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February 2011

Anonymous claims WBC planted Open Letter

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends

Round 2 of the Anonymous versus Westboro Baptist: An Open Letter From an Anonymii claims that Westboro Baptist planted the cease and desist to leverage the publicity Anonymous is receiving. The letter doesn't reveal how Anonymous came to this conclusion (surely the mechanics/forensics should be within the skill sets of some members).

We're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside

Subsequent posts (1, 2) from yet another member questions the usefulness (and potential downside) of DDoSing WBC. In a 20 February post, however, an open letter from allegedly 20 Anonymous members claims "we're a bit groggy and don't remember sending it". This and several subsequent posts intimate that WBC was attempting to lure the group to a honeypot (trap).

There behind a glass stands a real blade of grass
Be careful as you pass, move along, move along

WBC doesn't seem to have a response yet. However, a 20 February 2011 Anonymous press release describes the WBC event as evidence that the groups efforts have devolved into "trolls trolling on trolls", that "the most idiotic of trolls are controlling our actions", "the chaos has gone too far" and this post, at least, asks the group is setting the kill switch. 

A kill switch in an open posting environment is like an Internet kill switch: interesting in concept, challenging in implementation. The posting continues but sorting wheat from chaff is an increasing challenge.

Come inside, the show's about to start
Guaranteed to blow your head apart
Rest assured you'll get your money's worth
The greatest show in Heaven, Hell or Earth
You've got to see the show, it's a dynamo
You've got to see the show, it's rock and roll,

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, 1974

PTBarnum, from Library of Congress

See also:
Anonymous vs. Westboro Baptist Church: Nobody's right when everybody's wrong
The Trouble with being Anonymous: the inconstant "we"

Anonymous vs. Westboro Baptist Church: Nobody's right when everybody's wrong

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.


by H.L.I.T.

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.

See also:
Anonymous claims WBC planted Open Letter
The Trouble with being Anonymous: the inconstant "we"