Anonymous has released the email addresses, IP addresses, and postal addresses of internet users who have accessed websites known for distributing child pornography and connecting pedophiles. The attack, dubbed Operation PedoChat (or #OpPedoChat) by Anonymous, has quickly caused controversy in Europe, where many of the leaked addresses are located.
The leak also includes some messages between users of the sites, including one that is potentiall incriminating for Belgian political figure Hans-Peter Luyckx. The leaked information alleges Luyckx is behind a message that reads " “I love 9, 10 and 11 year old girls. Can someone help me to find them?”
After Dutch newspaper Telegraaf contacted some of the people whose information was leaked, including Luyckx, all of them denied the allegations.
Nevertheless, Luyckx's bid in the next municipal elections has been suspended as the investigation proceeds, German newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen reports.
As another part of the attack, Anonymous shut down several websites upon which child pornography was exchanged, some of which remain out of service, global news organization World Mathaba reports.
On July 8, Anonymous announced in a YouTube video that it was launching Operation PedoChat.
"Anonymous aim to diminish if not eradicate this plague from the internet," the video declares. "For the good of our followers, for the good of mankind, and for our own enjoyment we shall expell from the internet and systematically destroy any such boards that continue to operate."
The battle between Anonymous and the child pornography sub-culture may not be over soon, either.
"Anonymous recognizes this as a serious undertaking and do not expect it to be completed in a short time," the video adds.