Twitter is on fire with the news of an upcoming troll-on-troll feud of Anonymous vs. Westboro Baptist Church. In case you missed it - in an Open Letter, Anonymous allegedly told the anti-gay, fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church to stop the hate now or else "the damage incurred will be irreversible" and "neither your institution nor your congregation will ever be able to fully recover." The Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) struck back, telling Anonymous to "bring it!" and that God hates "lousy hackers."
In-between the two, this other Open Letter from Anonymous gained less attention, but told WBC that Anonymous knew it was a trap, and the short-on-money, thrive-on-attention WBC was in fact behind the first Open Letter supposedly from Anonymous.
WBC has made an awful name for themselves with their hate preaching, pushing the limits of freedom of speech with their hate speech. Many Christians find WBC's messages extremely far from Christ-like. Some would call WBC the ultimate IRL (in real life) trolls for such vile acts as provoking mourners outside of funerals for servicemen and women killed in combat. While picketing soldier's funerals, they hold signs such as "Thank God For Dead Soldiers." WBC, led by Rev. Fred Phelps, also picketed funerals of six Arizona shooting victims and are notorious for their anti-homosexual messages and "God Hates Fags" signs.
Shortly after WBC threw down the gauntlet, and Twitter was set ablaze about the oncoming war, an emergency press release was posted on AnonNews which urged Anonymous not to use DDoS attacks.
Before I could break out the popcorn and settle in to watch the fight, Anonymous News Network posted on Facebook, "V: I was just gonna ignore this for a good long while because it was a stupid call, but looks like Westboro Baptist Church (of "GodHatesFags.com" fame) wants to pick a fight with Anonymous. They're attention-whoring idiots. Meanwhile, on the IRC, a channel #OpWestboro has been started to discuss what to do. It's come down to either overwhelming force or ignoring them entirely: no middle ground."
And then, in perhaps the ultimate slap in the face or just for lulz, Anonymous seemed to yawn at WBC while telling them, "Next time, don't call us. We'll call you."
Anonymous released a press release warning others within Anonymous that it's a trap and urging them not to fall into honeypots meant gather IPs for WBC to sue. It also mentions that Anonymous supports free speech, quoting Beatrice Hall, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
Here is the latest press release in full:
Who knows what may end up happening, or what WBC may do next, trolling for dollars, to try to provoke Anonymous and keep themselves in the media spotlight.
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Ms. Smith (not her real name) is a freelance writer and programmer with a special and somewhat personal interest in IT privacy and security issues. Smith has a diverse background in information technology, programming, web development, IT consulting, and information security. She focuses on the unique challenges of maintaining privacy and security, both for individuals and enterprises. She has worked as a journalist and has also penned many technical papers and guides covering various technologies. Smith is herself a self-described privacy and security freak.
Smith is an independent contractor and is not affiliated with any vendor that makes or sells information technology.
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