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Anonymous Faces Free Speech Dilemma in Pedophile Battle

Bianca STANESCU

August 02, 2012

Anonymous Faces Free Speech Dilemma in Pedophile Battle

Anonymous is second-guessing an attack on Ecatel, the company they accuse of hosting several child pornography websites, after hacktivist members said an attack would harm free speech online. The hacktivist group started a poll among its members to decide how to continue the pedophile battle, according to a press release.

The dilemma began after several Anons raised questions about the right to attack a hosting company that “supports freedom of speech online,” and hosts a few Anonymous websites, turning the attack against “fellow Anons.”

“Ecatel may host several kiddie porn sites, but they host thousands of other sites,” the press release reads. “By taking down the Ecatel servers, they are taking down all of those other sites, which is not necessary. Other Anons think that instead of taking down Ecatel, they should take down the owner of the company, and the people who decided it would be ok to upload these kiddie porn sites.”

An Anonymous poll gives members four choices:

1. Attack the domains running kiddie porn

2. Attack the hosting company

3. Attack the domains and the hosting company

4. Don`t attack anyone.

The hacktivists are also pondering whether the Ecatel attacks really come from Anonymous members. The hosting company based in the Netherlands was recently targeted by an operation nicknamed #OpEcatel, after Anonymous discovered several sites hosted by the firm targeted by their PedoChat operation.

“We told them that we work directly with the dutch KLPD (Royal Dutch Police) CP unit Zoetermeer,” Ecatel representatives told HotForSecurity. “And only when prompted by the right Dutch Authorities we’ll act and almost immediately suspend the servers concerned. We cannot sit on the chair of a judge and decide if something is CP or not.”

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