Words by Tess Becker
Think of the word hacker and what's the first thing that comes to mind? Some might imagine an introverted nerd hacking into a school hard drive or someone straight out of a Matrix convention. Others might hear the phrase “Okay, I’m in” ringing through their ears amidst a pile of late 2000s movie cliches.
But did you think of furries?
For the uninitiated, furries are a subculture of people interested in anthropomorphic animal characters which often come in the form of fursonas: animal personas and even fursuits of the said fursonas.
Furries as a community occupy an interesting niche in the realm of internet subculture, often serving as an open-minded and accepting place for people of all backgrounds, which brings us back to hacking.
A group of self-described “gay furries,” called SiegeSec have taken to distributing sensitive material hacked from agencies in six US states, citing the legislative attacks on gender-affirming care as their motive.
The data released by the group includes South Carolina police files, a list of licensed therapists in Texas, and contact details for court officials in Nebraska.
The goal is to dissuade governmental bodies from attacking gender-affirming care, like in a cyber attack leveled at Texas, one of the leaders in gender-affirming care restrictions.
“Texas happens to be one of the largest states banning gender-affirming care, and for that, we have made Texas our target,” SiegeSec said in a post.
While Smiley News doesn’t endorse hacking, data leaking or any other illegal activities it does show the power that it can have in the right hands.
Take, for instance, Edward Snowden, without whom most Americans would have been unaware of the ongoing surveillance of the general population by organizations like the NSA. Thanks to his leaks individuals became aware of just how far the US government was willing to go.
Civil liberties groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union even warned that the surveillance went well beyond what Congress intended and what the US Constitution allows.
Leaking information in these ways is usually outside the law. But often it can benefit the public.
Next time you see a furry online think that they just might be taking on the US government.
At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.
GLAAD. GLAAD is a massive LGBTQ+ advocacy group that helps fight for queer people across the US. Consider donating.
Lambda Legal. This organization helps fight in the courtroom for queer people. Find out more.
The Trevor Project. They focus on suicide prevention and mental health support for queer youth. Support them here.