It’s not the first time, and it probably won’t be the last. Loosely tied hacker group Anonymous has begun attacking the Internet presence of Westboro Baptist Church, after church members announced that they would picket at Sandy Hook Elementary School following last Friday’s horrific massacre, in which 20 children and six adults were killed.
Westboro Baptist Church member Shirley Phelps-Roper — also the daughter of pastor Fred Phelps — made tweeted the promise on Saturday. Anonymous, which is not a fan of the church, previously went so far as to hack the church’s site while on-air with Phelps-Roper during a radio interview.
In a video posted on Saturday by @kyanonymous, the hacker collective said, in part (full transcript here):
We will not allow you to corrupt the minds of America with your seeds of hatred. We will not allow you to inspire aggression to the social factions which you deem inferior. We will render you obsolete. We will destroy you. We are coming.
Not satisfied with just hacking WBC’s site, Anonymous also posted the private info of many WBC members online. The information includes email addresses, phone numbers and home addresses.
WBC’s threats of picketing Sandy Hook Elementary School fall into its same line of anti-gay hate. WBC has long said that the deaths of service members in the Middle East are due to America’s liberal treatment of homosexuals.
In a tweet on Sunday, Margie Phelps (recognize that last name?) said:
And we’ll tell you those kids died for fag marriage. #StopMarryingFags MT @Salon: Contact Westboro about picket at #SandyHook public mem.
While we can read Margie Phelps’ tweets, we can’t read Shirley Phelps-Roper’s. That’s because her Twitter account has been hacked by well-known 15-year-old hacker Cosmo the God.
Finally, while not directly attributed to the group, Anonymous is publicizing a petition on the White House’s “We the People” site. The petition, begun by user GrantB, says:
This group has been recognized as a hate group by organizations, such as The Southern Poverty Law Center, and has repeatedly displayed the actions typical of hate groups.
Their actions have been directed at many groups, including homosexuals, military, Jewish people and even other Christians. They pose a threat to the welfare and treatment of others and will not improve without some form of imposed regulation.
The petition, begun on Friday, has reached over 115,000 signatures. It only needed 25,000 over a one month period to receive an official response from the Obama Administration.