A fatal shooting last week, in Dawson Creek B.C., has drawn the ire of the online hacktivist group Anonymous. Police were called to the scene when a disturbance was reported, and encountered a man in a mask armed with a knife. Police say the masked man approached them in an aggressive manner, and when he refused to obey the officers’ commands, he was shot. A witness says he continued to hold onto his knife even as he was bleeding on the ground. The man was taken to the hospital, but died of his injuries.
A pastebin published by Anonymous claims the deceased man as one of their own, and vows revenge for what they consider to be a murder. They claim the man was a non-violent protester, who was shot without provocation. They say this is the 4th anonymous member killed by security forces around the world. The document details a plan called Operation Anon Down, which describes retaliatory measures to be taken against the RCMP. It calls for the doxing of the officer responsible for the shooting, claiming that the public has a right to know the identity of killer cops. It also calls for a protest of all provincial RCMP headquarters by Canadian members of Anonymous.
On Sunday, the official RCMP websites and some websites affiliated with the RCMP were taken down after reportedly being hit with DDoS attacks. Several Anonymous affiliated twitter accounts have claimed responsibility for the attack. Keith Murphy, the CEO of the Ontario based security firm Defence Intelligence, warned that Anonymous could be a very serious threat, depending on how many of its members actually take an interest in this operation against the RCMP. Anonymous could potentially mobilize over a million people based on the number of twitter followers, and how many of them decide to participate would determine how big of a threat they are to the RCMP. He also encourages the public, especially members of Anonymous, not to jump to conclusions about the shooting until the investigation is complete.
However, it seems that the worst threat from Anonymous may already be over for the RCMP. After much infighting and paranoia, an Anonymous associated account called for an end to Operation Anon Down. This tweet was widely retweeted, including several major Anonymous accounts, suggesting fairly widespread agreement with its message.
Do you think Anonymous is in the right here? Or are there not enough details to make an informed judgement? Leave your comments below.