The Anonymous hacktivist collective has taken responsibility for taking down a number of websites Thursday. Wikipedia

Anonymous has set its sights on a Web hosting service for refusing to take down child pornography as its next target with its Operation Darknet plan.

The operation is specifically targeting Web host Freedom Hosting for refusing to take down child pornography in a Hard Candy section of HiddenWiki. The group, known for hacking Sony, Visa, and recently the New York Stock Exchange, noticed that Freedom Hosting hosts the largest collection of child pornography on the Internet and demanded that it be taken down.

The Anonymous hackers, according to a statement on BGR, twice shut down the hosting service for refusing to cut ties with child pornographers hosting their illegal content through the service. The group also published a list of names of pedophiles it obtained through the Web site Lolita City, which Anonymous found to have more than 100 GB of child pornography.

On BGR, Anonymous detailed their demands as:

Remove all child pornography content from your servers. Refuse to provide hosting services to any website dealing with child pornography. This statement is not just aimed at Freedom Hosting, but everyone on the internet. It does not matter who you are, if we find you to be hosting, promoting, or supporting child pornography, you will become a target.

The operation, according to one source who asked to stay anonymous, is largely being run by Anonymous newcomers. The source noted that many of the older, experienced Anonymous veterans didn't know much about the leaders of the OPDark plan, but that Anonymous was 100 percent support for removing child pornography from the net.

The one issue is that the group could be making a few mistakes, the source told the IBTimes.

The source noted that the group has been to publish a list of alleged pedophiles posting child pornography and has made a few mistakes in the identification process. This source noted that it published a few of the wrong names in its Lolita City list, which unfairly identified persons that had nothing to do with child pornography. This may have annoyed some, but Anonymous as a whole -- as unwieldy and leaderless as usual -- ultimately supports the attack against Web servers hosting child pornography.

The group has been known to shut down Web sites that violate human rights or commit slights against ideas that Anonymous believes in. It recently briefly shut down the New York Stock Exchange's Web site in support of Occupy Wall Street and previously has shut down credit card companies in support of WikiLeaks.

The group doesn't have one main leader and anyone can call himself a part of Anonymous. In the past this has created issues when persons claiming to be Anonymous have taken down San Francisco transportation system BART's Web Site and Kanye's Web site just for the heck of it, much to the chagrin of the majority of Anonymous.

This has led to some disagreements within the group and public criticism, but the openness of Anonymous is unlikely to change anytime soon.