It’s the career move no-one was expecting from Anonymous: going from faceless hackers to investigative journalists exposing corporate corruption via a specially-created website. Okay, alright…maybe it’s not that unexpected from a headless collective with a propensity for resetting expectations.
The site, Anonymous Analytics, launched on Monday and seeks to, in its words, “provide the public with investigative reports exposing corrupt companies” using a team that includes “analysts, forensic accountants, statisticians, computer experts, and lawyers from various jurisdictions and backgrounds.”
The site just launched with a 39-page downloadable report alleging that Chinese company Chaoda Modern Agriculture has defauded its investors of $400 million over the last eleven years. A spokesperson for the group told Financial Times that there are multiple reasons why the site started with that company as opposed to something in the U.S., not least of which is its current size. Their explanation:
We don’t have enough of either to start attacking a major Western entity on an effective scale. So we have to start with smaller companies, gather enough resources and expertise, and slowly work our way up the food chain. We would love to take down the next Madoff, but we have to make sure our reach doesn’t exceed our grasp.
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.