Toastmasters Speech # 7 ‘Anonymous’


Greetings citizens of the World!

Speech 7 in Toastmasters is ‘Research your topic’ where one has to search and research about some topic and deliver a 5-7 minutes Speech.

I recently had watched We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists (2012) on Netflix which gave me this idea to speak about ‘Anonymous’ the hacker + activist group. Most of my research was derived from the documentary. Rest was sources from The Internet as usual. Not saying that all the facts stated here are 100% true but they’re not 100% false either. Because facts, you know, can change based on opinions. 😉

The following is the transcript of my speech:

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Let me ask you all… Can you guess, from where this verse has been taken?

Alright / Correct, this is taken from an amazing British Graphic Novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, named, V For Vendetta. This was also made into a movie in 2005. I’m sure many of you must’ve seen it. If not, please read the graphic novel or watch it.

Actually, this phrase comes from an event in British history. A person named Guy Fawkes had planned to assassinate King James I of England and the members of the Parliament with a huge explosion. However, this was prevented with his arrest on 5 November 1605.

Another question, do you know about this mask? What is it called? Indeed, this is Guy Fawkes Mask. Generally linked to “Revolutions”. Now before you think that I am going to start something related to Political Revolutions, you are almost.. wrong.

This is a speech, not about the traditional revolution per se, but about methods of revolution in today’s day and age.

Nowadays, this mask is the symbol of “Anonymous”! I’m sure you must have seen this in some movies or TV shows.  They’ve always been shown wearing this mask. In their videos, or their display pictures and even physically during a protest march.

Anonymous is a loosely held group, whose members are spread all over the world. They are hackers and activists, usually called ‘Hacktivists’. This group started takings its shape from an image sharing website called as 4Chan. It started out as just a joke where they shared Photoshopped images as memes. But eventually, it took the form of a group of like-minded people who used their computer skills to achieve a bit more than making memes.

This group doesn’t have any leader. They don’t have any headquarter and they don’t even have meetings. And one doesn’t have to even register to be a member because everyone is temporary.

Anonymous does most things in a Non-Violent manner. They make jokes against wars, against Global Warming, Media, Homophobia, and even help WikiLeaks occasionally with their Hacking Skills.

  1. Once they hacked into Fox News’ Twitter account and posted that Obama has been assassinated. As a joke.
  2. During the Arab Spring of 2011, they helped the local people in organizing protests marches.
  3. They have tried relentlessly to keep Internet free and Democratic and launching attacks against Facebook’s privacy breaches.

They can do all of this because the Internet is a free place! It is as Democratic as Democratic can be. You can be Anyone, from Anywhere, And Access mostly Anything!

On the Internet, anyone can be Anonymous and sometimes even bypass laws online.

So not everything the Anonymous have done was harmless pranks and practical jokes. Some of their members have also crossed the line-online.

  1. Once they launched a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Services) attack on a Religion’s official website. That is as simple to understand as about 10,000 people logging on to a site simultaneously, and thereby crashing the servers. 
  2. Some of the members indulged in some serious hacking and stole data from and Sony.
  3. They have hacked political parties Websites, Twitter and Facebook accounts and posted what not! They have vandalized properties with Graffitis!

Their modus-operandi is pretty plain and simple. They communicate using social media, sometimes using cryptic messages to others, which may sound like silly jokes to others. If you have seen the TV series, Mr. Robot, that will give you a slightly detailed idea as to how can the Internet be used to do big things!

Democracy on the Internet is obtrusive. While some cherish it, others think it is a breach of privacy and laws on Land or Online should be same. For some Anonymous are a bunch of kids who want to disrupt the status quo and should be put behind bars. For some Anonymous are Robin Hoods who should disrupt the status quo. Anyone could be an Anonymous member. Maybe among the audience here, some of you are a member.

I will end by stating the phrase, Anonymous always leave behind, after their operations:

We are Everyone. We are No One.
We are Legion.
We do not Forgive.
We do not Forget.
We are Anonymous.
Expect us.

And I forgot to mention, that I delivered this speech in a peculiar format.

When my name was called to come up on the stage, I wore this mask, walked all the way up to the stage wearing this mask. Shook hands with the Toastmaster of the Day. And then recited the ‘remember remember…’ verse. Then I took off the mask and delivered rest of the speech, till the last phrase Anonymous is famous for when I wore the mask again and delivered the lines in a slow menacing way. Fun!

And here’s my audio rehearsal: