‘Anonymous’ vows to ‘kill’ Facebook this year

Citing privacy concerns, alleged use of user information by authoritarian regimes, Anonymous says it will take down social network.

By MICHAEL OMER-MAN
August 10, 2011 12:45
2 minute read.
Anonymous hackers logo

Anonymous hackers logo_311. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
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The loosely-affiliated group of hackers that has taken responsibility for attacks on Rupert Murdoch’s media empire and, most recently, the Syrian Defense Ministry, described its reasons for a planned attack on the Facebook social network in a press release issued via YouTube last month.

“Prepare for a day that will go down in history. November 5, 2011,” Anonymous warned. “Your medium of communication you all so dearly adore will be destroyed.”

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The threatened action differs from previous attacks on companies and governments, which took the form of Dedicated Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that only temporarily overload computer systems. This attack, the group says will “kill Facebook.

“Facebook has been selling information to government agencies and giving clandestine access to information security firms so that they can spy on people from around the world,” the group charged.


Some of those firms, the press release claimed, “are working for authoritarian governments such as those of Egypt and Syria.”

Anonymous has been especially active in the past year in relation to the Arab Spring, launching attacks on Tunisian, Egyptian and Syrian government ministries, and it was reportedly involved in an effort in Egypt to provide a workaround for Internet access after the government cut connectivity during the revolution.

Citing privacy concerns with Facebook and its ability to store and sell personal information about its users, the group said in its release: “Everything you do on Facebook stays on Facebook regardless of your ‘privacy’ settings, and deleting your account is impossible.”

Deleting one’s Facebook account, it described, does not actually delete your information from the company’s computers “and can be recovered at any time. Facebook knows more about you than your family,” it said.

Described as a “battle for choice and informed consent,” the group said that Facebook tells users it gives them choices, “but that is completely false. It gives users the illusion of [choice] and hides details away from them ‘for their own good.’” The date of the attack is symbolic as one of Anonymous’s known symbols is a mask made famous most recently in the film V for Vendetta, a comic-book adaptation of a story about an effort to overthrow a totalitarian British government, inspired by the story of Guy Fawkes. November 5 is Guy Fawkes Day.

Facebook has not issued an official response to the threat.

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