Yes, I'm a little late on this. But I thought that the virtual lack of coverage warranted a post.
As many of you have heard by now, a recruitment video for the Church of Scientology was leaked onto the web a couple of weeks ago starring none other than the "religion's" poster boy, Tom Cruise:
(This is not to be confused with the Jerry O'Connell parody...)
In any case, after this video leaked onto YouTube, the Church of Scientology claimed copyright infringement and demanded the video be taken down (while most have, the video is still alive and breathing in the deepest, darkest corners of the interweb).
This prompted a vigilante group calling themselves Anonymous, or Anon for short, to leap into action against what they say they consider to be internet censorship. The group includes computer gurus capable of causing trouble on the web. Over the past week or so, local chapter sites for the Church of Scientology have been defaced, and in a few cases denial of service attacks have prevented access to those same sites. "Real-world" attacks have included fax-spamming the Scientology branch offices.
How does the public know this? YouTube, of course. Here's the actual, mechanically-voiced video released by Anonymous this weekend:
This is the first time that a campaign on this scale has been taken against an organized group on the web and, thus, is new territory. Are they cyberterrorists? The greater good? Here's a portion of their statement:
...You cannot hide; we are everywhere.
We cannot die; we are forever. We're getting bigger every day - and solely by the force of our ideas, malicious and hostile as they often are. If you want another name for your opponent, then call us Legion, for we are many.
Yet for all that we are not as monstrous as you are; still our methods are a parallel to your own. Doubtless you will use the Anon's actions as an example of the persecution you have so long warned your followers would come; this is acceptable. In fact, it is encouraged. We are your SPs... Knowledge is free.
...We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
WE DO NOT FORGET.
"We are Legion"? "We cannot die"? I'm sorry, did I accidentally fall into a Doctor Who episode?
I'm not a fan of Scientology by any means, but Anonymous sounds like it's got a bit of a God complex itself. I think we need to keep an eye on both these groups...