Anonymous released the IP addresses of 190 pedophiles on Tuesday after previously threatening Web hosting services as a part of its Operation DarkNet.
Anonymous, known for its takedowns of Sony, Visa, and government Web sites, said its decision to freely release the information was due to how long it'd take for the FBI and other authorities to pursue the offenders.
They'll take forever... due process for some of these guys are so weak, one hacker told Gawker's Adrian Chen in a chat room. The best way for Law Enforcement to react is for us to release it. They can chose to follow or not.
Anonymous was able to obtain the information through tricking the users into downloading a tracking device. Gawker reports that Anonymous members created a version of Tor -- a service meant to wipe away one's online tracks -- to document everywhere those users went for 24 hours.
Anonymous posted the fake Tor update on the child pornography Web site Hard Candy in order to lure child porn enthusiasts into the Whiny da Pedo trap. Anonymous was able to see all of the inappropriate Web sites that the users went to and subsequently released that information along with their IP addresses.
The hacktivist group has attempted to contact Interpol and the FBI with the information, but have yet to hear back from the organizations. According to a map released by the group, the majority of the caught pedophiles reside in the United States.
The release signals the beginning of what should be a busy week for the mostly leaderless group. Anonymous has also promised to release information about Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas after the dangerous cartel captured a Mexican Anonymous member.
We want the Army and the Navy to know that we are fed up with the criminal group Zetas, who have concentrated on kidnapping, stealing and blackmailing in different ways, an Anonymous video said. One of them is charging every honest and hardworking citizen of Veracruz, who bust their rears days after day to feed their families.
We can't defend ourselves with a weapon, but if we can do this with their cars, houses, bars, brothels, and everything else in their possession. It won't be difficult. We all know who they are and where they are.
Anonymous intends to release the information on Nov. 5 -- Guy Fawkes Day -- though the organization might back down a bit from its initial goals. The Guardian reported Wednesday that Anonymous might not do all that it initially promised due to possible retribution by the Los Zetas. One security firm, Stratfor, wrote that Anonymous exposed itself to harm by taking on the cartel.
Loss of life will be a certain consequence if Anonymous releases the identities of individuals cooperating with cartels, a Stratfor representative wrote on the firm's Web site. The validity of the information Anonymous has threatened to reveal is uncertain, as it might not have been vetted. This could pose an indiscriminate danger to individuals mentioned in whatever Anonymous decides to release.
Even if the group doesn't carry out its attack on the Mexican cartel, it will certainly do something to honor Fawkes, according to a source. The source called it a very important day for most Anonymous members and that the group would certainly do something to honor him.
Fawkes was famously executed after attempting to assassinate King James by blowing up the House of Lords in 1605. Anonymous members wear Fawkes masks and use the day as a way to promote anarchy.