The hacktivist group Anonymous has renewed its long-standing war with the Westboro Baptist Church after the church's spokeswoman, Shirley Phelps-Roper, Tweeted the WBC's intentions to picket the funerals of the dozens of people who were killed in last week's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Click to viewSadly, the WBC's heartless, tasteless, and hateful plans are typical for the group and hardly surprising. The video to the left, which they posted yesterday, is titled "God sent the shooter" and is intended to be a "message to Connecticut." (It is extremely offensive.) In retaliation, Anonymous published the personal information of many of the WBC's members—phone numbers and email and home addresses—explaining in a video posted on Vimeo:
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.
Additionally, Phelps-Roper's Twitter account was hacked, with a 15-year-old infamously known as Cosmo the God taking responsibility and changing the avatar and background to a sympathetic graphic that reads "Pray for Newtown."
This isn't the first time that the hactivist group has locked horns with the WBC. Anonymous hacked into one of the WBC's websites two years ago while live on air during a radio interview confrontation with Phelps-Roper, who insisted that the church's websites were "protected by God." It turns out they aren't. And if the religion really believes that the gruesome murder of 20 little children was all part of God's "work in executing his judgment," then surely they must believe that holds true for the hackings. Right?
Of course what Anonymous has done is illegal, nut it will be interesting to see how the WBC will react to a group hijacking its internet space and violate members' privacy, when for years, the church has hijacked tragedy and violated others' grief.
Anonymous Attacks Westboro Baptist Church Over Plans to Picket Sandy Hook Funerals [BetaBeat]
Twitter Account of Westboro Baptist Church Spokesperson Hacked; Teen Hacker Cosmo the God Claims Responsibility [BetaBeat]