This comic references WikiLeaks, a site that people with classified data can send to for the information to be posted publicly, while nobody would know who leaked the data. Many people dislike WikiLeaks, but proponents claim that, since government is supposed to work for the people, all government information should be available to anyone who wants to see it. At the same time, WikiLeaks' acts are illegal in most countries, and the people maintaining WikiLeaks stay anonymous, with the notable exception of Julian Assange the spokesperson. Among the supporters of Wikileaks are the 4chan-based hacker group Anonymous, who, for the week or so prior to this comic's release, used DDOS attacks to take down servers for companies that aided the governments of the world take down Wikileaks and its CEO Julian Assange. The word 'legion' is a reference to Mark chapter 5 in the Bible, in which Jesus throws out demons that call themselves legion, "for we are many". Amazon, PayPal and MasterCard were all targets of Anonymous.
The comic shows WikiLeaks releasing all WikiLeaks' members' private information, thereby unmasking them to the world. The joke in the comic notes a contradiction in Anonymous's position, relying on strict secrecy of its members' private information while supporting an anti-secrecy organization like WikiLeaks.
The image text appears to be a news wire from during the Vietnam War when Lyndon Johnson was President. The students were calling to protest the War in what xkcd implicates as the first DDOS attack. A DDOS attack is a distributed denial of service attack in which the attackers force too much traffic from many different points to take down a web server, or in the case of the image text a phone network.
- [A black formal suit with no head is talking.]
- Suit: We are Anonymous.
- We are legion.
- We are no one
- and everyone.
- And we are here to fight for WikiLeaks.
- [The panel is presented as the front page of WikiLeaks, in a browser.]
- New Leak:
- Names, addresses, IPs, and phone numbers of everyone in Anonymous.
- Download Now
- Suit: ... Dammit, Julian.