The hacktivist group Anonymous has issued its own brand of cease and desist against the controversial Westboro Baptist Church. In an Open Letter to Westboro Baptist Church, Anonymous delivers an ultimatum to WBC: shut down your web sites or we will do it for you, and then some.
The Anonymous poster justifies its threat by claiming that WBC has "crossed the line which separates Freedom of Speech from deliberately utilizing the same tactics and methods of intimidation and mental & emotional abuse that have been previously exploited and employed by tyrants and dictators, fascists and terrorist organizations throughout history."
It's unimaginable that Anonymous really expects WBC to close shop. They've thrown the gauntlet with every expectation that WBC would take it up, and the congregation and pastor have issued their own Open Letter from Westboro Baptist Servants of God to Anonymous Coward Crybaby “Hackers” saying "Bring it". WBC will welcome the added publicity that attacks from Anonymous will bring.
WBC warns Anonymous that "God will defeat your council; your efforts will fail". Perhaps they have some deity-based countermeasure that will protect their sites and sensitive data from attack. HBGary sure wishes it had been so blessed. I'm skeptical.
Several lyrics from For What It's Worth (Stephen Stills, Buffalo Springfield) seem fitting here:
There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
No good can come from this, but the parties involved will get what they crave.