December 9th, 2010 15:19 EST
The Truth About Operation Payback and WikiLeaks
Currently, there is a large team of people united in their conviction of bringing down various outlets and websites that have shown opposition to WikiLeaks. The team, known as "Anonymous" who are engaging in "Operation Payback," are currently launching a protest against api.paypal.com with something known as a DDoS, or a distributed denial of service." For those of you less than computer literate, a DDoS is one in which a plethora of users flood a targeted system and strive to max out their bandwidth, essentially choking the targeted website and crashing their server. Since people began using DDoS against WikiLeaks, these freedom fighters have decided to strike back. They have already hit the websites of MasterCard and Visa, as well as the site of the prosecutor in Sweden that had Julian Assange put away with a laughably false "sex by surprise/rape" charge.
The participants in this demonstration insist that they are not hackers, as this particular action can be done by anyone, especially with one of the methods that has been devised to partake in the flooding of the targets. Some involved admittedly are hackers, but many are just there to help in any way they can, and one of those ways is the browser version of the LOIC - a tool devised to send packets of information repeatedly to a specific target in order to flood the system and stress their bandwidth limit. This simplistic tool is how they have been able to disable api.paypal.com - contrary to media reports, the tool doesn`t send malware, viruses or anything detrimental to the target, and they are NOT hacking account information or even touching people`s bank accounts.
(Link to LOIC: http://files.hl2forums.com/uploads/1e55b2e_JS_LOIC_v0_1.htm)
So, why api.paypal.com? PayPal recently dropped WikiLeaks due to their involvement in what they call "criminal actions." Anonymous declared that they would go after anyone detrimental to WikiLeaks - you can put two and two together from there. So far, the revolution has effectively paralyzed api.paypal.com due to a massive turnout of users united by a guiding principle: "WikiLeaks is being unfairly stifled by governments and the media alike, and as a result, we`re going to stand up for what we think is right." I`m sure each individual would give you a somewhat different explanation, but that`s the gist of it.
The way I see it, mass media and the government are two bullies that walk hand in hand. They have the power to control what you read and beat back anything that dissents. That`s what they`ve been trying to do with WikiLeaks - they`ve been telling you for weeks that Julian Assange is an anti-American threat who will get all of our troops killed and stretches the truth. Well, I`m here to tell you that the government fears WikiLeaks because of the revelations made and the fact that a mere fraction of the cables at Assange`s disposal have been released. As a result, they insist that WikiLeaks is an un-American operation and try to flock the sheep into the herd of their choosing - a herd of which is gated off to reality on the outside.
Operation Payback, however, deviates from that herd and decides to be the voice of reason in this cyber war. The goal is simple, just like their message: To bring awareness of the injustice perpetuated by the likes of Amazon, PayPal and the government by censoring and suffocating sites like WikiLeaks. Until the unwarranted stifling stops, more DDoS against sites defamatory to WikiLeaks will likely follow from this worldwide coalition dedicated to preserving the truth and freedom of speech.
Note: The author of this article is no longer affiliated with theSOP.