One could argue that the general public doesn't agree with the majority of Anonymous' tactics or actions. While the group calls its DDoS attacks a digital form of civil disobedience, others call it straight up cyber terrorism. There comes a time, however, when their operations can appeal to the masses. Their latest operation - #OpPedoChat - is probably one of those times.
Anonymous announced #OpPedoChat over the weekend and its goals should be clear - to remove pedophiles and their Web sites from the Internet. While people would like to think that online predators only frequent message boards and chat rooms frequented by those who don't any better, that's only the tip of the iceberg. Anonymous is going after the numerous Web sites that fill the dark underbelly of the Internet where explicit images of underage child run rampant and people openly trade said images amongst themselves.
As usual, Anonymous has posted a press release on Pastebin detailing what exactly they will be doing for the duration of the operation. I will not be linking to the actual press release this time as it also contains the targeted URLs for the sites they're going after .
Lately, there has been a surge of websites dedicated to pedophiles for chat, picture sharing, etc. These sickos openly advocate concepts like "man-boy love" with statements such as "If the boy [in this case only 8 years old] is asking for it, we shouldn't deny him". This is not limited to boys, boards for little girls exist as well and operate with impunity. Child pornography is frequently traded and even innocent pictures of random children (at the beach, on a playground, etc) are publicly fantasized about. This is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
WE 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.
YOU are Anonymous as well. YOU can get off your ass and help. Spread the word to fellow Anons, to the press, and encourage them to do the same. Those that can attack are asked to fire their lazors; those that cannot are encouraged to learn. These pedos are very butthurt about being hit too, so there is some LULZ factor in it. SAIL SAFE!
So how successful has Anonymous been in this campaign so far? According to ZDNet, phase one of the operation is already complete. Anonymous has posted the personal details of the hundreds of users from these various pedophile Web sites alongside emails between members. Just like in past operations targeting pedophiles, Anonymous hopes that the police take care of the rest.
#OpPedoChat is still ongoing and will be for quite a while. This is one of the rare chances that Anonymous can be viewed as a sort of Internet vigilante justice instead of the usual loosely-knit band of mercenaries targeting governments. They will still be doing the latter, however, as they played a crucial role in getting the emails featured in Wikileaks' latest release - the Syria Files.