10/05/2012 03:00 EDT | Updated 12/05/2012 05:12 EST

CSIS On Anonymous: Agency Says Collective The New Face Of Online Hacktivism

OTTAWA - Canada's spy agency says the online collective Anonymous isn't just a thorn in the side of the powerful, but the new model for digital hacktivism.

Anonymous has carried out attacks against governments, corporations and others in the name of free speech, Internet liberties and, more so in the last year, anti-capitalist causes.

A newly declassified report from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service says although hacktivism — a blend of hacker smarts and social activism — has existed for years, it is only now that conditions have allowed such groups to flourish.

CSIS points to the global reach of the Internet, the availability of numerous free attack tools and the growth of social networking sites.

Anonymous captured headlines in Canada earlier this year with threatening demands that Public Safety Minister Vic Toews resign over a federal bill that would give police and spies easier access to information about Internet users.

Anonymous followed through on the threats, posting a series of videos featuring a disguised female voice discussing alleged details of Toews' past.

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