Anonymous has a new target: Pedophiles

Summary:Anonymous has a new mission: Operation PedoChat. Yes, that's right. The hacktivist group is once again targeting pedophiles; its crosshairs are currently aimed at some 100 websites.

Over the weekend, the hacktivist group Anonymous apparently grew tired of pedophilia and decided to launch Operation PedoChat (#OpPedoChat). Several websites used by pedophiles to trade questionable images and videos of children have already been taken down.

A quick check of the attacked portals (I am purposefully not linking them here, for obvious reasons) shows some are still down. Unfortunately, others have already returned. At the time of writing, I counted 85 domains being targeted by Anonymous (the number is higher if you count individual websites). This is a growing number: more and more are being added on a regular basis.

Anonymous has promised "defaces, logs & dox and the occasional domain hijack as well." In fact, the first round is already complete, and has been split into four parts of doxing (the act of tracing someone or gathering information about an individual using sources on the Internet): one, two, three, and four. The publicly posted information includes the details of hundreds of pedophiles (both users and administrators of these websites) as well as e-mails between some of them.

This isn't the first time Anonymous has taken on child pornography. While #OpPedoChat seems to be a bold mission, and the group is aware it won't be able to ever complete it, it's important to remember Anonymous has already had success in this area. Back in October 2011, Anonymous attacked over 40 pedophilia-sharing websites and exposed more than 1,500 alleged pedophiles that had been using them as part of Operation Darknet (#OpDarknet). Some have hinted that the two operations are closely tied together.

This time though, Anonymous members behind the initiative seem to be much more set on doing a lot of damage as various factions around the world rally behind the cause. The details of the operation have already been translated into French, German, Greek, and Irish. More translations are coming.

Here's how Operation PedoChat was announced this weekend, in English, via Pastebin: (side note: the use of Pastebin for everything is odd, given that most Anonymous groups have been using AnonPaste for the last few months):

Lately, there has been a surge of websites dedicated to pedophiles for chat, picture sharing, etc. These sickos openly advocate concepts like "man-boy love" with statements such as "If the boy [in this case only 8 years old] is asking for it, we shouldn't deny him". This is not limited to boys, boards for little girls exist as well and operate with impunity. Child pornography is frequently traded and even innocent pictures of random children (at the beach, on a playground, etc) are publicly fantasized about. This is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

As it often does, Anonymous is attempting to rally the public behind its latest cause:

WE 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.

YOU are Anonymous as well. YOU can get off your ass and help. Spread the word to fellow Anons, to the press, and encourage them to do the same. Those that can attack are asked to fire their lazors; those that cannot are encouraged to learn. These pedos are very butthurt about being hit too, so there is some LULZ factor in it. SAIL SAFE!

The video I've embedded above goes even further. If you can't watch it, the full transcript is below:

Hello Citizens of the world, We are Anonymous. Dear brothers and sisters. Now is the time to open your eyes and expose the truth! Recently it has come to our attention that there has been a surge of websites dedicated to pedophiles for chat and picture sharing. These Pedophiles openly advocate concepts like "man-boy love", stating that 8 year old boys enjoy it and pray 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 fantasized about.

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 recognizes 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 pedophiles is being gathered and released.

Anonymous must expose these Pedophile sites for who and what they really are. The ninety nine percent will spread word of these disgusting Pedophile practices.

Anonymous calls on the ninety nine percent to contact elected representatives and tell them to stop these disgusting practices by pedophiles. Anonymous calls on the ninety nine percent to contact every reporter and blogger to create political and social pressure on these Pedophile sites.

We are anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive
We do not forget
Expect us.

I will keep you posted as this operation progresses. If you have any information to share, feel free to drop me a line.

See also:

Topics: Security

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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