It's time again for us to hear from Anonymous, that rather well-known yet hacker group whose members remain largely, well, anonymous. The announcement made today makes clear that whichever member(s) of the hacktivist group have created said call to action are preparing to take down Facebook, one of the most popular and well-traveled social networks and indeed websites on the internet. Of course, as with all "Anonymous" messages, only time will tell if this announcement is "real", "fake", or just a message made by a single "member" of Anonymous to rally the rest of the "real" Anonymous troops. This message makes reference to several past news releases tying Facebook to the sharing of "private" user information and notes that Facebook is the antithesis of the AntiSec cause.
As you may or may not know, AntiSec, aka Anti-Security, is a "movement" of hackers working through the internet to oppose the computer security industry. This same group (including LulzSec as well this time) was recently supposedly the group behind hacks of police stations across the United States done to show solidarity for one "Topiary", a supposed hacker suspected of working with LulzSec to attack several institutions who is now being charged with said crimes in Europe. Anonymous, under the AntiSec banner once more, perhaps aims at the big blue social networking site this time:
This newest attack is said to be directed at Facebook for at least two specific cases where Facebook has been accused of wrongdoing:
Whether or not either of these cases have been entirely confirmed is at the moment unconfirmed. Next you should notice that the day this supposed Anonymous message notes that the hacker group is called to take action against Facebook is November 5th, 2011. If you're from England or have any stitch of historical knowledge about the history of England, you should remember the following rhyme:
Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot
This rather old rhyme of course refers to Guy Fawkes, a political activist who in 1605 aimed to destroy England's House of Lords with many barrels of gunpowder placed directly under it. He was foiled, but his proposed deed was not, and has continued to be immortalized ever since, including writer Alan Moore's graphic novel V for Vendetta and the film which came soon afterward. It was from this film that this rather new hacker group Anonymous decided to grab one of their marks: the mask made for and used in the film is synonymous with the group, and should this plot to destroy Facebook unfold on November 5th, Anonymous' ties with the historical event will be cemented for quite a while.
Have a look at what's said to be the newest message to the world from Anonymous, each word aimed directly at users and collaborators with Facebook as well as all those that might join in on hacking the site come November 2011:
DATE: November 5, 2011.
Twitter : https://twitter.com/OP_Facebook
Attention citizens of the world,
We wish to get your attention, hoping you heed the warnings as follows:
Your medium of communication you all so dearly adore will be destroyed. If you are a willing hacktivist or a guy who just wants to protect the freedom of information then join the cause and kill facebook for the sake of your own privacy.
Facebook has been selling information to government agencies and giving clandestine access to information security firms so that they can spy on people from all around the world. Some of these so-called whitehat infosec firms are working for authoritarian governments, such as those of Egypt and Syria.
Everything you do on Facebook stays on Facebook regardless of your "privacy" settings, and deleting your account is impossible, even if you "delete" your account, all your personal info stays on Facebook and can be recovered at any time. Changing the privacy settings to make your Facebook account more "private" is also a delusion. Facebook knows more about you than your family.
You cannot hide from the reality in which you, the people of the internet, live in. Facebook is the opposite of the Antisec cause. You are not safe from them nor from any government. One day you will look back on this and realise what we have done here is right, you will thank the rulers of the internet, we are not harming you but saving you.
The riots are underway. It is not a battle over the future of privacy and publicity. It is a battle for choice and informed consent. It's unfolding because people are being raped, tickled, molested, and confused into doing things where they don't understand the consequences. Facebook keeps saying that it gives users choices, but that is completely false. It gives users the illusion of and hides the details away from them "for their own good" while they then make millions off of you. When a service is "free," it really means they're making money off of you and your information.
Think for a while and prepare for a day that will go down in history. November 5 2011, #opfacebook . Engaged.
This is our world now. We exist without nationality, without religious bias. We have the right to not be surveilled, not be stalked, and not be used for profit. We have the right to not live as slaves.
We are anonymous
We are legion
We do not forgive
We do not forget
A couple of factors to pay attention to: this release links to specific websites which do, believe it or not, contain advertisements on them. This MAY be an elaborate plot to get ad revenue via the sites linked. Another bit: this letter makes reference to "the riots" which we must assume mean the riots taking place in England right this moment - these riots, regardless of what this letter may say, have nothing to do with privacy and publicity and everything to do with maniacs and lowlives taking advantage of a horrible situation which is claiming the businesses and livelihoods of many civilians that have and have had no intent of infringing on the aims of AntiSec.
What do you think? Will Facebook be leveled?
UPDATE: 10:31 a.m. A spokeswoman for Facebook, Gwen Belomy, has said the Palo Alto company is declining to comment on the matter.