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“Q: It seems like there’s a war going on between hacktivists or information activists and law enforcement. (At least 40 alleged members of Anonymous have been arrested around the world in the last year.) Who do you think is winning right now?
A: I think it’s a stalemate at the moment. I think eventually we’ll win. I’ve always believed that right will always prevail. But at the moment the arrests have had a chilling effect on the movement. For a 30-minute online protest, I’m facing 15 years in a penitentiary. For the moment that’s the only indictment against me but I expect there will be more. And it’s not just about the potential penalty but it’s the trial itself for which they delivered a terabyte of discovery. That’s about 150,000 pages for a 30-minute protest. That means my trial will be two years long and during that time I’m under strict surveillance by the FBI. I can’t access Twitter, Facebook or IRCs (Internet Relay Chats); I can’t contact any known member of Anonymous, who are about 50,000 people around the world.
So basically it shuts me down as an activist. Even if I prevail in court, I’m still shut down for two years. Well, I’m unwilling to do that – and that’s why I’m Canada. In Syria and Tunisia, Libya, Egypt in Nigeria in the Ivory Coast, we have saved so many lives I can’t even count – activists and journalists and bloggers and people who come to us to keep themselves safe in these extremely hostile environments – and I’m unwilling to lay that kind of work down. “