Anonymous splinter group now targeting Democrats for SOPA support
SOPA and PIPA may be in zombie mode, having burned up in the fire of SOPA “Blackout Day” protests and the largest attack by Anonymous on record, but activists who opposed the legislation understand that the Internet wars have only just begun.
Barrett Brown, often recognized as a public face of Anonymous, announced that his own group, Project PM, will be keeping an eye on Democratic congressmen who hope to “quietly support” the legislation.
“Yesterday my ProjectPM group began preparations for a campaign to go after any Democratic congressmen who hope to quietly support SOPA without drawing any negative attention that might damage their cred among liberals,” Brown told the Daily Caller in an email.
While Republicans evacuated their support of SOPA and PIPA — the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House, and the Protect IP Act in the Senate — en masse Wednesday and Thursday after constituents flooded their offices with calls and emails, only a few Democrats did the same.
The bills were promoted as bipartisan legislation, but the top five beneficiaries of campaign donations from supporters of SOPA and PIPA — amounting to a sum of over $1 million — were all Democrats.
The Daily Caller previously reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who until Friday had planned on introducing PIPA to the Senate floor as a “jobs bill,” received over $3.5 million dollars in campaign donations.
“OpDonkeyPunch is currently in information-gathering phase, ” Brown told The Daily Caller, “we had intended to begin work tonight, but the change in situation now needs to be assessed. This will give us time to decide who is most vulnerable to a series of targeted propaganda campaigns of the sort that will bring attention to themselves and their donors, among other things.”
“OpDonkeyPunch” was first reported during the “OpMegaUpload” firestorm Thursday by RT.com.
The Democratic Party has often been the financial and intellectual beneficiary of Hollywood glamour; President Barack Obama’s own presidential campaigns benefit from the pockets of movie stars. When the Democratic-led Federal Communications Commission voted to pass so-called “net neutrality” regulations, which placed Internet service providers at the whim of government regulators, it was the Democrats who upheld the regulation against a Republican-led effort to overrule the regulation and bring “net neutrality” into the congressional forum for debate.
Former Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, who was named chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America in March 2011, said in a statement on the MPAA blog (where readers can also download a hi-res photo of Dodd) that the MPAA hopes “the dynamics of the conversation can change and become a sincere discussion about how best to protect the millions of American jobs affected by the theft of American intellectual property.”
The bills in their current incarnation were declared dead on Friday following announcements by Reid and SOPA’s sponsor, Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith. When asked by The Daily Caller whether or not Anonymous would strike back again should another so-called piracy bill come down the pipe, Brown responded:
“I’m not yet sure what Anonymous will do when this comes back on the table — that will depend on the new form that SOPA and PIPA take, but it will certainly involve more DDOS attacks, at the very least.”