so, though, it reminded me that we could sure use more linear, single player games to combat the sea of open world games.