Anonymous (Million Mask March 2019): The Million Mask March is an annual event that is organized by individuals who affiliate themselves with the Anonymous Collective around the world on November 5th. The event is held as a peaceful protest in which members march around cities of the world in order to bring attention to the so-called “operations” organized by Anonymous and to announce their displeasure with different groups or people. These marches are held in cities of all sizes and usually focus on a few major ongoing operations. In the past, the group has been violent in some of their protests; for example, violent events occurred in London, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia during the 2015 march. This year’s march occurred without any mention of major violence happening in any of the cities where marches took place. Many members of the group have been talking about the size of the march this year, stating that it grew globally. This being said, some cities such as London and Washington D.C. saw a smaller turnout than in the past, whereas places such as Barcelona, Chile, Tunisia, Nepal, and even Italy had turnouts that were higher than expected. Members from Anonymous Italy and LulzSecITA took to Twitter announcing that they went a step further and carried out cyber-attacks at the same time that the marches were taking place. The group tweeted a link to a page to download the dumped data that was accumulated from the Chamber of Deputies, the prefecture of Naples, the order of the lawyers of Arezzo, Grosseto and Perugia, the Environment Agency in the Abruzzo and Puglia regions and many other sites. As of now, 5.4GB of data is available for download, but that may not be all of the data that was stolen. Although the data was dumped, the groups did not do anything with the data they stole themselves. Anonymous Italy made this statement: “Our data breaches should make you think about how important is what we do because the dumps we are disseminating directly affect your privacy, and at the same time we show you the incapacity of those who have taken responsibility for protecting your privacy, and that doesn’t respect the laws that they have created.”
Also Known as OpVendetta, the Million Mask March is a big event for members of the group and their supporters around the globe. The group looks forward to this event every year, and they use it as a positive experience for the members and the public–putting a focus on the marches not turning violent. This year there was a huge focus on OpAssange and OpHongKong, which are two operations that the group has been focusing on in cyber-space as well. Million Mask March participants were also seen in Hong Kong, stating that thousands joined in the event. Although it did not appear that thousands joined, the turnout was much larger than expected, especially considering it was unclear at the beginning if any would join due to the other protests currently occurring in Hong Kong. This event usually is a morale booster for members of Anonymous, and they will likely use it to feed their energy moving forward to close out the year by continuing to carrying out attacks focusing on OpAssange and OpHongKong. In past years, activity in the weeks immediately following the march is slightly higher and chatter from within the group increases significantly.