Matthew Hanlon, Soren Clark, Patricia Carroll start NB branch of hacking group ‘Anonymous’

Fredericton — It seems that the controversial Guy Fawkes mask is getting a Maritime makeover.

Middle-aged tech wizards Matthew Hanlon, Soren Clark and Patricia Carroll have announced that they will be launching a New Brunswick branch of the infamous hacking group “Anonymous” in hopes of counteracting the negative image the organization has gotten in the past couple of years.

“We really just want to try get our names out there,” Carroll said, “so we can show people the talent and resources that Anonymous has at its disposal can be a force for good.”

Carroll also said that rather than malicious attacks, threats and theft, she hopes that the New Brunswick Anonymous can instead focus their efforts on promoting brotherhood and goodwill.

“Rather than leaking nude celebrity photos and committing credit-card fraud, I’m thinking that maybe, for example, we could try and hack into some unpleasant or hateful websites to add some pictures of flowers or a Bible verse, and replace all of the racial slurs with the word ‘friend.’”

The trio says that the New Brunswick faction of Anonymous will be as inclusive as possible, and that they encourage anybody to join. According to Hanlon, the registration process is extremely simple:

“Anybody who wants to join just has to give us some basic information, like their name, number, email address — and we can get them set up right away. We also strongly encourage members to like the ‘Anonymous New Brunswick’ Facebook page, where we’ll post photos, updates, events and regularly announce our ‘hacker of the week,’ which is intended to encourage a little bit of friendly competition.”

Clark said that friendly competition and camaraderie are 2 of the most essential parts of the group’s goal as an organization.

“It’s can sometimes be tough for kids who are into computers to make friends,” he said, “so a big part of what we’re trying to do here is create a sense of community with each other by doing something really special.”

The New Brunswick branch of Anonymous will meet 7 p.m. Thursdays at Grace Memorial United Baptist Church. All are welcome.

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