INTERVIEW: Meet @88blackhatz of AnonIntelGroup

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– KITTY HUNDAL, RAYMOND JOHANSEN – ACTIVISM

Social media has become a global community which mirrors real lives and real societies. In recent months some of us on social media have noticed that certain individuals and groups have become very familiar on our Facebook and Twitter feeds and are receiving a ground swell of support from many.

We, at Hacktivist Culture, would like to introduce readers to one such individual and group. This individual has become quite well known for the contributions they and their group are making through social media activism.

James St. Patrick aka @88blackhatss is the founder of the popular #IntelGroup also known as AnonIntelGroup or Anonymous Intelligence Group. #IntelGroup can also be found on wordpress: http://www.anonintelgroup.com/

The Anon, the man, the activist

We don’t want you to risk your anonymity but in order for our readers to be able to connect with you they need to understand a little bit about who you are. You have become a familiar, respected figure on social media, in Anonymous and social activist circles. In order to understand why, it helps if we understand who you are as a person or persona. So please tell us who James St. Patrick is?

Well first of all, I want to say thank you for having me . Thank you for the amazing work you have both done and are doing as we speak.

This would be my first formal interview and I’m honored it’s with you . So lets get to it…

Who is James St.Patrick? My response will always be “an idea”. I would describe myself as a person who not only wants change, but wants to be a part of the process that ultimately brings change. Maybe that’s what drew me to Anonymous. I was tired, of being tired you know? I genuinely want to help people. And I think I give people that feeling when they deal with me. I’m all work … no bullshit.

What are your passions in life? What do you hate and what do you love?

I am a big fan of everything . You name it and I can talk your ear off about it. I’m a huge advocate for marijuana.

I am a lover of life and everything in it. I am not afraid of fighting so long as I believe I’m fighting for what is right. Listing my dislikes would truly just boggle the mind. But trust me Police and Feds are 1 & 2 on that list. I hate the system. It’s rigged we know it, they know it, so lets fuck it up!

Can you share anything personal without risking your anonymity? Things like whether or not you have a family, personal/social commitments, involvement in community activism, career, or other information.

family_960_720Well I most definitely have a family who I get up and go to work for everyday. I am a father who’s devoted to his children. I am an active member of my community and I always try to give back. My family means the world to me. I try to lead by example both in real life and through my online identity.

What does your daily routine look like?

I go thru a lot of information on a daily basis. I mean people from all over the world are in constant contact with me sharing information. I spend a lot of my day reading and researching. I make sure I’m up to date on all current events, So we can always be in the best position to help our fellow brothers and sisters.

Watching your presence on social media we see that you have a multitude of friends and followers. Do you think they gravitate towards you because of your wit, good looks or knowledge? ūüėČ

Well I definitely dont think its cuz of my looks, i think my followers for one, are the fucking greatest! Shout out to them, because nothing and I mean absolutely nothing would be possible without the tremendous amount of support I receive from them on a daily basis. But back to the question, I think people gravitate towards me because I dont clutter your timeline with useless shit.

I like to bring you information that you want, that you need. I don’t just report the news, I occasionally help create the news, I participate in the same things I bring awareness to. I have been consistent and I think people admire and respect that. I have been fortunate enough to meet great people doing great things. You know the saying ‘Real Recognize Real’, well I believe people believe in what I’m doing and who I’m doing it for and they support that.

Maneuvering through Anonymous is not easy without making enemies but i think others recognize what we are doing. We get a lot of support and we give back twice as much!

Does your handle @88blackhatss have any special significance?

8-8 stands for August 8th. That would be my birth month and day. Black is my favorite color. And everything I talk about is over your head like a Hat. ūüėČ

Do you fear you have or will become the target of a federal investigation simply because you share Anon operations?

keep-calm-and-practice-good-opsecI refuse to live in fear of anything. The government will not and can not do anything to me they haven’t been doing to us already. I will not allow the fear of prison or death hinder our objectives.

The same way they operate with Authority and Impunity, so shall I.

I will continue to do everything in my power to contribute to the Anonymous idea. In our quest for truth, transparency, justice and freedom, I will not let fear be a factor.

“Let them not say we did nothing”

What do you think has changed in the world post-Snowden?

I think now we question security practices a lot more than we ever did. He changed the way people did business with big tech companies. He brought encryption to the forefront. Those companies all had to step up their securities as well. I mean what was that line they said “the scope of the compromised knowledge related to US intelligence capabilities is staggering”. He has become huge in our community.

What is your philosophy on life? Do you follow any particular belief system?

Me personally, I believe there’s pieces of truth in every religion. And no man can truthfully tell another that his beliefs are wrong.

But I will say this:
The complexity of life on this planet. The beauty of the universe. The dance the stars do across the heavens is no accident. I believe without a doubt in a higher power. An architect if you will. There’s no way I believe life just happened. So I believe in something greater. Who? Or What? I’m still working that out.

88 on #IntelGroup

You are the founder of Anonymous Intelligence Group also known as AnonIntelGroup or #IntelGroup. Many of us have seen your daily stream of news about what is going on in the Anon world as well as the world at large. Some people think that if you share a story, an op or a tweet that you support that particular action. Why don’t you tell us what #IntelGroup is, and what its primary function is?

Well the primary function would be the steady flow of information. Sometimes people do mistake a re-tweet or the sharing of an article as support. But we share everything with the intent that YOU the reader should have all the info on a matter to decide for YOURSELF what you should do.

For example :
Reporter shares an article about a man who threw a dog off a roof. That doesn’t mean the reporter supports this man, it means, Hey! This guy threw his dog off the roof and I want that information out because we need to do something about it! ¬†You know what I’m saying.

Our site is designed to focus on what the mainstream will not cover. We do spotlights on activities coming up and causes, that without us, wouldn’t even get a mention.

What is your short term and long term vision for #IntelGroup?

Well we are still growing and naturally there are growing pains. I think we are at that point every Anon account goes through where people are taking shots. You know these Feds have no respect, morals or ethics. They stop at nothing to disrupt any momentum any movement has. And I don’t mean just Anonymous. Look around.

So, short term we want Health, Freedom And Love.

Anonymous activism is a fluid situation. Things change and move quickly. You can be on top of the world one minute … Hiding in Canada the next. We take it day to day and we just work hard!

Would you care to name any particular ops that #IntelGroup, past or present, supports or participates in?

anonymous-serena-shim-turkey.jpgWow yea … Thinking back we have supported 100’s of Op’s throughout my time in Anon.

But the ones we were hands on with were:
#OpFerguson – worked with the streamers on ground.
#OpDarrianHunt – worked with victims mother Susan
#OpICantBreathe – formed with daughter Erica Garner
#OpSerenaShim – Currently working with victims mother Judy .
#OpFlint – we worked it with the activist that first brought awareness (@C1ty_of_Fl1nt)

And more that aren’t coming to my head right now. But the point you get from my work is I’m anti police brutality and I work closely with the families. I do this for two reasons. 1. I like to know my help directly effects the victims families. And 2. I don’t like disrespecting the families by doing things in the child’s name that they don’t agree with. So if I’m not confident we are helping the family, we won’t participate.

Can people join #IntelGroup? If not, why not? If so, how? Are there requirements to be a member?

People can support IntelGroup. Joining is a different story. See I have built this up in a certain way and a certain style. I am proud of it . From where my idea started to where it is. I am appreciative for the blessing of having a platform. A voice. I have let people in before and those people are no longer with us. But they caused immediate problems and didn’t want to follow our vision. They used the name as a badge and did what they wanted.

Also to be honest … I did so much work and just fell into a pattern of working . That with the small team we got we have accomplished a lot . We all work hard . And by working at this pace, we don’t leave a lot for the next guy to do. But I’m open minded and I know talent when I see it. If anyone’s interested just contact me. Great minds think alike. Anonymous has no leaders. But #IntelGroup is a circle within circle. A sub division.

#IntelGroup has rules . We operate with ethics. We show respect. We demand respect. We aren’t dramatic. We don’t go back and fourth. We just Do Work. And people have come to appreciate that. I won’t let anything tarnish what we work for. Our actions always represent two things: #IntelGroup & #Anonymous

I’ve noticed that there are other people on Twitter who use the hashtag #IntelGroup. Are they members or supporters? What do they do for #IntelGroup? How do they contribute?

Some are members, most are supporters. Sometimes you see people use it who clearly don’t even know what it is. But have seen it so often on Twitter that they use it.
The hashtag #IntelGroup was first used for the reason of me not wanting to just hand the keys to our #IntelGroup accounts to just anybody. By others inserting the hashtag into their tweets, I would scan at the end of the day that hashtag and share the articles with the hashtag in it.

Then the hashtag took on a life of its own . And now people use it as like an Alert …. A bat signal if you will lulz

Do your members follow the same belief system that you do or do you accept people from a variety of beliefs? Is there a world view or core belief that everyone accepts and follows as a criterion for involvement in #IntelGroup? In other words – what is it that unites you as a group?

I don’t push my beliefs on anybody in #Intelgroup . But naturally we all just click . We operate with minimal contact yet stay in touch, we all got issues and things we push. Occasionally things clash but we manage to sort things out internally without much ruckus. There are no children here. We know what’s at stake and we mutually bond for justice , transparency and freedom. We are all fighters.

88 on Anonymous in general

Anonymous is seen by some as a headless collective that in recent years have lost their touch and effectiveness. Some have even concluded that all Anonymous ranks and ops have been so infiltrated by intelligence agencies, special interests and otherwise bad actors that they can never again exert any real positive impact on the world we live in. What are your thoughts on that?

91c5c6ba85820c033c1fc756ff6db962Well anytime money gets thrown into the mix it changes everything. Feds grab these kids and scare them. The next thing you know they offer a way out, throw em a couple bucks and boom your signing online identity agreements, and now the Feds are running a Twitter account. The shit gets crazy quick. But you know what? Name me a movement without these perpetrators and imposters . Name a movement they don’t try and discredit or hijack. There will always be these issues.

But I urge Anons to make a decision. If you’re doing this for money or fame, this is not a game. And the problem is, you don’t just hurt yourself but you almost always hurt people that actually care and fight out of the goodness of their hearts. I formed IntelGroup to actually control what we do. Anonymous is awesome and I love Anonymous. But it has flaws . And that, ‘anyone can be Anonymous’ bites you in the ass real quick. But see, not everyone can be #IntelGroup. Therefore we control the actions carried out in our name.

We control what we support. We can spark for #IntelGroup. There’s a contact. You can reach out and ask us shit, you know?

Do you think Anonymous will ever again be a part of world changing events like the Arab Spring?

Arab SPringFor sure. Every movement evolves. Anonymous is evolving every day . It has come such a long way. The snake with many heads gets one or two cut off daily but it continues to flourish. Maybe I’m biased.

Maybe I believe in the idea of Anonymous so much, I’m blinded. But from where I’m standing Anonymous is just getting started.

What do you think of the fact that at least one Anonymous op (one of the OpISIS ones) openly states that they are working with the Feds? Is this a good or bad thing? Or are you neutral towards ops like this one.

It’s disgusting . And I know some of those guys who made the switch. These muthafuckers spent an entire summer hitting Police Departments offline and fighting for #TamirRice and #DarrianHunt and then wake up one morning and are working with the Feds taking down #ISIS. People freaked. They trusted these guys. And this is just one case that we know about. Can you imagine the ones we don’t?

Back to the question is this a bad thing? Well from what I’ve experienced, any cooperation with law enforcement is a bad thing. But for fuck sake these people who do this never were pure. This is all a platform to do what they ultimately want to do which is be a fucking rat.

What is, in your opinion, the most important areas of interest to Anonymous?

Social Justice and Change. Internet Freedom. And Being the Voice For The Little Guy.

Anonymous has a love hate relationship with Julian Assange, but do you think that most still support the actions of WikiLeaks?

Everyone’s a critic. And while I do implore everyone to research and be patient with information. If you can’t?? Fuck it! Leak Dat Shit! I’d rather it leak than not. And I think everyone will agree you’d rather have something then nothing. I applaud Julian [Assange] for his work.

If you could change three things about how Anonymous operates, what would those be?

I am not one to criticize something without a solution and the problems Anonymous has right now are just too big for me to contemplate. I love Anonymous for the idea that it is and I will do my part to make it better.

What are your thoughts about our biggest signal boost channel, Your Anon News?

I have a great relationship with #YAN. Whether they admit it or not, they are the biggest voice for us in Twitter. YAN supports us and helps us carry our message further. I mean people don’t know this but #IntelGroup was formed in part because we couldn’t get YAN’s attention at first, being new and not knowing how to utilize Twitter better. I was like fuck it! I’ll make my own news account and push our own shit! Well thanks to that #IntelGroup is gaining ground and now our inspiration is a DM¬†away. YAN has been doing amazing work for years. They have my Love and Support.

Everybody knows that you and every other anon would never support or endorse a political entity under the Anonymous label. Yet there seems to be a certain affinity between the Pirate Party and the Anonymous collective. What are your thoughts on that?

I think that the Pirate Party shares similar ideals. Like civil rights, free sharing of informationanon_pirates_by_cr3tiv3-d4ytykc, privacy, transparency, network neutrality as well as copyright and patent laws.

Like I said great minds think alike and I think when you get down to it Anonymous and The Pirate Party have a lot in common.

Plus name me a person who doesn’t think Pirates are cool.¬†Lulz.

Do you believe that the unity that developed between Anonymous, Occupy and WikiLeaks in 2011 still exists (generally speaking)? If so, is/was this a good or bad thing? If not, should it be rebuilt?

I think like everything in life when things go wrong people try and pass the blame around. People grow and distance themselves from others. But I think it’s natural. All our paths crossed because we are all seeking the same thing. Truth and transparency. No relationships have been damaged beyond repair. We all just assumed more responsibility and that weight gets to be too much sometimes. But I believe we will all unite very soon. We are all playing the same game . We will forever be players.

– Interview by Kitty Hundal and Raymond Johansen for Hacktivist Culture 2k16