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Anonymous declares war on Trump
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Anonymous declares war on Trump
Hacktivist group has called for hackers of the world to unite to disrupt the Trump Presidential campaign.
The hacker collective appears to have declared war on the presidential hopeful, issuing a call to arms to its followers to attack Trump's online properties on April 1 - yes, April Fool's day.
In a video posted on YouTube, hacktivists declare Trump's actions and campaign for the Republican nomination shocking.
"Donald Trump, we have been watching you and what we see is deeply disturbing," the masked presenter says on the March 4 video, which includes a montage of TV footage showing some of Trump's most hateful, sexist and racist comments.
"Your inconsistent and hateful campaign has not only shocked the United States of America, you have shocked the entire planet with your appalling actions and ideas.
"You say what your audience wants to hear but in reality you don't stand for anything but for your personal greed and power."
Calling for its loose-knit network of hacktivists as well as ordinary computer users to engage in Operation Trump - #OpTrump re-engaged 2016 - the presenter says Trump's campaign for the White House needs to be shut down and his brand "sabotaged".
"This is a call to protect our future, our freedom and our very way of life," the presenter adds.
The Anonymous plan is to have computer users around the world target www.trumpchicago.com and associated commercial and campaign websites. It asks people to research and expose what Trump "doesn't want public to know" and says people do not need to know how to hack "to support this important operation".
The plan has been met with praise and criticism online by YouTube users, from "Please expose his lies and deceit against the world. Thank you for your contribution in making the world a more just planet!", to "Think about it. Soros is using Bernies [sic] useful idiots to stir up s---, while funding Hillary. If you want to shut someone down, take your pick of those two. The majority of the nation is standing behind Trump."
Some Trump-supporting commenters also expressed doubts that the call came from the "real Anonymous", only to be quickly reminded that anonymity is indeed unverifiable.
It is unclear what level of public support the message will gather, given Trump's defiant popularity and ability to hog the limelight online and on the airwaves. It was posted by the same Anonymous account which publicised attacks against Islamic State, but different to the "Anonymous Official" YouTube account with more subscribers.
Anonymous launched cyber attacks on groups associated with Islamic State following the Paris attacks that killed 129 people under the #OpParis campaign. Its supporters have long been engaged in exposing IS social media accounts to counter its rise.
In December Anonymous attacked the Trump Tower website after the would-be candidate made widely condemned anti-Muslim comments.
This time, the video says, it will be an "all-out war".