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Anonymous launches #OpCharlieHebdo, attacks terrorist social media
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Anonymous launches #OpCharlieHebdo, attacks terrorist social media

Those wearing the cloak of the loose online hacktivist collective of Anonymous have gone after sites and promise to target Twitter and Facebook accounts of terrorists.

OpCharlie. Image courtesy of ShutterstockAnonymous-affiliated attackers claim to have taken down dozens of “Jihad sites” in retaliation for last week’s horrifying terrorist attacks in France.

Anonymous on Friday and Saturday launched #OpCharlieHebdo, releasing multiple video statements saying that defending freedom of expression has always been one of its core tenets.

One Anonymous-affiliated account has released a list of 500+ targeted Twitter accounts belonging to purported terrorists, and another has promised a list of targeted “Jihad” Facebook profiles.

In what can only be described as ironic, those wearing the Anonymous cloak are promising to “cripple” the free speech of terrorists in retaliation for the deaths.

That’s what a masked, hooded figure with a computer-generated voice threatened as he sat in front of a desk holding a piece of paper:

We will be crippling all terrorist outlet websites and terminating all terrorist social media accounts. We will dump personal information on every terrorist we come across. We will not sleep until we bring you to your knees.

Anonymous isn’t the only entity that wants to clamp down on extremist online content.

In the wake of the attacks, several European countries – France, Germany, Latvia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the UK – called for a limited increase in internet censorship.

While the internet must remain “in scrupulous observance of fundamental freedoms, a forum for free expression, in full respect of the law,” the nations’ interior ministers said, internet service providers (ISPs) need to help “create the conditions of a swift reporting of material that aims to incite hatred and terror and the condition of its removing, where appropriate/possible.”

The UK has recently moved to block such extremist content, with its big ISPs – BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, and Sky – having agreed to filter such material so that people won’t read things that might induce sympathy for terrorists.

We’re not in the habit of cheering on Anonymous, and this is no exception. In this case, those claiming the Anonymous brand aren’t serving to bring terrorists to justice.

We share the outrage and sympathy for those affected by the Paris attacks, and we join Anonymous in extending our deepest condolences to victims and their survivors.

But we have to note that Anonymous is a group of people taking it upon themselves to decide what makes a target worthy of attack.

Enough of attack.


Let the intelligence agencies use their (disturbingly well-honed) surveillance skills to go after those responsible for such horrific acts.

Image of Guy Fawkes mask courtesy of Shutterstock.


It seems to me that the intelligence agencies using their (disturbingly well-honed) surveillance skills can’t seem to figure out those that are behind Anonymous. How then is the “intelligence agency” suppose to track down dozens of “Jihad” and other similar terrorist sites and bring them to justice. Instead attacking and disowning the efforts of Anonymous why not try and work with them.


I Agree with the top comment here. These agencies may be trained and have vast amounts of equipment to do their jobs, the fact remains however that members of groups like Anonymous work tirelessly to hide their identities, shift funds around without authorities knowing, bring down websites and hack even these government agencies websites, and the list goes on. Members of Anonymous are professionals at living in the dark and finding others who hide in the dark, like ISIS. Governments should cooperate with these hacktivist to help bring about justice. These agencies would be fools to turn a blind eye to the group who has the same enemy and target as they do. Its like the old quote goes “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”


That being said, those agencies had the chance to track them down, some of these people have been suspected or even convicted or attacks like this before and are still allowed to do it again…


if you see how awful (and outdated) the IT infrastructure and overall knowledge from every country is (as is with pretty much every larger company) I am glad Anonymous is doing something about this.

Yes you might limit the terrorist’s their free speech but what they are doing is purely spreading hate.

If anonymous can identify even 1 terrorist and provide information that the corresponding country can use to arrest or keep an eye on that person to prevent any attacks on innocent people it’s already worth it.


I agree here, I’ve seen people saying “What’s the point of Anonymous getting involved, all the do is hack” well that precisely the point, they’ll hack out information and release it either the authorities or publicly, usually publicly. Information is vital in the law, there has to be evidence etc… But if the authorities can get *at least* an idea of whom these terrorists maybe, that can be extremely advantageous to them.


Sorry Sophos, but on this aspect we must agree to disagree.
Your comment
In what can only be described as ironic, those wearing the Anonymous cloak are promising to “cripple” the free speech of terrorists in retaliation for the deaths.”
You seem to be missing the point, I feel that Anonymous can do us all a great service by breaking the terrorist communication network, which enables them to plan further outrages.
If these despicable cowards get their way, there will be no free speech anywhere.
Go for it Anonymous.


I’m right with you on this one. Normally I don’t agree with Anonymous because I consider them to be little more than anarchists.

However, in this instance their proposed activity is not contrary to their defence of freedom of speech for one simple reason – the jihadists’ postings, and other publications, are examples of incitement to hatred and incitement to violence, both of which are illegal in decent cultures like ours.


If Anonymous truly wishes to help, they should gather information on the terrorists and provide it to the authorities and allow them to eliminate the terrorist threats. Shutting down their social media accounts just means they’ll open other accounts and find new ways of disseminating their hate.


I agree with you, jonathanpdx. To imagine that terrorists won’t come up with other ways to communicate seems like wishful thinking.


I agree, If Anonymous plan to just close social media accounts, then apart from a momentary disruption which will be easily resolved by creating new accounts wont this just make it harder for the legal authorities to continue investigating these terrorists? If Anonymous really want to help they should pass their information on to the relevant parties, just like any good citizen would do if they spot something suspicious. It is not for Anonymous to decide who is guilty.


When the police manage to find out the criminal’s hideout, what will the criminal do? Shift to another base, which is very dangerous considering the fact that there is this possibility that a police might see and catch you while you’re moving in the city. Now think of the police as the Anonymous and the criminal as the terrorists. The criminal’s hideout is their accounts and the city is the interweb, which is Anonymous’ den.

I can’t elaborate on how exactly goes, for reasons, but you get the point.


For all their vaunted capabilities, government agencies were caught with their pants down when ISIS hacked Centcom’s Twitter & Youtube accounts. I guess you can have faith in them if you want … but they aren’t really doing much of anything right now, and in fact are laughingstocks themselves at the moment.

I figure if Islamists want to play at hacking, it makes them “fair game.” Let Anonymous have at them.


If, by breaking the terrorists’ networks, Anonymous is hindering the efforts of the security services to identify dangerous terrorists, then Anonymous are unwittingly helping the terrorists. Methinks it’s better not to take the law into one’s own hands.


I agree with the prevailing winds on this issue, but not 100%. I applaud the hackers for wanting to help, I think they have to put their marbles all in one bag. If they’re going to help, then help. But, they can’t continue their illicit activities as well.

If Anonymous decided to change from a black-hat organization to a white-hat one, I would applaud that. But, I’ve seen no statements that they’re going to fight their war exclusively. Until they say that, they’re just another vigilante organization, probably causing more trouble than the help they may provide.

Surely someone from Anonymous reads these blogs. Are you ready to make the shift? It will require a new mindset, new ways of doing business. Have you got what it takes to make a REAL difference in the world? It won’t work to try to keep a foot in both worlds.

Are you in?


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