Earlier this week, hacker collective Anonymous
decided that it would found its own social networking
site after being shut down on
The site, which is (temporarily) named Anon+, will give users freedoms that sites like Facebook
will not, according to developer/hacker "Higochoa." Higochoa is part of a team of 12 to 15 other developers, plus freelancers, who are building the site.
Like the other social networks, Anon+ will allow members to create profiles, add friends and communicate, as well as give users total control over who they share information with. The big difference is that the entire site will be anonymous, which is not allowed on the other networks.
The site will likely also include “Skype-like” video chat functionality, and other real-time communication features, says Higochoa. The network will incorporate ways for users to anonymously transfer money between each other, although Higochoa could not say whether it would be based upon traditional currency or something more like Bitcoin.
The selling point for the site is that members, be they hackers, Anonymous members, or regular web users, will have a place to go where they can get "what most corporations have taken away, and that is control,” said Higochoa. “[Anon+] will allow people to get both educated freely, and allow them to voice their opinion without having fear of any org or gov.”
The goal of Anon+, says Higochoa, is to give a user “the tools to get his voice heard over the masses.” Higochoa refused to go into detail about what exactly those tools would be, but he says that the structure and built-in functionality of Anon+ will make such empowerment possible — users will have “the same tools as the big guys.” In this vein, Higochoa says that the site will have tools that allow users to easily organize offline protests, without the risk of corporate censorship.
“It is also secure and without a central server, so it can’t be stopped once it’s started,” says Higochoa. This ensures “that control stays in the hands of the people. That alone is pretty different from other social networks.”
This means that members will have to download an application based off of (at least partially) peer-to-peer technology to use the network, which will also be the site's primary form of security. Higochoa says that accounts will be essentially un-hackable, making it impossible for authorities to reveal a user’s true identity.
"[Your] circle of friends will not only be the only ones that see your posts, but the only ones who ever handle any of your data, so there isn’t one place to get hacked,” says Higochoa. “If you get your Anon+ account hacked, it was you or one of your friends.”
As for when the site will be finished, Higochoa says the official release will be “sooner rather than later,” but couldn’t give an exact launch date. Of course, with members being arrested
all around the globe more and more frequently, it's quite possible that the project could die off at any time.