Anon_01 Brown, in his 378-square-foot apartment. photography by Nikki Loehr

8. Anonymous: D Magazine editor Tim Rogers won a National Magazine Award in May 2012 for his April 2011 story about Barrett Brown, a Dallas man who claimed to speak on behalf of an international hacker collective that exposes the secrets of any group or person whom they believe deserves a public flogging—especially governments and corporations. Rogers' prize, and the fact that Brown was arrested by federal agents in September, brought readers' attention back to this article.

"Brown first began collaborating online with Anons in 2006, though an informal organization didn’t exist at the time—much less a formal one that denies its own existence. These were just kids idling on websites such as EncyclopediaDramatica.com and the random imageboard /b/ on 4chan.org. They were interested in arcane Japanese web culture and, of course, pictures of boobs. 'Everyone there was anonymous,' Brown says, intending a lowercase 'a.' 'It just started as a joke.'"