Sections of Anonymous have once again turned their ire towards online sites frequented by child abusers.
OpPedoChat follows earlier campaigns by sections of the hacktivist groups that subjected websites linked to the distribution of paedophile material with denial of service attacks and membership exposure. For example, Operation Darknet in October 2011 targeted hidden child abuse hubs on .onion domains, only accessible to Tor users or through Tor gateways.
This time around the hacktivist group has set its sights on 100 domains that host forums allegedly used by child abusers for chat and picture sharing.
Anonymous has promised to deface or hijack targeted domains as well as tracing and exposing the personal details of (ie. doxing) their members. A number of data dumps have already appeared on Pastebin related to OpPedoChat, featuring emails and addresses purportedly taken from users of the targeted forums.
In a YouTube video, Anonymous sets out a manifesto for the operation and calls for public support, including lobbying of politicians and the media, to "create political and social pressure on these paedophile sites".
Recently it has come to our attention that there has been a surge of websites dedicated to pedophiles for chat and picture sharing ...
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 recognises 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 prides itself on championing free speech, a stance somewhat at odds with denial of service attacks elements of the group frequently engage in. In this case the need to protect the innocence of children that might be abused takes precedence, the group argues. ®