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Anonymous Hacks Westboro Baptist Church 1061

Posted by timothy
from the which-side-are-you-on-boys dept.
elashish14 writes "The Westboro Baptist Church stated earlier this week that they would be picketing the funerals of the victims of Newtown Connecticut's tragic shooting in an effort to bring awareness to their hate messages. In response, the Anonymous hacker collective has hacked their website and posted the personal information of all of its members."
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Anonymous Hacks Westboro Baptist Church

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  • Christian terrorists (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fermion (181285) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @08:51PM (#42309667) Homepage Journal
    I know that everyone says this is just one family, and not representative of Baptists. OTOH I have seen the control that Baptists can exert, even with unaffiliated churches. For instance several years ago a local baptist church wanted to engage more fully with homosexuals. The local baptists made life sufficiently difficult that it became easier to just drop the word baptist from the church mane. I wonder why the same is not done for Wesboro

    I also wonder how many baptist churches preach against what this church is doing. I mean if a muslim goes out a does something, and every other muslim leader does not immediately condemn the behavior, then all the christians go and condemn all the muslims. So is turnabout fair play?

    I would hope that they find the peace of the almighty and work for peace and acceptance that one's faith is not diminished just because others disagree. We have twenty kids dead because we can't just be peaceful and accepting. Now they want to make it worse.

  • Re:Slashdot trolls (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @08:53PM (#42309687) Homepage

    It's funny, I was just watching Shirley Phelps-Roper (daughter of WBC founder Fred Phelps and a spokesperson for the group) talk on YouTube. The way she speaks ranges from over-the-to self-righteous indignation to outright hysteria.

    Somehow, she's exactly what I'd expect from an IRL internet troll.

  • Re:Kudos (Score:3, Interesting)

    by benjfowler (239527) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @09:02PM (#42309795)

    That was completely lost on me.

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @09:06PM (#42309835) Journal

    The one thing those haters from Westboro Baptist Church is after is notoriety - I mean, nobody with a sound mind would do what they are doing.

    By hacking the websites of the Westboro Baptist Church, and by turning this event into a worldwide thing - face it, the news of the hacking of Westboro Baptist Church website has become a sensational news by itself, else /. wouldn't have carried it - what the Anonymous are doing, while still commendable, is to play it into the hands of those haters.

    The best way to deal with haters is to ignore them.

  • by davydagger (2566757) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @09:08PM (#42309845)
    <quote><p>If course the WBC are mentally deranged idiots, but they do have a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_rights">(negative) Right</a> to <a href="http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?topic=23119">unlimited Free Speech</a>, including their Web-site. Whether hacking constitutes aggression is a complicated discussion, but the Anontards' intent was clear and despicable! At least the WBC has the balls to drivel in the open, rather than hiding behind masks!</p><p>The harm that the WBC does is limited to annoyance, and can be further restricted on the basis of Property Rights - they cannot go where they're not wanted. The Anontards, on the other hand, have no respect for anyone's Rights.</p><p>--libman</p></quote>

    posted as the "Anonymous Coward".

    The irony is killing me. Not only do you hide behind the "anonymous" title like they do, you ultimately got it the same way.
      Postinging in a threaded message board and not choosing to use a name.
  • Re:Kudos (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Brad1138 (590148) <brad1138@yahoo.com> on Sunday December 16, 2012 @09:14PM (#42309895)
    Although fundamentally I agree with you, WBC is so heinous, I really have no problem seeing anyone step on any of their freedoms. They really should all be locked up in a loony bin.
  • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @09:16PM (#42309903) Journal
    Perhaps, but you personally also favor limitations on free speech.

    For example, imagine if someone wanted to enter your house to give you a message and tell you how blind, and what a sheeple you are. Would you let them enter your house? What if they stood outside your residence at 3:00AM, with a bullhorn, and woke up everyone on the street with a message saying that all white people are evil and should be slaughtered?

    Would you accept it as a test of your commitment to freedom?

    It is possible for someone to both champion freedom of speech, and also believe that you shouldn't harass people at a funeral.
  • by jowilkin (1453165) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @09:31PM (#42310025)

    After the Virginia Tech shootings the WBC threatened to protest the funerals. Some radio guy offered to let them have air time in exchange for not doing so.

    As a friend of one of the people killed in those shootings I was very happy the family wouldn't go through this even if it resulted in a sick group like the WBC getting radio air time.

    I think we would be serving the families of these new victims well by making some sort of similar compromise. I doubt anywhere near the number of people listened to that radio interview as would have seen the protests in the news, so I don't think it even helps the WBC cause at all.

  • Re:Kudos (Score:5, Interesting)

    by akboss (823334) <akboss@suddenlGA ... t minus math_god> on Sunday December 16, 2012 @09:35PM (#42310045)
    It isnt destroying the first amendment. I defend their right to speech but I dont have to like it, embrace it or tolerate it. I have stood the wall against these scum bag inbred idiots when they decided to picket a military funeral. Took all of 7 hours to get the word spread and we had hundreds lining up to shield the family from these "people" Free speech doesnt give you the right to try and have people attack you so you can then sue to help fund your "church". Speaking of which, wonder if they are all paying their taxes or are they shielding it because it is a "church".
  • Re:Kudos (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheDarAve (513675) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @09:43PM (#42310109)

    since when has it become illegal for a black man to burn a cross on his own lawn?

    When he puts the gas can in his neighbors garage before calling the cops.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 16, 2012 @09:45PM (#42310119)

    The media should never mention anyone from the "church" by name or mention the "church's" name.

    Just refer to them as "a fringe extremist group" or something similar. Don't repeat any of their hate non-sense either.

    Deny them the exposure they want.

  • Very Odd Coincidence (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dynamo (6127) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @09:54PM (#42310183) Journal

    I realize that it's a different kind of place over there, but either that hack result is fake or there is a LOT of inbreeding going on in that church.. If you look over the list of members, there are 74 listed - and of those 74, there are only three (!) people whose last names are NOT either Phelps or Hockenbarger (or something hyphenated that includes one of those, like "Phelps-Roper").

    So, 95.946% of these assholes are in one of those two families. Sounds like a genetic problem to me.

  • by pete6677 (681676) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @10:02PM (#42310237)
    The IRS should however relentlessly audit the books of this organization. To make sure they are compliant, you know. If they end up costing the "church" a lot of money and frustration in the process, too bad so sad. If the Obama administration has no problem using government agencies to harass non-union companies, they should have no problem doing it to the Westboro terrorists.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 16, 2012 @10:21PM (#42310377)

    I remember when they filed suit against my school. They filed in the local federal court, which has a few benefits because they usually get interstate disputes: electronic filing and telecommuting appearences. While there is nothing he could do about the electronic filing, the judge did not grant their motion to appear electronically and that meant they had to appear in person. That pretty much killed their case because every little motion or action filed by my school had a request for an oral argument and that required them flying out for a 30 minute meeting each time. Maybe more judges should do that and they will disappear.

  • Re:Kudos (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @10:53PM (#42310555) Homepage Journal

    Illegal or not, it is certainly immoral and unethical to disrupt funeral services to taunt the survivors. And, BTW - the GOVERNMENT is mandated to respect free speech. Those whose services are being disrupted aren't exactly bound by the same laws as the government is. The obligations are entirely different.

  • Re:Kudos (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:00PM (#42310595) Journal
    It's got nothing to do with free speech, picketting a private funeral is a clear case of organised harrasment, they should be locked up for disturbing the peace. Annonymous are just as bad and have all the moral standing of a lynch mob.
  • Re:Kudos (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:02PM (#42310609)

    By telling everyone that a group of nutcases is going to celebrate while kids are being buried? You REALLY think a lot of people are so demented that they think "Hmm... great idea, let's join that group".

    I wonder how many do rather think "Hmm... let's hope a copycat criminal shows up, too, for their picketing."

  • Re:Kudos (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kjella (173770) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:09PM (#42310651) Homepage

    Making your point about your views on the matter on a blog, or in a newspaper/newsletter, in a letter to the editor, or just on the street corner to whoever will listen is free speech. Picketing the funeral of elementary school students is more than just rude, it is disruptive of a privately funded memorial service. This is hardly anything foreign to our free speech protections; you can picket outside of a politician's home, but if you're doing it at 3 AM with a bullhorn, or sitting outside and shining in a strobe so as to disrupt the occupants of the house, you're not so protected.

    Not to troll or anything, but isn't that the logic behind the "free speech zones"? You can protest this G8 summit, but not at a distance that in any way disrupts the summit so we're going to take you far away where nobody will notice you. It'd be an extreme limitation on free speech if you couldn't protest on public ground outside the private store or organization or workplace you're protesting against. They shouldn't be allowed to interfere with the memorial service with bull horns and strobe lights but as you say, just picketing is not illegal. That someone finds their mere presence disruptive is not enough, or the first Muslim conservative who finds any woman not wearing a burqa disruptive would set society back 100 years or more.

    This doesn't mean I feel like "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." it's more that you don't kill evil by becoming evil yourself, even if it's a lesser evil. Restricting their speech would be wrong. What they're doing is even more wrong, but that doesn't make it right. The same way I support the 8th amendment and don't think any human being should torture another, yet I'd very much like to resurrect the Sandy Hook killer and have him die a very slow and very painful death. And I wouldn't have any sympathy with him because I think he's earned it and more, but doing it would tarnish us. It would tarnish society. Once you start justifying wrong by not being as bad as the bad guys, then you've lost sight of what is right. And nobody ever said doing what is right would be easy.

  • Re:Kudos (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tompaulco (629533) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:34PM (#42310835) Homepage Journal
    IANAL, but IIRC, if one can prove racist intent, the sentence can be made more severe.
    Increasing a sentence based upon racist intent is racist. I feel that the judge should be convicted of a hate crime for doing so but that would also be racist.
  • Re:Kudos (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @11:53PM (#42310965) Homepage Journal

    I'm an American. I'm a veteran. I've actually carried that flag in places where it wasn't respected, or wanted. Burning my flag offends me, yes. But, I do recognize that burning the flag might constitute free speech, and that some people might find no other way to convey a message, and to get their point across.

    Picketing funerals goes far beyond burning a flag. Picketing the funerals of innocent children is even more despicable than picketing the funerals of fallen heros.

    I would suppress the "voices" of Westboro, no problem.

  • Re:Kudos (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @01:13AM (#42311385)

    "dangerous speech" is also limited. Poster child phrase: yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. No political content, no value in the content at all, merely a malicious and potentially deadly prank. Let's hope you look good in orange.

    Was overruled in Brandenburg v. Ohio. Do your research.

  • Re:Kudos (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @02:38AM (#42311747)

    So... why haven't the WBC folks been arrested for indecency?

    Not sure if you're a troll or not, but I'll give you a real response.

    The WBC has many many lawyers including members of the Phelps family. They, the WBC, make a living by suing.
    The picketing is simply to drum up additional lawsuits.

    None of them actually believe any of what they say. It's not an issue of right/wrong. It's simply an issue of greed.

    The WBC troll the court system to make a living of off the rest.

    Step 1: God hates fags @ funerals.
    Step 2: Get arrested or assaulted.
    Step 3: Sue either way.

    The tax payers have to fit the bill to fight the suits against the state/county/city (or against the WBC.) The cost of fighting a large legal team (which is what the WBC really is) is too costly to be worthwhile. Then settlement money eventually gets payed out and/or money to cover the lawyer costs... and who did we learn the lawyers were? Yes... the people who run the show @ WBC.

    Essentially the WBC is a scam to skim off the taxpayers by lawyers who are more unscrupulous than any others out there.

    Why should anyone have sympathy for these types of people who are more focused on greed than anything else on planet Earth?

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990

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