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Westboro Baptist Church Tells Anonymous: Bring It, Cowards

Anonymous Logo What happens when two massively controversial instigators end up trolling each other? A massive troll pile-up ensues, making a mess of the Interwebz. (For those not familiar with the language, a troll is an online persona that acts in incendiary, deliberately troublesome ways for a reaction.) Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas congregation headed by hate-monger Fred Phelps, was apparently issued a recent ultimatum by the hacktivist collective Anonymous, still high from its WikiLeaks defense and Tunisia infiltration). Phelps's negative campaign against myriad targets, from gays to dead soldiers, finally got the purveyors of goatse's goat, and they wrote:
The time for us to be idle spectators in your inhumane treatment of fellow Man has reached its apex, and we shall now be moved to action. Thus, we give you a warning: Cease & desist your protest campaign in the year 2011, return to your homes in Kansas, & close your public Web sites. Should you ignore this warning, you will meet with the vicious retaliatory arm of ANONYMOUS: We will target your public Websites, and the propaganda & detestable doctrine that you promote will be eradicated; the damage incurred will be irreversible, and neither your institution nor your congregation will ever be able to fully recover... The warning has been given. What happens from here shall be determined by you.
Of course, never ones to take losses or lick their wounds in private, Phelps and Co. issued their own decree, saying: "A puddle of pimple-faced nerds organized under the cowardly banner of 'Anonymous' claim they plan to hack Westboro's Websites... Bad miscalculation, girls!"

However, Anonymous says that the initial letter was a "troll" move in and of itself. The hacker group posted an "open letter" moments ago, and this letter has a much cheekier, more familiar Anonymous style. (Plus, it's signed off with the now infamous Anonymous signature.) The new memorandum denounced the first "open letter" as "a trap." It goes on to read: "They've got their ports wide open to harvest IPs to sue. Don't DDoS, and boycott Operation Westboro. If you really want to continue messing with them, just send them a few male prostitutes and faxes of goatse. Nothing more." The missive goes on to chide the media for helping the story take root, and also suggests Anonymous has bigger fish to fry. The letter doesn't exactly let Phelps off the hook, as it vaguely promises to return -- but the collective is too busy right now.

Aside from the 20 to 40 people related to Phelps, it appears that the entire world thinks the WBC is a bunch of nutcases. But Anonymous, in its vehement campaign for free speech, appears to recognize the Reverend's right to be a nutcase. The attack, the new letter claims, is a hoax, was invented by WBC to place itself in the media spotlight. This, of course, assumes that WBC members post on Anonymous messageboards, which, we venture, is unlikely. Thus is the nature of Anonymous: that anyone with any DDoS experience or hacking knowledge can start a digital, anonymous protest.

It appears that an appropriate measurement of fame in 2011 is whether or not the two biggest trolls in the media hate your affiliation (especially Westboro, who seems to be indiscriminate, targeting Arizona shooting victims, Democrats and the Swedish). Eventually, of course, their crosshairs will focus on each other. In the meantime, we are just waiting for GodHatesSwitched.com.

Tags: 4chan, anonymous, ddos, FredPhelps, hacking, hacktivists, security, top, web, WestboroBaptistChurch