According to a statement by the online activist group Anonymous, a huge attack on the popular social networking site Facebook is planned for November 5th, aimed at "destroying" Facebook.

Anonymous Logo

While there’s still debate on whether this statement is real and has actually come from the clan, its format is identical to its previous statements, published both in text form and in a text-to-speech video. On its statement, Anonymous claims that Facebook has sold sensitive information belonging to its users to authoritarian governments, such as Egypt’s. According to Anonymous, Facebook’s privacy settings are meaningless, since all data is recorded on the site’s servers and can be retrieved at anytime, if the site’s management so wishes:

Facebook keeps saying that it gives users choices, but that is completely false. It gives users the illusion of and hides the details away from them "for their own good" while they then make millions off of you. When a service is "free," it really means they’re making money off of you and your information.

Anonymous has been known for publishing these threatening statements in the past. Earlier this year, the group announced "Operation Sony", an organized attack that later led PlayStation Network to be down for nearly 1 month. Late Monday, AntiSec, the hacking wing of Anonymous, broke into the computer systems of several law enforcement agencies all across the United States, leaking 10 GB worth of sensitive information onto the Internet.

Anonymous is seen by most of the media as a criminal organization due to the concrete break-ins it has performed, yet its supporters argue that the group’s interventions will be decisive for the future accountability and transparency of the large businesses and governments Anonymous deems reckless.

There’s the possibility that this threat isn’t actually real, since anyone calling themselves "Anonymous" could technically release a threatening statement. Moreover, it’s hard to believe that Facebook as we know it would actually be "destroyed", no matter how large the attack, leading me to believe that this statement might be more of a public stunt than an meaningful threat. On the other hand, Anonymous has shown in the past how much it is capable of: large-scale attacks causing damage to many people.

I guess we’ll have to wait until November 5th to find out. Until then, I’ll leave you with the official video statement:

Anonymous’ statement in full:

Attention citizens of the world,

We wish to get your attention, hoping you heed the warnings as follows:
Your medium of communication you all so dearly adore will be destroyed. If you are a willing hacktivist or a guy who just wants to protect the freedom of information then join the cause and kill facebook for the sake of your own privacy.

Facebook has been selling information to government agencies and giving clandestine access to information security firms so that they can spy on people from all around the world. Some of these so-called whitehat infosec firms are working for authoritarian governments, such as those of Egypt and Syria.

Everything you do on Facebook stays on Facebook regardless of your "privacy" settings, and deleting your account is impossible, even if you "delete" your account, all your personal info stays on Facebook and can be recovered at any time. Changing the privacy settings to make your Facebook account more "private" is also a delusion. Facebook knows more about you than your family. http://www.physorg.com/news170614271.htmlhttp://itgrunts.com/2010/10/07/facebook-steals-numbers-and-data-from-your-iph….

You cannot hide from the reality in which you, the people of the internet, live in. Facebook is the opposite of the Antisec cause. You are not safe from them nor from any government. One day you will look back on this and realise what we have done here is right, you will thank the rulers of the internet, we are not harming you but saving you.

The riots are underway. It is not a battle over the future of privacy and publicity. It is a battle for choice and informed consent. It’s unfolding because people are being raped, tickled, molested, and confused into doing things where they don’t understand the consequences. Facebook keeps saying that it gives users choices, but that is completely false. It gives users the illusion of and hides the details away from them "for their own good" while they then make millions off of you. When a service is "free," it really means they’re making money off of you and your information.

Think for a while and prepare for a day that will go down in history. November 5 2011, #opfacebook . Engaged.
This is our world now. We exist without nationality, without religious bias. We have the right to not be surveilled, not be stalked, and not be used for profit. We have the right to not live as slaves.

We are anonymous
We are legion
We do not forgive
We do not forget
Expect us

UPDATE: Anonymous has now confirmed via their Twitter account that only some of anonymous members are organizing this operation against Facebook, and not all of Anonymous agrees with it.

#OpFacebook is being organised by some Anons. This does not necessarily mean that all of #Anonymous agrees with it.

(via Business Insider, The Village Voice)

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