(UPDATE 2:30 p.m.: Due to completely valid requests, we have moved the video message, and its accompanying introductory image, below the jump. Please note, it’s graphic.)
As Anna and Christopher have mentioned, 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot multiple times and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday. By all accounts, he was unarmed. By many accounts, he had his hands raised in the air. Protests formed, and then police spent the weekend trying to suppress the outrage. As the national situation progressed, the nebulous "hacktivist" collective Anonymous concluded, somehow, that enough of this shit is enough. They've demanded that congressional representatives of Missouri introduce legislation entitled "Mike Brown's Law" that will "set strict standards for police conduct in the USA." They've constructed a website, and they've announced an ultimatum:
To the Ferguson Police Department and any other jurisdictions who are deployed to the protests, we are watching you very closely. If you abuse, harass, or harm the protesters in Ferguson, we will take every web-based asset of your departments and governments offline. That is not a threat; that is a promise. Attacking the protestors will result in the release of the personal information of every single member of the Ferguson Police Department [...] We will seize all your databases and email spools and dump them on the internet. This is your first and last warning. The time has come for more than simple justice for these atrocities.
Last night, they set to work:
“@LauraKHettiger: Confirmed: #Anonymous group hacked City of #Ferguson website last night. ALL city emails are down @kmov”
— KMOV (@KMOV) August 11, 2014
The message, more strongly worded and pregnant with specific demands than most from Anonymous, calls into question the gravity and efficacy of hacker direct action and the transient nature of previous campaigns employed by the group. Will Anonymous follow through with its vows? Will its action facilitate change? One can only hope so, because change in this arena is necessary. "To the good people of Ferguson, take heart, and take to the streets, you are not alone," the vocoded voice in the video—which you can find after the jump—concludes. That's a sentiment no decent soul could dispute.