Hackers with Anonymous are angry with WikiLeaks after the whistleblower site introduced paywall for users who want to read Global Information files. Anonymous warns this means war!
Since 2012, Anonymous has backed WikiLeaks, to make sure the site will keep running. But it looks like Anonymous is ready to give up support for Assange’s website over a funding stunt. As of Wednesday night, WikiLeaks hinders access to the site content urging for a donation or a promotional gear purchase. Anonymous is angry over the paywall feature and warns it will retaliate.
Anonymous leaders had strong reactions after seeing the paywall on WikiLeaks. More than the fact that WikiLeaks is conditioning access to freedom information by charge, Anonymous hackers are angry that the website is asking money for information stolen by one of their fellow hackers.
The information is allegedly about presidential candidate Mitt Romney and it has generated just enough traffic to get the hackers’ attention. WikiLeaks itself had advertised Jeremy Hammond to be the one that stole the info. Hammond is a member of Anonymous that was arrested and charged earlier this year.
After more and more users complained about the paywall feature, several high profile Anonymous hackers have reacted on Twitter with threats. “WE DO NOT MAKE ANY MONEY WITH LEAKS. WE DESPISE ANYONE WHO DOES. Over and out” reads a message from AnonymousIRC, one of the most popular hackers in the group.
“How totally f*cking arrogant. You know what, taking it down isn’t enough. You remove it and apologize or f*cking EXPECT US” reads another war ultimatum from an Anonymous sub-group, called the People’s Liberation Front (PLF). “Good Anons are in PRISON right now (#FREEJeremyHammond) & indicted for the Stratfor Leak. You risk WAR with Anonymous. Fix it” the PLF added.
Other Anonymous members called the WikiLeaks paywall as “moneywhoring”, “pathetic” and an “insult” to “Anonymous and all information activists by prostituting the Stratfor Files and other disclosures that Hammond and Manning stand accuses of supplying”.
WikiLeaks didn’t react to Anonymous’ war threat but it explained via Twitter that the donation paywall can be ditched by sharing the link or just waiting for a few minutes. “A tweet, share, wait or donate campaign is not a ‘paywall’” explained WikiLeaks.
Oh dear, egg on face time for AnonymousIRC…
For a start they ‘neglected’ to mention that Wikileaks tweeted within 2 hours of the GI Files/US elections release that the fundraising campaign pop-up is a “tweet, share, donate or WAIT” page – ie. it disappears on its own accord if you wait a while – and that anyone not wishing either to donate or to wait, can just tweet or Facebook the page to make the pop-up go away and see the release info. It’s not a paywall. It never was.
Now I’m hearing that the AnonymousIRC account is, in fact, just two people. Two people who now need to do a bit of back-tracking because the adults have entered the room…
Here is an update pastebin by Anonymous Snr pointing out all the errors in AnonymousIRC’s original post:
AnonymousIRC is at least having the good grace to sound a bit sheepish on Twitter right about now.