Anonymous launches social network after Google snub

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Infamous hacker group Anonymous has launched its own social network after being rejected by Google’s freshly-launched online community.

“Today we welcome you to begin anew,” the hacker alliance said at the website anonplus.com, which it described as a platform to distribute information.

“Welcome to the Revolution – a new social network where there is no fear…of censorship…of blackout … nor of holding back.”

The drive to build a social network came after the Anonymous account was suspended at the Google+ online community, which was launched last month by the Internet giant as a challenge to Facebook.

Currently, the site is little more than a basic information page with a tongue-in-cheek name. The only nod to design comes from the inclusion of the group’s adopted V mask logo, imposed onto a woven fabric background along with a row of the headless suits also associated with the group.

A message on the anonplus.com website promised that the Anonymous social network would be for everyone and listed online monikers of developers taking part in the project.

In a seeming attempt to draw in those who aren’t entirely comfortable with Anonymous’ activities, the message goes on to add that the site “is a presstorm idea and only takes the name anon because of the Anonymity of the social network”.

Anonymous, which rose to infamy last year with cyber attacks in support of controversial whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, posted the suspension notice from Google on its blog at Tumblr.

The group has been linked to attacks on Visa, Mastercard and Paypal, which blocked donations to WikiLeaks after it published thousands of US diplomatic cables.

Early this year, Anonymous took credit for breaking into the website of HBGary Federal because the firm was working with federal agents to expose the hackers’ identities.

Anonymous last week released a trove of military email addresses and passwords it claimed to have plundered from the network of US defence consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton.

In recent months, police in Spain, Turkey and Italy have arrested suspected members of Anonymous, which is believed to have branches in several countries. — AFP

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