Since LulzSec grabbed the media spotlight, the broader Anonymous collective has no clear idea of what it wants
© Arturo Rodriguez/APPeople wearing masks often used by a group that calls itself Anonymous take part in a rally in Madrid.
Louise Mensch, the Conservative MP, didn't react as perhaps the sender of the threatening email she received on Monday
had hoped. She came out swinging - as anyone who knows her even a little might have been able to predict.
"Had some morons from Anonymous/LulzSec threaten my children via email. As I'm in the States, be good ... to have somebody from the UK police advise me where I should forward the email," she tweeted. And then followed up by refusing to be cowed
: " I'm posting it on Twitter because they threatened me telling me to get off Twitter. Hi kids! ::waves::".
Sticking two fingers up at Anonymous might have drawn some gasps a while back. (Of course, it's impossible to prove that it really came "from" Anonymous
, and many Twitter accounts from members denied the idea: "1. Not discussed in IRC [Internet Relay Chat, the favoured gathering place for Anonymous members]. 2. Email & threats of violence not Anon's MO
[modus operandi]. 3. @louisemensch is not important enough," tweeted
one such, JohnDoeKM.) But the group is looking less like a force and more like an incoherent rabble as a result of the past two months, when many of its ideals have been washed away in a tide of misdirected hacking, which in turn has led to a number of public defections by people disaffected with its lack of focus.