Hacker groups Anonymous and LulzSecurity are calling for a boycott of online payment giant PayPal over its ban on accepting donations for Wikileaks. PayPal, Visa and Mastercard all began refusing to take donations for WikiLeaks in December. The move to ban WikiLeaks donations came after the the organization began releasing restricted State Department cables online.
Anonymous, a loose coalition of hackers and their supporters, has been linked to a number of large online protests and denial of service attacks. In 2008, Anonymous allegedly launched ‘Project Chanology’, a huge protest against the Church of Scientology. The protest consisted of a series of denial of service attacks against Scientology websites, prank calls and live protests in cities all over the world.
Lulz Security (aka LulzSec), labels itself as a “team of entertainment and security experts that specialise in the production of malicious comedic cybermaterials.” They have claimed responsibility for such deeds as a breach of user accounts from Sony Pictures in 2011 and briefly taking down a website of the CIA. They also allegedly were reponsible for hacking newspaper websites owned by News Corporation on July 18 and posting false reports of the death of CEO Rupert Murdoch.
PayPal continues to withhold funds from WikiLeaks, a beacon of truth in these dark times,” the groups said in a statement. “We encourage anyone using PayPal to immediately close their accounts and consider an alternative.”
“The first step to being truly free is not putting one’s trust into a company that freezes accounts when it feels like, or when it is pressured by the US government,” the groups added. PayPal has denied they stopped accepting payments to WikiLeaks because of pressure from the U.S. government.
The statement also said Anonymous and LulzSec were angry over the arrest of 14 people who were suspected to have participated in denial of Anonymous led service attacks against PayPal. The groups said they were “outraged” at the FBI’s “willingness to arrest and threaten those who are involved in ethical, modern cyber operations” against “corrupt and greedy organizations, such as PayPal.”