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The online hacktivist group Anonymous has announced a plan to destroy the Daily Dot website as a result of its work with FBI snitch Hector "Sabu" Monsegur.
Anonymous has launched Operation Destroy Daily Dot (#OpDDD) after the online newspaper published the latest piece written by Monsegur. The piece was a review of CSI:Cyber which is the latest instalment of the CSI TV series that revolves around the police working with hackers - something Monsegur is almost uniquely positioned to comment on.
Anonymous is calling on all members to boycott the companies advertising on the Daily Dot website and stop following the publication on social media and linking to articles on the website.
Monsegur is a former prominent member of Anonymous, leading the infamous LulzSec offshoot before being caught by the FBI and turning informant, helping to identify his fellow Anonymous members and leading to the arrest and imprisonment of many of them.
Monsegur walked free from a New York courtroom in May 2014 despite pleading guilty to taking part in cyber-attacks on the likes of Sony, Nintendo, Visa and Mastercard. This was down to what the court called Monsegur's "extraordinarily valuable and productive" cooperation.
Monsegur has had a close relationship with the Daily Dot and a couple of its reporters since his release, and had previously written a review of the cybercrime film Blackhat for the publication.
While Anonymous is a wide-ranging and diverse idea, one of its prime directives has always been that it does not attack or censor the media, but that rule appears to be broken with its latest campaign.
Stabbed in the back
In a video accompanying the launch of #OpDDD, the group says: "Anonymous must make an example out of the cancer which seeks to build their careers, and use our legion as their platform to build their own personal wealth while at the same time pushing their benevolent daggers deep into our backs."
While it seems that Anonymous won't be using its traditional tactic of DDoS attacks to take the Daily Dot website offline, it is encouraging its followers and fellow activists to boycott the companies who advertise on the Daily Dot.
The group is also calling on activists to stop following the social media accounts of the website and block anyone they find retweeting links to the website.
The Daily Dot has a long history of working with Anonymous and a number of its reporters have been deeply involved with the group for many years. This it seems, makes the apparent treachery all the worse:
"Giving Sabu a platform to speak from while having built your media empire on our work is treachery that must be punished not only by Anonymous but the communities which our legion has assisted during the past decade," Anonymous said.
In response to the campaign, the website issued the following statement to IBTimes UK:
The Daily Dot believes that every voice matters, including those of our contributors. While we do not necessarily agree with the opinions of those contributors, we do feel that it is important to share a mix of unique and diverse perspectives through the content we publish.
Sabu - a "notoriously mediocre hacker"
One of the hackers Monsegur worked with was Jeremy Hammond, a man who Monsegur helped the FBI track down and who is now serving a 10-year sentence for his part in the Stratfor attacks.
Grace North, who runs the Free Jeremy Hammond website has written an angry response to the publication of the latest Daily Dot article calling Monsegur a "notoriously mediocre hacker" and criticising the website:
"The Daily Dot, with this latest article, has shown that it has no interest in taking these ethical concerns seriously. They have become simply another outlet for Sabu to peddle his FBI-approved platform of manipulation and lies."