Anonymous launches #OpCharlieHebdo, attacks terrorist social media

Anonymous launches #OpCharlieHebdo, attacks terrorist social media

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.