In a joint statement from Anonymous and LulzSec released today, the hacktivist collectives lashed out at both the FBI and PayPal, saying that they are “terrorists” enacting injustices on America.
“In recent weeks, we've found ourselves outraged at the FBI's willingness to arrest and threaten those who are involved in ethical, modern cyber operations,” begins the statement. The message goes on to call law enforcement “ridiculous” for going after suspects believed to be linked to Anonymous and says that the denial of service attacks waged on websites to shut them down does not warrant 15 years behind bars of hefty fees. “What the FBI needs to learn is that there is a vast difference between adding one's voice to a chorus and digital sit-in with Low Orbit Ion Cannon, and controlling a large botnet of infected computers. And yet both of these are punishable with exactly the same fine and sentence,” they write.
The hacktivists add that they are outraged that PayPal continues to withhold funds belonging to WikiLeaks, and calls them out for assisting law enforcement in hunting down alleged donators.
“Quite simply, we, the people, are disgusted with these injustices. We will not sit down and let ourselves be trampled upon by any corporation or government. We are not scared of you, and that is something for you to be scared of. We are not the terrorists here: you are.”
Together, Anonymous and LulzSec urge their audience to close their PayPal accounts. “The first step to being truly free is not putting one's trust into a company that freezes accounts when it feels like, or when it is pressured by the U.S. government. PayPal's willingness to fold to legislation should be proof enough that they don't deserve the customers they get. They do not deserve your business, and they do not deserve your respect,” they write.
Within hours of calling on their followers to shut down their PayPal accounts, Anonymous relayed via Twitter that a source working for the online payment site has confirmed that over 24,000 accounts had been closed.
The hacktivists are asking people to tweet photographs of their closed accounts and spread the word. “Anonymous has become a powerful channel of information, and unlike the governments of the world, we are here to fight for you,” they write.
Last year, Anonymous waged DDos attacks on PayPal, Mastercard and Visa in response to the corporations’ stance against WikiLeaks. Earlier this month, a loophole allowed the whistleblower site to momentarily receive funds sent through Visa, bringing in upwards of six-figures for WikiLeaks.
This afternoon, The Associated Press reports that Scotland Yard's cybercrime unit arrested a 19-year-old UK boy believed to operate in LulzSec under the name "Topiary." In the past, Topiary took credit for being one of the six members making up LulzSec.