“While it is true that Facebook has at least 60,000 servers, it is still possible to bring it down.”
These are the words of the anonymous voice that purports to represent Anonymous in a video posted to YouTube today.
“An online war has begun between Anonymous, the people, and the government of the United States,” the narrator begins. The reason: SOPA, PIPA and other perceived threats to Internet rights.
In order to bring down Facebook, the video asks for everyone who understands and supports Anonymous’ position to participate in this online protest. This is a protest that began over the last week, says the narrator, with attacks on the CBS.com, Warner Brothers, and FBI sites.
The narrator suggests that anyone who supports the cause download a program in order to participate in a Facebook attack.
The attack, he says, needs to be coordinated for a specific time in order to bring down the servers. So the time chosen is 12 a.m., January 28.
“Do not fear,” continues the narrator. “There is no way you can get caught.” He adds: “They cannot take down that large of a group.”
What is at stake, he says, is the fate of the Internet.
The YouTube account associated with this threat appears to have some Anonymous connection. There is more than one of the group’s videos posted to it.
However, not so long ago, another YouTube video was posted, purporting to be in Anonymous’ name, in which the promise was that Facebook would go down November 5. It didn’t.
What isn’t entirely clear from the video is why Facebook has been singled out. Is it the company’s relatively tardy opposition to SOPA? The video seems to simply align Facebook with the government, without offering further explanation.
Between now and Saturday, there will be claims and counterclaims as to the possibilities of this operation.
I have contacted Facebook to seek the company’s reaction and will update accordingly.
Can people truly live without status updates? Perhaps Saturday we will see.
Update, 2:10 p.m. PT: A tweet from the AnonOps Twitter account denies that this video has anything to do with Anonymous: “Again we must say that we will not attack #Facebook! Again the mass media lie.”
Facebook, for its part, told me through a representative that it’s ready for attacks from Anonymous or anyone else.
The representative said: “We expect Anonymous just like we expect any other attack on any other day. Due to our size, we face the same threats as seen everywhere else on the Web, but we have developed partnerships, backend systems, and protocols to confront the full range of security challenges we face. Facebook has always been committed to protecting our users’ information, and we will continue to innovate and work tirelessly to defend this data.”