Hacktivist group Anonymous is back. And this time, they have their crosshair set on forums and websites where illegal images of underage children are posted and shared. In a YouTube video posted on July 8, Anonymous used a text-to-speech program to read out a statement claiming that Anonymous “aims to diminish, if not eradicate, this plague from the internet.”
Anonymous goes after the pedos this time
The video, calling it #OpPedoChat, explains: “Recently it has come to our attention that there has been a surge of websites dedicated to paedophiles for chat and picture sharing. These paedophiles openly advocate concepts like “man-boy love”, stating that 8-year-old boys enjoy it and prey on their attention. This is not limited to boys, boards for little girls exist and operate with impunity. Child pornography is frequently traded and even innocent pictures of random children (at the beach, on a playground, in their homes) are publicly fantasised about.“
The video continues:”Anonymous aim to diminish if not eradicate this plague from the internet. For the good of our followers, for the good of mankind, and for our own enjoyment we shall expel from the internet and systematically destroy any such boards that continue to operate. Anonymous recognises this as a serious undertaking and do not expect it to be completed in a short period of time. Factions of Anonymous from all over the globe are participating in sub-operations. Information on paedophiles is being gathered and released.“
Information has already been released by the group. They claim that the information links IP addresses of forum users with their email addresses. Click the following links to view the text files: Link1, Link2, Link3 and Link 4. The information about #OpPedoChat was published on PasteBin.
This isn’t the first time the hacker group has gone after paedophiles. In October 2011, the group took credit for taking down around 40 websites associated with images of underage children in #OpDarkNet, and publishing the names of 1,500 members of the websites. #OpPedoChat seems to be a bigger and broader project than #OpDarkNet.
Anonymous has been known to organise hacktivist attacks on corporations and governments to protest censorship. The group recently hacked the Supreme Court and Congress websites. Websites like http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in, dot.gov.in and aicc.org.in were rendered inaccessible. The attacks were carried out by #OpIndia (Operations in India) and they, in a series of tweets stated – “#Government must understand. #INTERNET belongs to us! #TANGODOWN –> http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in & http://aicc.org.in,” and in another tweet stated – “@Anon_Central Another #TANGODOWN –>> http://www.dot.gov.in Department of telecom, You should've expected us! ~ #opindia.”
Even the MTNL website wasn't spared as it is one of the ISPs that has been blocking torrents and file sharing websites. Although MTNL’s Internet services weren’t affected, the MTNL website was rendered inaccessible. The site serves as a gateway for a number of services for MTNL, which includes bill payment and schemes on their services. Anonymous hadn’t damaged any data on the site, except for the main home page. So, it was clear that it was just a protest against Internet censorship.