Who are these Anonymous people behind Operation Payback?

We’ve been following Operation Payback closely since it surfaced back in early September and even after two months of strikes against antipiracy advocates, little is known about the group behind the DDoS attacks. Known simply as Anonymous, the DDoS participants remain shrouded in mystery and undoubtedly prefer to remain that way.

This week, TorrentFreak was able to speak with some of the members of Anonymous and gain some insight as to who they are and why they choose to participate in Operation Payback missions. According to one spokesperson who talked with the website, there are two main groups that make up Anonymous.

Who are these Anonymous people behind Operation Payback?

A core group, made up of about a dozen members, plans and manages the organization’s activities. Another, much larger group actually assists in carrying out the DDoS strikes. Most are geeks, file-sharers, and programmers.

“The core group is the #command channel on IRC. This core group does nothing more than being some sort of intermediary between the people in that IRC channel and the actual attack,” the spokesperson claims. “Another group of people on IRC (the main channel called #operationpayback) are just there to fire on targets.”

While it’s clear from the name Operation Payback why Anonymous is carrying out their attacks, it hasn’t been well explained what the group actually wanted to accomplish by causing disruptions to organizations like the RIAA and MPAA. It would seem that they are rallying for an end to copyright laws, but that isn’t exactly the case.

“Some of us have the vision of actually getting rid of copyright/patents entirely, but we are at least trying to stay slightly realistic,” explains the group’s spokesperson.

And Anonymous does believe that they’ve made some mistakes along the way and hope to improve in the future. While some members of the group believe that anarchy is the answer, the core group seems to harbor some regret in having executed the attacks on the UK Intellectual Property Office and the US Copyright Office.

So where does Operation Payback go from here?

“What we are now trying to do, is to straighten out ideals, and trying to make them both heard and accepted,” the spokesperson told TorrentFreak. “Nobody would listen to us if we said piracy should be legal, but when we ask for copyright lifespan to be reduced to ‘fair’ lengths, that would sound a lot more reasonable.”

From the sounds of the statements made by Anonymous members, there seems to be much less animosity and more rational consideration going on in this stage of the group’s mission. Time will tell if this change of attitude helps the group gain more traction in accomplishing revisions to copyright law.