Hackers operating under the banner of Anonymous have vowed to take revenge against the online presence of groups who they believe were responsible for the spate of killings which occurred in and around Paris last week, including those at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Videos in the traditional Anonymous style (portentous music, and a besuited guy sitting at a desk wearing a “V for Vendetta” mask bobbing his head up and down) have been released on the Anonymous France YouTube channel, announcing #OpCharlieHebdo:
In a message posted on Pastebin, the Anonymous hacking collective said it “will fight always and everywhere the enemies of freedom of expression.”
“Freedom of expression and opinion is a non-negotiable thing to tackle it is to attack democracy. Expect a massive frontal reaction from us because the struggle for the defense of those freedoms is the foundation of our movement.”
Meanwhile, a new Twitter account has popped up, rapidly gaining almost 50,000 followers, and calling on internet users to report the social networking profiles of suspected terrorists.
In another tweet, #OpCharlieHebdo claims to have successfully claimed its first scalp – bringing down the French-language Ansar Alhaqq site, identified by Le Figaro as being a forum for pro-Jihadists in 2013.
This is probably due to hacktivists launching a denial-of-service attack against the online forum, bombarding it with so much traffic that it is no longer able to stay up.
Of course, there is no shortage of irony in the fact that Anonymous rails against attacks on freedom of expression, but appears to have no problem with launching denial-of-service attacks to silence websites.
If you believe in freedom of speech, you should also believe in the freedom of others to say things online that you don’t like, or find distasteful.
And, if you believe that someone is breaking the law online, the best thing you can do is inform the authorities so they can take appropriate action.
The answer, I believe, is not to take the law into your own hands by taking down websites, and potentially disrupting the infrastructure and communications of innocent individuals and companies.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this and other guest author articles are solely those of the contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of Tripwire, Inc.
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