Anonymous Takes Down a Child Porn Host

A rogue and loosely connected group of Internet hackers, most often tied to malicious attacks on computer networks recently channelled their energies into something good: shutting down one of the world’s largest hosts of child pornography websites. The group, known as Anonymous, is most often tied to denial of service (DoS) attacks against corporations or government entity with whom they disagree politically. But their latest effort cannot be construed as anything other than good for the general public.

Anonymous targeted a web hosting company known as Freedom Hosting, which made it possible to host child pornography sites using hidden servers that can only be accessed using the TOR routing service and an encrypted web browser. The security with which this hosting service was set up indicates that users of their websites could not accidentally stumble across the pornography. Rather, they had to know what they wanted and how to get it.

Anonymous stepped in and shut the host down after Freedom Hosting refused to heed the groups warning to remove the illegal content. And even though Freedom Hosting managed to restore backups of all their sites, Anonymous went in and shut them down again. They have committed to taking down the host as often as needed to get them to stop hosting child pornography.

The only downside to this operation is the fact that a legitimate web hosting company, known as freedomhosting.com, could possibly suffer by association. Both hosts are completely separate entities, but the name recognition could spell trouble for the legitimate company’s marketing and customer retention efforts. Hopefully Freedom Hosting will eventually see the folly of fighting with Anonymous and simply give up. If so we can credit the hacker group with doing something good for society.

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