With the arrest of several alleged members of Anonymous offshoot LulzSec, court documents have revealed new information about Hector Xavier Monsegur (aka Sabu), the LulzSec leader-turned-informant. From his apartment in the projects, Monsegur raised his aunt's two children while leading LulzSec in attacks on Visa, Stratfor, and several government agencies. When arrested, he continued his work with LulzSec, this time as an informant for the FBI. It's a life reminiscent of a William Gibson protagonist or a member of the street gangs that populated Gibson's Sprawl. The Panther Moderns from Neuromancer, for example, are a group of "mercenaries, practical jokers, nihilistic technofetishists" who declare that "chaos... is our mode and modus." Their self-aware acts of violence grow out of a poor but high-tech subculture whose members have little to lose by turning to crime.

Perhaps the biggest difference is the idealism espoused by Monsegur and other Anonymous hacktivists. Despite his eventual role as an informer, Monsegur described his work with LulzSec as "countering abuse" by governments and corporations, and he offered to use his hacking skills to improve his neighbors' credit ratings — a far cry from the ironic nihilism expressed on /b/, the message board from which Anonymous sprung. At the same time, he was not above making fraudulent orders or allegedly making $15,000 worth of purchases on a former employer's credit card. Monsegur never ended up working with a razor-fingered bodyguard to free a rogue AI, but if you can get past that, you'll enjoy the New York Times profile at the source link below.