- Tom Cruise Scientology video. The attempted suppression of this video by the Scientology PR/legal team ignited the "war."
- Declaration of "war" by Anonymous on YouTube (seen 2.6 million times). Very creepy/cool use of the medium. The key objective of this war is to make Scientology transparent through greater media exposure.
- Insurgent campaign directed at Scientology. An insurgency wiki for Anonymous called Project Chanology. The effort generated multiple denial of service attacks and physical world protests against Scientology websites and facilities respectively. They were also able to use Google bombing and Digg to focus public attention on their message. Current focus is on an attempt to deny Scientology its tax exempt status.
- Counter attack site/video by the Scientology PR/legal machine. Keywords: hate crime, cyber-terrorists, propaganda. The Scientology PR/legal machine is unable to follow previous script since Anonymous is operating on an extralegal basis. Further, since Anonymous was in place for years, it was able to develop conversational shibboleths that have prevented penetration into the group by Scientology plants/spys.
What does this mean?It is, first and foremost, a nicely packaged demonstration of the ability of an open source insurgency to conduct information operations against an opponent (made even more effective by the secretive and reactive nature of that opponent). It is also a demonstration of the limits of what an online group can do without "crossing the line" into terrorism. As such it should be used as a template for other non-violent efforts.