LulzBoat sails off into sunset, leaving nasty wake behind

Upstart hactivists disband in the face of pressure from other hackers and their own infamy

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"Behind the mask, behind the insanity and mayhem, we truly believe in the AntiSec movement. We believe in it so strongly that we brought it back, much to the dismay of those looking for more anarchic lulz. We hope, wish, even beg, that the movement manifests itself into a revolution that can continue on without us. The support we've gathered for it in such a short space of time is truly overwhelming, and not to mention humbling. Please don't stop. Together, united, we can stomp down our common oppressors and imbue ourselves with the power and freedom we deserve," the farewell statement read.

"We must now sail into the distance, leaving behind - we hope - inspiration, fear, denial, happiness, approval, disapproval, mockery, embarrassment, thoughtfulness, jealousy, hate, even love. If anything, we hope we had a microscopic impact on someone, somewhere. Anywhere."

The answer to that has to be "yes."

Even if it accomplished nothing else, LulzSec pushed anti-establishment hackery far closer to the mainstream than it has ever been, which is likely to encourage more borderline geek/activists over the edge into active political protest.

LulzSec also highlighted the downside of hactivist campaigns whose main weapon is to expose private financial information for the customers of their targets, or hurt tech companies by shutting down gaming sites, "defending" gamers by knocking their games offline.

LulzSec's reality-show grandstanding also portrayed hackers themselves as venal, petty, backbiting and callous of the fraud and abuse they bring down on the people they claim to be protesting to protect.

Overall, LulzSec made it look as if Ryan Cleary isn't the only fringer needing therapy and as if Sabu, Joepie, Topiary, AVunit and the rest of the LulzBoat crew can contribute a lot more in the future being anonymous than indulging their appetite for lulz.

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