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Monday, October 24, 2011

"Anonymous" attacks online pedophilia

Chris Davis, Opinion, Pincher Creek Voice

The "hacktivist" group Anonymous has declared war on child-pornography websites, website hosts, and users that fuel them. Freedom Hosting was identified as a specific target because they "are openly supporting child pornography and enabling pedophiles to view innocent children, fueling their issues and putting children at risk of abduction, molestation, rape, and death," according to an Anonymous statement.  "By taking down Freedom Hosting, we are eliminating 40+ child pornography websites, among these is Lolita City, one of the largest child pornography websites to date containing more than 100gb (gigabytes) of child pornography."


Anonymous demanded Freedom Hosting remove pedophilia elate links from their server, and when this did not happen, successfully took the Freedom Hosting server offline at least twice.  An excerpt from the Anonymous "tmeline of events":  "At apprx 9:00pm CST on October 14, 2011 We identified Freedom Hosting as the host of the largest collection of child pornography on the internet. We then issued a warning to remove the illegal content from their server, which they refused to do. At apprx 11:30pm CST on October 14, 2011 We infiltrated the shared hosting server of Freedom Hosting and shutdown services to all clients due to their lack of action to remove child pornography from their server.  At apprx 8:00pm CST on October 15, 2011 despite new security features, we once again infiltrated the shared hosting server at Freedom Hosting and stopped service to all clients."

Anonymous claims it's recent hactivities have taken offline over 40 pedophilia websites, while at the same time discovering and exposing the names and information of over 1500 alleged pedophiles that have been using those sites to access and share child pornography.

The big question here is this: with millions of individuals and countless billions of dollars invested in policing around the world, why does it take an often reviled group of anonymous hackers to effect the removal of such odious content from the internet?

Let's be clear here, I don't believe the internet created pedophilia.  Read enough history and you will see it has been an entrenched element of human societies going back to before the birth of record keeping.  It was an entrenched element of Roman society, for example, and our own culture has firm origins in that culture.

What the internet has helped enable, by the very same nature of creating community that has most of us checking into Facebook every day, is a culture for pedophiles, a way to belong.  Pedophiles used to indulge their base activities in a hidden manner, largely the acts of single individuals who could not share their secret.
The internet has enabled them to feel like they belong to an accepted group.  They have friends to share their sickness with, who validate it instead of abhorring it.  They play tradesies with our children, a twisted social game that destroys so many lives.

Again, how is it that a group of hackers can do what no-one else seemingly can?  These people are the modern vigilante, dispensing justice as they see fit, with all the risks that frontier-style justice has always entailed, including the possibility of "hanging" the wrong man.

How many lives may they be saving from damage and destruction?  How many of our most vulnerable are a little safer this week than they were last?   When will the various policing forces around the world step up to the plate? Or more accurately, when will there be the political will to direct them to do so?


Here in full is the statement released by Anonymous at http://pastebin.com/T1LHnzEW :

Our statement 
The owners and operators at Freedom Hosting are openly supporting child pornography and enabling pedophiles to view innocent children, fueling their issues and putting children at risk of abduction, molestation, rape, and death.
For this, Freedom Hosting has been declared #OpDarknet Enemy Number One.
By taking down Freedom Hosting, we are eliminating 40+ child pornography websites, among these is Lolita City, one of the largest child pornography websites to date containing more than 100GB of child pornography.
We will continue to not only crash Freedom Hosting's server, but any other server we find to contain, promote, or support child pornography.

Our Demands 
Our demands are simple. Remove all child pornography content from your servers. Refuse to provide hosting services to any website dealing with child pornography. This statement is not just aimed at Freedom Hosting, but everyone on the internet. It does not matter who you are, if we find you to be hosting, promoting, or supporting child pornography, you will become a target.

Related links:
Zdnet story
Anonymous' timeline of events

Related Anonymous Youtube statement:
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