Anonymous, a hacktivist group known for its attacks on corporate and government Web properties, is taking up a new cause: fighting child pornography.
The group says the operation, dubbed #OpDarknet, discovered links to child pornography while browsing the Hidden Wiki, and found that 95 percent of the websites were hosted by Freedom Hosting. When the company ignored requests from Anonymous to take down the illegal content, the hackitivist group began its attacks to bring down the servers.
Anonymous claims it disabled more than 40 child pornography websites in the operation, including one hosting 100GB worth of material.
Compared to previous operations, Operation Darknet seems to be an agreeable cause. Not so, says Diane Sowden, executive director of Children of the Street.
“We have child exploitation task force and police officers that specialize in getting enough evidence to be able to lay charges. By laying the charges, you’re absolutely stopping further children from being sexually exploited or being presented in child pornography from that individual,” she said.
While taking child pornography offline may seem to be a positive move, it may hamper the efforts by law enforcers to bring the criminals to justice. Sowden suggests that information about child pornography should be handed to the police instead.
Photo: John Strathdee