• 07/18/2011
    3:11 PM
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Snubbed By Google+, Hacker Group Promises Alternative Network

Developers claiming to represent the Anonymous hacker collective say they will launch their own social network free of tyranny.
Developers from (or at least sympathetic to) the hacker collective Anonymous are promising to create their own social network, after Google+ blocked the group's profile.

So far, AnonPlus consists of nothing more than a placeholder page proclaiming great things to come and an associated discussion forum for developers to discuss user interface concepts and other ideas for the service.

A forum post announcing the initiative proclaims:

"This is one social network that will not tolerate being shut down, censored, or oppressed--even in the face of blackout.

"We the people have had enough ... enough of governments and corporations saying what's best for us--what's safe for our minds.

"The sheep era is over. The interwebz are no longer your prison."

The hacker blog noted that the official Anonymous blog and Twitter feed had yet to mention the project, making the association with the group uncertain. In fact, the AnonPlus home page says something about the connection being loose and the goal being broader than providing a social media home base for Anonymous: "this project is for ALL people not just anonymous, this idea is a presstorm idea and only takes the name anon because of the Anonymity of the social network." Presstorm, which is hosting the developers forum, advertises itself as an investigative journalism and activism website.

As of Monday afternoon, the developer forum was offline, due (according to a post from the AnonPlus Twitter feed) to a distributed denial of service attack.

The AnonPlus developers say they began work on their own social network after Google suspended their Your Anon News Google+ profile and the associated Gmail account for violation of Google's Community Standards. For starters, Google says that G+ profiles are supposed to represent real individuals, not pseudonyms (although support for company and organization profiles is in the development pipeline).

There are other efforts to create social networks that would give users greater control over their privacy, such as Diaspora, an open source community project. If AnonPlus has one advantage, it might be in staking a more serious commitment to anonymity, with the backing of people who have a vested interested in staying anonymous so they don't get arrested.

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re: Snubbed By Google+, Hacker Group Promises Alternative Net...

Right, because you'd feel safe providing information and blogging on a hacker-operated site.

re: Snubbed By Google+, Hacker Group Promises Alternative Net...

Good point, HVENTURE245. And I'd venture to say that "anonymous social networking" seems to be a bit of an oxymoron. Or maybe more like defeating the purpose?

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editor, The BrainYard

re: Snubbed By Google+, Hacker Group Promises Alternative Net...

I wish them luck getting the several thousand servers something like this would require. This is obviously some kid who thinks the internet runs out of people's spate rooms.