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Crime The Internet

Anonymous Hackers Take Down Child Porn Websites 481

Posted by timothy
from the value-to-society dept.
chrb writes "According to Security News Daily, Anonymous has taken down more than 40 darknet-based child porn websites over the last week. Details of some of the hacks have been released via pastebin #OpDarknet, including personal details of some users of a site named 'Lolita City,' and DDoS tools that target Hidden Wiki and Freedom Hosting — alleged to be two of the biggest darknet sites hosting child porn."
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Anonymous Hackers Take Down Child Porn Websites

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  • Re:Vigilances (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pro151 (2021702) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:38AM (#37803426)
    I believe the word you were trying to use was Vigilante. As far as I am concerned, this is the first and only thing they have done that actually makes any sense or has any redeeming value.
  • Re:Vigilances (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:38AM (#37803430)
    Sometimes in order to win wars you have to kill. In a way we are fighting a war against people who doesn't wish the internet to be free. ANONYMOUS, as much we love to hate them, are the extreme version of this ideology. When someone is fighting you with nuclear weapons I'm afraid martial arts can do you so little, hence the need ( in there opinion) for drastic measures such as DDOS and viruses. just think of them as the Dark Knight of the internet.
  • Re:Vigilances (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Hatta (162192) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:42AM (#37803456) Journal

    A DDOS, if properly executed, is the digital equivalent of a sit-in. If the machines used were hacked however, it's a lot harder to justify. But if you run a public server, and the public decides to all use the server at the same time, it's hard to classify that as vigilantism.

  • Re:Vigilances (Score:5, Interesting)

    by couchslug (175151) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:44AM (#37803470)

    Laws don't apply to the powerful, so why respect them at all?

    Obey or disobey as expedient.

  • Re:Vigilances (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TechLA (2482532) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:44AM (#37803472)
    So if they were bringing down pirates or The Pirate Bay, would you support them as well? They're against the law too.
  • Re:Vigilances (Score:3, Interesting)

    by poofmeisterp (650750) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:44AM (#37803474) Journal

    So vigilance actions are ok now?

    I don't support them, but I sure as well don't support people who take it to their own hands to commit crimes like viruses and DDOS just because other people did wrong. They all should be taken to jail.

    Whenever children, especially child pornography are involved, the spoken opinion of most of society is "yes."

  • Re:Vigilances (Score:2, Interesting)

    by davidbrit2 (775091) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:50AM (#37803510) Homepage
    I am 100% fine with vigilantism against child pornography.
  • Re:Wierd (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zaldarr (2469168) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:59AM (#37803552) Homepage
    Oh no. They hate the bastards. CP'ers DO use 4chan, but only to be met with a hailstorm of shit. They even got a guy a while ago, got his details and put the cops on his arse. So this I guess is a continuation on that theme of internet vigilante-ism. Hell, Pedo bear was created to MOCK CP'ers. 4chan and anon is responsible for a lot of things, good and bad, but CP is not one of them. I am not a channer by the way; I'm just sayin'.
  • Re:Vigilances (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:02AM (#37803564)

    >murderers kill people, therefore we should too?

    So far as I can tell, that *is* the argument for both the death penalty and modern wars.

  • by loafing_oaf (1054200) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:02AM (#37803570)
    So they're tackling the only issue about which there is absolutely no debate, just like cable news anchors. Does Anonymous have a PR department now, improving their image?
  • Re:Vigilances (Score:4, Interesting)

    by leathered (780018) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:07AM (#37803588)

    It's fine until a pediatrician has her home attacked, like what happened in the UK. We may well complain about injustice at the hands of the authorities, but vigilantes are far more likely to target the innocent.

  • Re:Vigilances (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:23AM (#37803656) Journal
    I approve of taking down the child porn sites because CP is disgusting and wrong; not simply because it's illegal.
  • by rocket rancher (447670) <themovingfinger@gmail.com> on Saturday October 22, 2011 @10:17AM (#37803942)

    A DDOS, if properly executed, is the digital equivalent of a sit-in. If the machines used were hacked however, it's a lot harder to justify. But if you run a public server, and the public decides to all use the server at the same time, it's hard to classify that as vigilantism.

    Really? Seriously? Dude...if it is illegal for a single person to take down a website, what kind of perverted logic makes it legal for a mob to take it down? Your sit-in analogy fails -- a sit-in is just another mob, in the eyes of the law. It is not legal for a mob to do anything that is not legal for an individual to do. More to the point, the organizers of a sit-in can be charged with conspiracy, incitement, mayhem, creating a public nuisance, vandalism, and in my great State of Arizona, even murder, if it turns violent and somebody dies -- even if they were nowhere near the actual event. A DDOS, or digital sit-in if you prefer, would be treated in the exact same way by the legal system here; I'm certain it would be no different in your jurisdiction. I suggest you keep that in mind if you are ever tempted to do something illegal simply because a bunch of other people are going to be doing it with you.

  • Re:Vigilances (Score:5, Interesting)

    by maxwell demon (590494) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @10:19AM (#37803960) Journal

    I believe the word you were trying to use was Vigilante.

    Damn the AutoCorrect!

    A good carpenter never blames his tools.

    If his hammer breaks when trying to hammer in a normal nail, he most certainly will.

  • Re:Vigilances (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @12:55PM (#37805062) Journal

    They go against child porn sites because they are immoral (at least from the perspective of the vast majority).

    On the other hand, to play devil's advocate here, the primary purpose of a representative democracy—the government style that most of us in the western world hold dear—as opposed to a direct democracy is to prevent tyranny of the majority. The fact that something is seen as wrong by the majority does not inherently mean that something should be prevented, much less that it must be.

    You're going to need a stronger argument than "the majority consider it immoral". The majority considered homosexuality immoral just a couple of decades ago. The majority considered having whites and blacks eat at the same table to be immoral not long before that. So to argue that attacking someone for immorality is okay in general requires arguing for segregation and gay bashing. Your criteria are way, way too loose here.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that child porn is a good thing. I'm just saying that if you're going to argue that vigilanteism is acceptable, you need to come up with a much better argument than the presumption of harm to children. You need to prove that the people attacked by the vigilantes (including the users whose names were revealed) caused or planned to cause harm to children, at an absolute minimum, and that they were beyond the reach of legitimate law enforcement, and that not acting would have caused or greatly increased the risk of immediate harm.

  • Re:Vigilances (Score:2, Interesting)

    by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Saturday October 22, 2011 @01:47PM (#37805366) Homepage

    Yep, I noticed. As a software developer who has "embraced" piracy as yet another marketing opportunity, I get nothing but hate and disbelief on this empty husk of a forum. If there is one thing I've learned in life, it's that everything has a way of balancing out. I see software piracy as the natural reaction to a borderline fraudulent industry where shoddy products are sold at high prices and support is virtually inexistent. Is Adobe Photoshop really worth $699 ? Would Windows be the dominant PC platform if it weren't for mass piracy ? Does EA think they're really "providing value" when they fight against used game sales and double-charge online players ? Do any of these companies give a flying fuck about the customer ?

    When I was a kid, growing up in the 80's, software was cheap. I would go to the mall every week and buy a game with my $5 allowance money, and I would play the bejeezus out of those games because they were FUN! Today, games cost $50-70, and I don't know any (blue collar) families who give their preteen $50 a week. So what do they do ? They go on TPB and RapidShare to get their fix, and parents condone it because, well, who has $50 in this economy ?

    Piracy is "bad" because capitalism has no effective defense against it. The greedier they get, the greater the blowback as pirate networks grow bigger, faster and more resilient to takedown attempts. Piracy is "bad" because it favours the little guy and hurts the big shot. It's "bad" because our current economic model does not hold water in the information age, and the old dinosaurs with their old money are stuck in their ways.

    Me, I see it as the biggest social network there is. If I post one of my creations on a pirate site, it's not just shared with the 150 facebook friends in my monkeysphere, it spreads to tens of not hundreds of thousands of users, some of which will become paying customers. All that for the dizzying price of $0. Cheaper than a magazine spot, cheaper than AdWords, cheaper than a goddamned flyer on a corkboard! It completely bypasses the established distribution cartel with layers upon layers of middlemen and contract abusers. This is a GOOD thing.

  • by Baldur_of_Asgard (854321) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @05:05PM (#37806416)

    It remains virtually impossible for adult males to befriend children. (Friendships between adults and children used to be pretty common, even in the USA.)

    As one example:

    Neil Wilkes was a teacher in Manchester, England who had a close relationship with an eight year old girl he taught. He got on well with her and with her family.

    But someone decided it was "inappropriate" for a man to befriend a girl, and launched a formal investigation into the relationship.

    There was no evidence that Neil Wilkes had done anything wrong.

    All the same, Neil lost his job and the girl's family was frightened into breaking off all contact.

    On October 20th 2010, Neil Wilkes went to a quiet tourist spot, sent a text message to the girl telling her "I love you and I always will", doused himself with fuel, and set himself on fire.

    http://www.thejournal.ie/teacher-sets-himself-alight-after-texting-i-love-you-to-girl-8-2011-03/

    It is clear to me that the obsession with child pornography and child abuse is intended to break down the trust between generations, provide an excuse for controlling and monitoring all expression, and firmly cement the power of the ruling class. This panic also provides employment opportunities for a predatory class of therapists and an entire child abuse industry.

    Thanks to the manipulation of the public consciousness and abusing the public's natural concern for the well-being of children, the prohibition of child pornography has provided a means for the ruling class to do whatever it wants. Want to eliminate a rival? Just claim they had child pornography on their computer. No one will investigate it, because investigating it would constitute a crime - so everyone must take their public servant overlords' word at face value - and the public accepts this without question.

    We don't even have proof of what typical child pornography looks like. The claim is that it is all horrific images of rape and abuse, but ordinary citizens - even reporters - are not allowed to see for themselves. It seems more likely that it is mostly pictures of happy children wearing little or no clothing, because most guys don't get turned on by pictures of real abuse - but how could we find out? The public goes along with the farce, because they have been conditioned to hate pedophiles so much that they don't care whether their victims are even pedophiles, much less whether pedophiles or child pornographers are actually doing harm.

    However, we do occasionally get a window into child pornography convictions. Here are a few young ladies speaking out against the conviction of the man who took their photographs:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2xfzmcOPg0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3ogJhlOw9U

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqKEybfBPAs

    This case is illustrative of two points: First, that many of the models do not feel harmed, and secondly that much "child pornography" consists of pictures of clothed children. It certainly gives the lie to the traditional narrative.

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