Explaining the Anonymous and WikiLeaks split

Confused (and saddened) by the recent split between Anonymous and WikiLeaks? Allow us to help explain it all so even your mom will understand

danny_devito-600x450.jpgREUTERS/Thomas Peter
Like Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, Anonymous and WikiLeaks have parted ways

If you were like me last week, you were too wrapped up in the usual hoopla surrounding the 12 days of Columbus Day to notice the huge celebrity breakup that occurred. No, I don’t mean the Danny DeVito-Rhea Perlman split (though that was a bummer); we mean the break up of Anonymous and WikiLeaks.

If your reaction was “The break up of who and whom?” (Hi mom!) then this article is for you. I’ve put together a little mock Q&A to help explain the situation for those not hip to this story. 

Who are WikiLeaks and Anonymous? Some sort of rap music couple?

No. They’re two organizations that used to get along that have had a falling out.

Ah. OK, then. So, what is StikyLeaks?

WikiLeaks, mom. WikiLeaks is an organization that publishes secret and classified information from anonymous sources.

Oh, you mean like spoilers for Breaking Bad or something?

No. More like secret U.S. diplomatic cables, millions of Syrian government emails and the contents of Sarah Palin’s Yahoo account (hint: she's keeping an eye on Russia).

Isn’t that illegal?

assange-290x400.jpgREUTERS/Chris Helgren
Australian Julian Assange is hiding in Ecuador's embassy in London trying to avoid extradition to Sweden so they can't send him to the U.S. Got it?

Well, some people think so and want to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act; his fear of being prosecuted in the US is one reason why he’s currently hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Why is he hiding there? Is he from Ecuador? Or Britain?

Neither, he’s from Australia, but Sweden wants him extradited in order to face sexual assault charges, which he's fighting because he’s worried that they will send him to the U.S. to be prosecuted for publishing documents on WikiLeaks. It’s a whole other thing we don’t have time to get into here.

Too bad. It sounds juicy.

Yeah, it’s a circus. But back to our original story, Anonymous is a group...

Before you continue, what’s Anonymous’ real name?

It’s Anonymous.

You can’t tell me their real name?

I just did; it’s Anonymous.

Seriously, you won’t tell me?

Listen, Costello, we don’t have time for shenanigans. Trust us, that’s their name. 

Ok, sorry. Please continue.

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