Anonymous is a loosely-affiliated group of hackers and Internet activists that often makes headlines for their online protests. And, it's often hard to tell if they're good or evil because they have taken on so many different types of organizations. The group has hacked everyone from the Israeli military to the KKK in the past. And now, they're going after Islamic militants in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris.
A French chapter of the group known as #francophone is leading this latest attack against extremist websites in order to defend free speech, and its members posted a message about its mission on the website Pastebin.
"It is clear that certain people do not want, in a free world, the inviolable and sacred right to express their opinions in whatever manner they wish," the post says. "Freedom of expression is a non-negotiable thing; an attack on it is an attack on democracy. Get ready for a massive reaction and frontal assault, because defending liberty is at the heart of our movement."
#francophone has named its mission #OpCharlieHebdo, and a Twitter account under the same name that has over 54,000 followers
The Anonymous group has already shut down a website used by many French-speaking Islamic extremists called Ansar-Alhaqq. The group is also going after the Twitter accounts of known militants. But, #francophone won't shut down sites just because they're associated with Muslims.
Interestingly, the Twitter feed also makes it clear that #OpCharlieHebdo does not condone racism or the conflation of Islam and terrorism, and has no interest in taking down ordinary Muslim sites.
The group is posting regular updates about #OpCharlieHebdo on its Twitter page.
— OpCharlieHebdo (@OpCharlieHebdo) January 10, 2015