Anonymous target 2012 presidential election

Hacktivists from Anonymous jump into 2012 campaign
A new video posted to the Web over the weekend reveals plans from the hacking collective Anonymous to target the 2012 US presidential election, and it seems their first attack will be during next year’s Iowa Caucus.

In the YouTube clip uploaded in recent days, a digitized voice calls for other hacktivists aligned with Anonymous to wage an Occupy-style protest at the presidential candidates’ campaign offices in Des Moines, Iowa next month, and then help shut down the state’s caucuses slated to begin on January 3. Though Anonymous have often waged computer attacks and other demonstrations for political purposes, this would mark the first time the hacktivists have attempted to take down a presidential election in America.

The reason for the protests, says the Anonymous spokesperson, is that the Democratic and Republican parties are not worthy of representing the voices of the Americans whom they have disenfranchised.

“Both parties are funded by the same mega corporations,” the narrator announces in the brief video. “The same corporations that fund political campaigns; the same corporations that buy lobbyists; the same corporations that operate the United States governments.”

"Voting for these parties is unethical," the voice adds. "They have destroyed the American democracy." According to the Anonymous video, the candidates are committed to “serve the private interests of the major corporations” rather than the millions of Americans who must make a decision come Election Day. As a result, the collective is calling for the occupation of the offices on December 27, and from there is asking protesters to "peacefully shut down the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses on January 3."

Since neither Anonymous nor the Occupy movement has any formal leadership, it is impossible to formally link the operations to one another, although the sit-in style demonstration planned in Des Moines would be on-par with the protests that started two months ago in Lower Manhattan and spread across the world. Since Occupy Wall Street began, protesters aligned to the movement have taken on a series of additional causes, while continuing to complain against corporate personhood and the buying out of American politics.

Officer Randy Peterson serves the police department of Urbandale, Iowa, where Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum also have campaign headquarters. To the Des Moines Register, Peterson admits that the PD is aware of the video and says, “We’ll just try to address any issues as they arise.”

John Benson, a public information officer for Iowa’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division, adds that “it certainly has our attention.”

Anonymous-led attacks in the past have targeted law enforcement agencies, major corporations and government entities. In the last month alone, however, the group has waged a series of attacks online, going after users of child pornography websites, the notorious Zetas drug cartel in Mexico and Fox News.