“Seeing Anonymous primarily as a cybersecurity threat is like analyzing the breadth of the antiwar movement and 1960s counterculture by focusing only on the Weathermen. Anonymous is not an organization. It is an idea, a zeitgeist, coupled with a set of social and technical practices. Diffuse and leaderless, its driving force is “lulz” — irreverence, playfulness, and spectacle. It is also a protest movement, inspiring action both on and off the Internet, that seeks to contest the abuse of power by governments and corporations and promote transparency in politics and business. Just as the antiwar movement had its bomb-throwing radicals, online hacktivists organizing under the banner of Anonymous sometimes cross the boundaries of legitimate protest. But a fearful overreaction to Anonymous poses a greater threat to freedom of expression, creativity, and innovation than any threat posed by the disruptions themselves.”
From Yochai Benkler’s article in Foreign Affairs, “Hacks of Valor: Why Anonymous Is Not a Threat to National Security”
Further, you can read here (or in the comments section of Benkler’s essay) Catherine Fitzpatrick’s reply, an open source movement critic, who claims that “Anonymous must be countered — just like fascism and communism had to be countered in the last century”.