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The Anonymous guide to legal public relations

This document is part of our Guides for the Anonymous collective. Be sure to check it out.

The goal of this document is to help any one who get in touch with newspapers, reporters, bloggers and citizens in order to spread awareness, knowledge and wisdom. If not handled properly, it can be illegal and cause problems depending on the context. We ask in good faith to all our service providers to help us, it’s important to be aware that our actions can impact them. For example, Twitter are required, by law, to withhold tweets and some hosting provider may have to take down websites.

Advice is based on the following legal research : The Anonymous legal handbook and was created for North America. Most civilized countries have similar law and rules.

Probable charge by activities

In order to be aware of the legality of any given information we’ve listed charges that can be held for specific action or context : D0x, DDoS, Opers, Trolling, Deface, Hack, Leak, Ops.

So what about public relations?

Depending on the context and your intent you may need to tweak your content so it can be “accepted”. It’s also a matter of respect for service providers, since they could get in trouble for providing certain content. We’ll provide theses guidelines based on our research and our experience in public relation.

Using social networks

When using social network you have to be aware of almost everything that is illegal is likely to get you suspended. Posting private information or linking to it will in 99% of the cases get your account suspended in the next 24 hours. That’s what happened to @YourAnonNews during #OpWBC. Linking to leaks with personnal informations and especialy bancking information will get you suspended and reported to law enforcement. Leaks of public interests like WikiLeaks or WCITLeaks are still illegal but are generally accepted and will not give you any problems.

Inviting other gentlemen to work

If someone invite someone to work on a project, it’s important not to ask them to do any illegal actions. Any charges held against them could be withheld against you. See Person counseling offense. It’s legal to let people know what is happening in an informative way and no charges can be held against anyone.

Linking to leaks

This is highly controversial and but may or may not be legal. The legality of leaks depend on the information it contain and your intent. We don’t recommend hosting leaks on PR platforms because it would put your work at risk. On social networks we recommend choosing wisely the leaks you share. Useful leaks to the “general public” are always safe and accepted. Leaks containing personal information and credit cards are 100% unsafe. We recommend you ponder the usefulness of the leaks you publish or share depending on the context.

Check our how to make secure and useful leaks guidelines.

Trolling

This is an art and only the true master should practice this in a public relation context. Being a jerk and an ass is legal but won’t make you any friends. As long as the person you harass doesn’t feel for it’s safety or the safety of anyone they know you should be ok. Ordering pizza is legal in relation to criminal harassment or stalking but maybe not in relation to invasion of privacy. Troll a person enough to get him really pissed of but don’t make him fear for his safety. Avoid collecting personal information like civic address, email, phone numbers and such. True master are invisible like fucking ninjas 😛

Speaking against anyone

Don’t target cultural and ethnic groups. Governments, law enforcements agency, corporations and most religious groups are not composed of the same “kind” of people so they are not an identifiable group by definition of the law. If you’re in the USA you can pretty much speak against any one you want and don’t give a shit legally because of the Constitution but you’re unlikely to make any friends if you’re an ass.

Providing links to your claims will back you up legally and help spread awareness and wisdom. Since it’s kind of the point to public relations, it’s worth to take the time.