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On the same day a high-level LulzSec “operative” was arrested, Anonymous and LulzSec announced #OpPayPal, a method to get back at online payment service PayPal without hacking, and legally.
#OpPayPal might be called an offshoot of #AntiSec. Posting on their site of choice, pastebin, the two hacker groups asked its members and supporters to begin, not just a boycott of PayPal, but to begin cancelling accounts. Here’s what the message said, in part:
PayPal continues to withhold funds from WikiLeaks, a beacon of truth in these dark times. By simply standing up for ourselves and uniting the people, PayPal still sees it fit to wash its hands of any blame, and instead encourages and assists law enforcement to hunt down participants in the AntiSec movement.
Quite simply, we, the people, are disgusted with these injustices. We will not sit down and let ourselves be trampled upon by any corporation or government. We are not scared of you, and that is something for you to be scared of. We are not the terrorists here: you are.
We encourage anyone using PayPal to immediately close their accounts and consider an alternative. The first step to being truly free is not putting one’s trust into a company that freezes accounts when it feels like, or when it is pressured by the U.S. government. PayPal’s willingness to fold to legislation should be proof enough that they don’t deserve the customers they get. They do not deserve your business, and they do not deserve your respect.
Join us in our latest operation against PayPal – tweet pictures of your account closure, tell us on IRC, spread the word. Anonymous has become a powerful channel of information, and unlike the governments of the world, we are here to fight for you. Always.
In terms of WikiLeaks and PayPal, in December of 2010, Anonymous members used a DDoS attack against PayPal after PayPal suspended payment processing for whistleblower site WikiLeaks. Although the attack did not knock PayPal offline, it did hamper operations of the site.
Just last week, the Department of Justice arrested 14 suspected Anonymous members in connection with the attack on PayPal.
According to Tweets from AnonProof, there were at one time four PayPal account closures per minute. Whether or not that’s true … who really knows.
Other Tweets stated that PayPal had disabled the ability to cancel accounts online. Once again, that needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
Some theorized that the drop in eBay’s stock price on Wednesday (about 3 percent) was related to #OpPayPal, but financial analysts discounted that theory.
Earlier on Wednesday, Britain’s Metropolitan Police Service’s Police Central e-Crime Unit announced it had arrested a 19-year-old man suspected of being “Topiary,” the frequently “seen” spokeperson for LulzSec.