On November 5th of 2011, certain members of anonymous are threatening to bring down Facebook. Of course this date immediately reminds us of the famous film V For Vendetta. This famous movie deals with a dictatorial government that has lied to its people and seeks to keep them under control through fear.
For those of you who have not yet seen this marvelous movie, here is the trailer. If you cannot see the embedded video, here is the link: http://youtu.be/ZR5xUl2Suew.
The hacking group anonymous released a youtube video which announced that they would bring down Facebook for its illegal doings and for its violations of people's privacy. Since they used a computer to read the text, we shall quote it in this article.
Attention citizens of the world, We wish to get your attention, hoping you heed the warnings as follows:
Your medium of communication you all so dearly adore will be destroyed. If you are a willing hacktivist or a guy who just wants to protect the freedom of information then join the cause and kill facebook for the sake of your own privacy.
Facebook has been selling information to government agencies and giving clandestine access to information security firms so that they can spy on people from all around the world. Some of these so-called whitehat infosec firms are working for authoritarian governments, such as those of Egypt and Syria.
Everything you do on Facebook stays on Facebook regardless of your “privacy” settings, and deleting your account is impossible, even if you “delete” your account, all your personal info stays on Facebook and can be recovered at any time. Changing the privacy settings to make your Facebook account more “private” is also a delusion. Facebook knows more about you than your family.
You cannot hide from the reality in which you, the people of the internet, live in. Facebook is the opposite of the Antisec cause. You are not safe from them nor from any government. One day you will look back on this and realise what we have done here is right, you will thank the rulers of the internet, we are not harming you but saving you.
The riots are underway. It is not a battle over the future of privacy and publicity. It is a battle for choice and informed consent. It’s unfolding because people are being raped, tickled, molested, and confused into doing things where they don’t understand the consequences. Facebook keeps saying that it gives users choices, but that is completely false. It gives users the illusion of and hides the details away from them “for their own good” while they then make millions off of you. When a service is “free,” it really means they’re making money off of you and your information.
Think for a while and prepare for a day that will go down in history. November 5 2011, #opfacebook . Engaged.
This is our world now. We exist without nationality, without religious bias. We have the right to not be surveilled [sic], not be stalked, and not be used for profit. We have the right to not live as slaves.
We are anonymous We are legion We do not forgive We do not forget Expect us
"The age of privacy is over...Doing a privacy change for 350 million users is not the kind of thing that a lot of companies would do. But we viewed that as a really important thing..." Mark Zuckerberg Facebook
We shall investigate and speculate (most likely) as to whether any of these charges are true. We must make it clear that we do not support anonymous' approach to solving these charges. We believe that age of privacy has passed. But we also believe that the only way the world can survive the passing of this age with any freedom, is for the people of the world to make certain their governments respect the use of this information through legislation. To the average person it may seem as if the power of governments is stacked against them. But as Patrick Henry stated in his famous Give Me Liberty Speech in 1775, when speaking of America's struggle against the British. "The battle sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." We must as the citizens of the world, strongly protest any use of the information on the internet being used by the government or security agencies to spy on the owners of this information. If you cannot see the embedded video, here is the link: http://youtu.be/SWQTS8zqYXU.
There seems to be confusion as to whether this hacking group is united in its desire to hack into Facebook. According to a report in Gawker,
After a stunning burst of media coverage, a number of popular Anonymous twitter accounts and news sources distanced themselves from Operation Facebook, claiming it was a hoax. But the truth is more complicated than that. It turns out there once was an Anonymous "Operation Facebook." It was dedicated not to destroying the site but raising awareness about its privacy practices. The current panic springs from some overeager hacktivists and media stumbling over the remnants of that abandoned operation and spinning it into a dastardly plot to destroy Facebook. An Anonymous member named Speakeasy laid the whole story out in a document posted to Pastebin today. In an IRC chat today, Speakeasy said that "Operation Facebook" was launched months ago by him and about 10-20 other people in a room on the Anonymous chat server. However, their goal was not to "destroy" Facebook. The main purpose was to "bring awareness to Facebook keeping data even after you delete an account," Speakeasy said. (Facebook saves your personal information and continues to use it for data mining even if you delete your account.)The report goes on to explain that Anonplus, another hacking group different fro anonymous took up the operation Facebook,
The group planned a two-pronged approach: They would 1) urge Facebook users to delete their profiles on November 5th as protest and 2) develop their own, privacy-friendly social networking alternative to Facebook. But in Mid-July Speakeasy and his buddies got bored of Operation Facebook and decided to shut it down. They turned the early code for their social network over to another group, Anonplus, and that, they thought, was that. But they forgot to clean up after themselves, and the abandoned scraps of Operation Facebook became fodder for rumors of a spectacular attack against Zuckerberg's baby. See, the Operation Facebook kids had started a crowdsourced document to plan their protest; when they disbanded, everything was deleted from the document except for a single line warning Facebook that it would "never forget" November 5th—the date that had been floated for the mass account deactivation. The chat room was left, empty except for a link to this cryptic threat. Eventually some Anons stumbled on the empty room and rumors started circulating about Operation Facebook. Speculation ranged from physical attacks on Facebook's server to some newly-discovered exploit that would bring the site crashing to its knees. Someone made a video about this new, destructive Operation Facebook—Speakeasy says they don't know who—media outlets picked up the video, which now has more than a million views. Now Facebook is slated to be destroyed by year's end.Speakeasy, the contact Gawker has made is not in favor of any destruction of Facebook, stating, "An attack on Facebook would be ridiculous. Even if it succeed, Facebook has a lot of users, and we want to help people. not hurt them."
Still since this originally posting, the followers Operation Facebook room is "filed with more people than ever, according to Gawker and "only now they are tossing around outlandish ideas for attacking Facebook and its users, instead of planning a 'peaceful' protest. Operation Facebook might be back - for real, this time"
Is there any way to get the truth of what Facebook is doing with out information. The charges have been leveled at Google and Yahoo as well by wikileaks. We shall try to investigate this issue in future articles in this series.