Anonymous has announced a new target for its hacking activities, and it's one many Americans might be happy to support.
In a post on Anon News the organisation said that it had had enough of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), a small religious group infamous for protesting high-profile funerals, and will be taking online action against them by the end of the year.
"The time for us to be idle spectators in your inhumane treatment of fellow Man has reached its apex, and we shall now be moved to action."
"Thus, we give you a warning: Cease & desist your protest campaign in the year 2011, return to your homes in Kansas, & close your public web sites."
Given the ease with which the group pwned HBGary Federal this might give rational people pause for thought, but this is the WBC. It's a peculiar organisation, which pushes American freedom of speech laws to the limits and makes a lot of people over here very annoyed.
The motley group of less then 100 people is based around a
family patriarch Fred Phelps, and has been disavowed by every mainstream church
and even the Klu Klux Klan. Louis Theroux's documentary into the group makes uncomfortable, if fascinating, viewing.
Its beliefs are difficult to understand, but seem to resolve around an ultra-strict reading of some parts of the bible, which means that only they and those who follow them will be saved on Judgement Day, along with 144,000 Jews apparently. The WBC also seems obsessed with homosexuality, as shown with its URL.
The group is so prominent because they protest funerals, including those of soldiers, homosexuals and children, with vile placards that seem designed to inflame. Wherever they protest crowds turn up to counter them, which has led to some creative sign writing, classic TV moments and sporadic violent attacks.
Some states have laws either in place, or in planning, designed specifically to stop the WBC from protesting within sight of mourners. It's a difficult case for the courts to settle however, in a country which prides itself on tolerance of all forms of expression.
The WBC has already issued a response to the Anonymous ultimatum and, as would be expected, has said it will not be stopped in its mission to spread the word that we're all going to hell.
"Anonymous is warring with God; very stupid for little boys claiming to be so smart," it said.
"All your draconian blather changes nothing. God will use you for His praise, & the rest of your wrath He will restrain (Ps. 76:10). Foppish "hackers" - like all humans - must obey God. Obey or perish."
Sleuth thinks this could get interesting, but doubts it'll
do much to hurt WBC. These people are on a mission and it's going to take evidence
of an actionable crime revealed in a way that would allow prosecutors to act to cause the group any real problems.
There's also a more fundamental point - no pun intended. Anonymous
has been successful at targets that have nothing to lose, and that doesn't apply
to this group of reprobates.
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