Anonymous Takes Down Child Porn Server

By Brent Randall 2011-10-24 19:31:08
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The extremely controversial “hacktivist” group Anonymous has struck again, but this time, their work is getting a bit more support than usual.

Like V of V for Vendetta, a film that clearly inspires the group, Anonymous has had lofty goals but employs morally controversial ways of achieving them, namely through compromising the security of websites and launching denial of service attacks. This time, Anonymous has used its hacking skills to take down a server hosting approximately 40 websites containing child pornography.

PC Mag states that Anonymous warned Freedom Hosting to remove the content, and when there was no response, they delivered their version of cyber justice. On top of this server crash, Anonymous then gathered all 1,589 names of the people who visited the most popular site, Lolita City, and posted them elsewhere online with this message:
If the FBI, Interpol, or other law enforcement agency should happen to come across this list, please use it to investigate and bring justice to the people listed here.

Anonymous has been known for doing things like releasing private emails or crashing the services of more “legitimate” sites previously, so this latest act is seen as a bit of a departure, and a welcome one to many. Some see this hacking as completely deserved for a server that is not only hosting illegal sites, but to many, the most despicable illegal sites of all.

But others are a little concerned. While no one wants a child pornography site to continue to operate, it’s the means to that end that worry some people. Like many acts of Anonymous, people agree with the goal and the motivation, but not so much with the way in which they work toward them. Should these child pornography sites be handled by the proper authorities? I guess it depends on how you feel about vigilante justice, because that’s really what this is. Vigilantes may achieve their goals, but if they’re allowed to wield such power with little to no restraint, that has to make everyone uneasy. Remember, not everyone’s cool with Batman driving around and smashing through windows in Gotham either.
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