A former member of the Anonymous group has publicly left the movement and criticised recent action.
Only identifying himself as a man from Manchester called Matthew who was previously known as ‘SparkyBlaze', he said he had been at a crossroad over Anonymous over its release of innocent people's data.
In a statement headlined ‘Why I am quitting Anon', he said that when he started out he thought he was helping people, but over the past few months things inside Anonymous had changed.
He said: “They (Anonymous and LulzSec) both go against what I stand for (and what Anonymous says they stand for). Antisec has released gig after gig of innocent people's information. For what? What did they do? Does Anon have the right to remove the anonymity of innocent people? They are always talking about people's right to remain anonymous, so why are they removing that right?”
He also claimed that Anonymous does have a leadership but does not care about its members and the ‘Free Topiary' campaign has only been started as that member is ‘higher up' in Anonymous.
“Anonymous has prayed on people's willingness to help others and most of them are kids who don't understand what they are doing, can f*** up their lives and the IRC won't help them,” he said.
He called on governments not to arrest kids but arrest the group's leaders, as without them, everything will fall apart and the recruitment will stop. In a message to the ‘Anons', the members of Anonymous, he said: “Quit while you still can, you are not helping anyone and you need to think about the long run. Some thinking now can save you some large legal bills later and yes, I will be there when you get out of court to say: I told you so.
“There are other ways to help people, just don't go to Anon. You are not hurting the governments, you are hurting yourselves in the long run. No I am not saying I agree with what the governments are doing, but I also do not agree with Anon. You can't arrest an idea but you can throw a kid in jail and f*** up their life. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.”
He concluded by thanking ‘everyone who has been spreading the truth about Anon', including pro-US hacker the Jester (th3j35t3r).
The news follows an announcement by Anonymous that it had leaked private documents from the military contractor Vanguard Defence Industries. It had 1GB of private documents and emails belonging to senior vice president Richard T. Garcia, who has also served as an executive board member of InfraGard.
The Anonymous statement said: “It is our pleasure to make a mockery of InfraGard for the third time, once again dumping their internal meeting notes, membership rosters and other private business matters.
“We are doing this not only to cause embarrassment and disruption to Vanguard Defense Industries, but to send a strong message to the hacker community. White hat sellouts, law enforcement collaborators and military contractors beware: we're coming for your mail spools, bash history files and confidential documents.”