Parmy Olson did a really nice job on this book. I'm just not quite sure how she was able to get these people who pride themselves on being anonymous to give out so many details. But regardless, this book is far more interesting to me than the last few we have read.
So throughout the first few chapters of the book Olson argued, at least at this point of their existence, that Anonymous has very little structure. Brought about by tech-savvy teens and young adults with way too much time on their hands and a knack for pranks, Anonymous had humble beginnings. For those of us who don't know a lot about Anonymous, like myself, we will find out how much of a hierarchy is developed over time.
Now what the book hasn't done, at least yet, is have a stance either way as to Anonymous' actions. Perhaps this is for the best as the book can remain neutral and the readers can judge for themselves whether or not 'the ends justify the means'. In other words, do you agree that any action, legal or otherwise, should be taken to do/get what you want?
This point is at the heart of chapter one. Aaron Barr wasn't very smart trying to ID Anonymous members. His methods were flawed; he figured that once an Anon member signed off of IRC and then became active on Facebook or Twitter, he had the same person. Now I know the days of chat programs are nearly gone but at one time people used things like MSN or AIM to chat online. While you had your chat program open you could still surf the net, type an email, or do whatever you want so being active on chat doesn't exclude you from doing other things. So after news got out that he had compiled his list of online names with real names and locations of Anonymous members and was ready to talk to the FBI was Anonymous justified in attacking him? You would have to guess that many of these names were wrong, a lot of people could get in trouble for no reason. Many members didn't even do anything illegal. How can you prove what you did or didn't do when the whole point is to be anonymous?