Anonymous Hacks Westboro Baptist Church Over Sandy Hook School Picket
After learning that the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church announced plans to picket outside Sandy Hook Elementary, the school where 20-year-old Adam Lanza took the lives of more than 20 children on Friday, the hacking group Anonymous leaked the church's leaders' names, email addresses and phone numbers in retaliation, Gay Star News reports.
WBC officials announced on Sunday that its members would picket the school in Newtown, Conn., and claimed that the massacre took place because of the state's law that legalizes same-sex marriage. In typical fashion, the group said it would also picket the funerals of the children who died in the shooting and hold up signs that read, "God Hates Fags" and similar hateful messages.
The spokeswoman for the WBC, Shirley Phelps-Roper, who is also the daughter of the organization's leader Fred Phelps, tweeted: "Westboro will picket Sandy Hook Elementary School to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment." Her father later added, "That's the message that this evil nation and world need: that God Almighty is on the march & nothing is gonna stop Him."
The hacktivist group Anonymous, however, took issue with WBC's plan and decided to teach them a lesson by leaking the church's leaders' personal information. Anonymous also went after Phelps-Roper's Twitter account (@DearShirley) and promoted a petition to have the WBC recognized as a hate group by the White House. More than 113,000 people have signed the petition, which was created on Dec. 14 and required 25,000 signatures. The article also points out that other members of the church also had their Twitter accounts hacked by Anonymous. The Southern Poverty Law deemed Westboro a hate group in 2010.
The hacktivist who took over Phelps-Roper's account goes by the Internet handle CosmoTheGod and changed the WBC's leader's Twitter background to an image of the state of Connecticut with the text, "Pray for Newtown." The Anonymous member also retweeted several users who supported the group's attack.
"Not normally a fan of this stuff, but I have to say, well done @cosmothegod, taking over @DearShirley's offensive twitter. Very Robin Hood," @mstiefvater wrote. "Score one for the good guys @cosmothegod has taken over Westboro Baptists @dearshirley account. Fucking love it!! Keep up the good work!" @chauncified tweeted.
"As a gay man who is tired of wbc's homophobic shit, I have to say thank you to @cosmothegod for taking over @DearShirley account. Thank you," @iamnot2ndclass said.
CNET notes that Anonymous is calling the hacking against Westboro #OpWestBoro and that the group posted a video explaining its actions.
"We will not allow you to corrupt the minds of America with your seeds of hatred," a robotic voice says. "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."
You can watch the whole video by clicking here.