Collection Highlights Advent Calendar. Day 24. Spy Mask. As symbols of rebellion go, few have had as much cultural resonance as this repurposed Guy Fawkes mask. This widely recognized symbol of the Anonymous Hacker collective has become shorthand for Anonymous and hacking itself. Our special collection of Guy Fawkes masks are personalized with the handwritten aliases of some of the most infamous Anonymous members - ‘de-anonymizing’ these global icons.
Anonymous began as an online group of hackers and virtual activists with members who keep their real names a secret. The participants — the “Anons” — join and leave with such frequency, and have such a range of objectives, that it’s impossible to define Anonymous at any one moment. Many of their hacking operations are carried in support of libertarian and anti-establishment causes.
Their "hacktivism" has spread from the virtual to the real world on multiple occasions, and when protesting in public, members frequently wear these Guy Fawkes masks. The mask is a stylised depiction of Guy Fawkes, a member of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot which aimed to restore a Catholic monarch to the English throne by blowing up Parliament. In recognition of the plot’s failure, celebrations take place in the UK every November featuring masks and burning effigies of Guy Fawkes.
Displaying an exaggerated smile and red cheeks, upturned moustache and pointed beard after a design by illustrator David Lloyd, the masks were popularized by the 1980s cult dystopian thriller V for Vendetta. Following the graphic novel’s 2005 film adaptation, the masks have since become a potent symbol of dissent, used by hackers and protesters worldwide. Most recently, protesters in Hong Kong have started using the mask in opposition to the government’s ban of masked demonstrations.
#history #advent #spyscape #spy #espionage #hacking #cybersecurity