This an article by Edial Dekker, a Dutch blogger and student, who witnessed the on-line attack on Scientology.
For many years there have been a lot of popular on-line partitions where people participated in to make a change to the world. Not only on-line injustice, but also world problems have always been part of the on-line communities. Recently did we not only give the Greenpeace-whale the name Mister Splashy Pants , but we have also saved a man’s holiday. This is very nice and all, but can social networks and masses of on-line Internet users really make a difference? Last Thursday we got some answers…
If you haven’t seen Tom Cruise movie in which he talks about Scientology, be sure to check it out because when it was taken down on YouTube by the Scientology [This video has been removed due to a copyright claim by the Church of Scientology] hell broke lose on many social networks. Last Thursday – a group called ‘Anon‘ (stands for Anonymous) – used Digg.com to plan an attack later that night against websites related to the Church of Scientology. Everything related to Anon, or the Scientology went to frontpage in just minutes…
More and more arguments held against the CoS were spread and the romantic slogan ‘We are Anonymous, We are Legion, We do not Forgive, We do not Forget’ was used by the group who named themselves Anon. IRC was used to organize the rest of the night. The Scientology channel ‘#xenu’ was already taken over and became more popular by the minute. There was a revolution-kind-of-way to express your feelings in the channel, we ‘would make them pay for what they were doing’, ‘it ends here tonight’ was the general consensus within the (full) IRC channel. And now Anon released download links to a DDOS program, which was used (obviously) to make a joint attack; with the evil church as the main target.
What struck me was the organization of this operation, not only were there websites open within minutes to help people installing their Anti-DDOS programs onto their own computers, there was even an iTunes ‘Scientology’ radio broadcasting news reports about the project called ‘Chanology’. At midnight (GMT +1) the first target attack was announced and people were getting really excited to be part of this ‘revolution’. About ten minutes later the first server died, six others would follow later.
Is this a new way of media activism? Social networks can make it very easy for people to organize together and plan raids like these, and the action shows that there is no need to be a geek to be part of these kind of flood attacks. Yesterday Anon announced another call to action participating in street demonstrations on the 10th of February around the world. The event has gotten a lot of media attention already, and will probably trigger more and more people to do their part of the crusade against the Church of Scientology.
The original Tom Cruise video: