From email@example.com Tue Jan 30 11:36:38 2001
CyberArmy declares war
By Megan McAuliffe, ZDNet Australia, 19 January 2001
With a member base of 35,000, CyberArmy may have the biggest armament the Net has ever seen, rallying to take down Web sites that 'abuse' the World Wide Web - and removing power from governments.
"We want to self-regulate the Internet so that the government doesn't come in and regulate it," Marshal Yowler told ZDNet Australia.
CyberArmy started off as a small group of advocates promoting free speech and Internet deregulation. Growing to a full size army of 'Netizens', the group has since shifted its views - due to privacy issues and government intervention.
"Now we believe in Internet self-regulation. If you deregulate you end up with anarchy," Yowler said.
According to the organisation's founder, 'Overlord' - the Commander in Chief - CyberArmy is set up just like a game. Members have to solve puzzles - which is usually breaking codes and encryption - to move on to the next commanding level.
Commanding ranks give a member more power and involvement in the organisation's missions. Some missions include hunting for, and taking down, child pornography Web sites.
"We're trying to get rid of child pornography on the Internet," Overlord said.
The commanding structure begins at the bottom with troopers, rising through the ranks of 2nd Lieutenant, Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lt. Kernal, Kernal, General and Marshal.
Each division within CyberArmy has its own job to complete, with one of the divisions devoted solely to child pornography Web sites.
"[The division] has taken down around two dozen child porn sites in the last few weeks, and was also instrumental in bringing down the Wonderland Club child porn ring last week," Overlord said.
He told ZDNet the group is an advocate of ordinary citizens policing the Internet.
Due to the Internet being global, "governments aren't the right authority to police it."
In defending the 'hacktivist' title that the group has been branded with, Overlord says it doesn't believe in defacing a Web site just for the fun of it. If a site is defaced it's usually in the form of protest.
"The group was a bit more 'hackerish' about a year ago however, we're moving away from that. There are more social minded people on the Net now, which I think is good," he said.
Lt. Kernal thepr0digy - responsible for the defacement of the Australian National Library's Web site last year - told ZDNet the reason for being in CyberArmy is because he is "sick and tired of child pornography and Net censorship."
"Our mission is to prove that there are good hackers not just Script Kiddies out there," he said.
The CyberArmy site also posts discussion boards and Internet tools for users, and has a section dedicated to teaching network security.