Is Facebook really going down on Saturday?

Threats made by someone who may or may not have been part of Anonymous were made months ago that the social network would be taken down on November 5. Subsequently, Fox News' Web site was threatened too.

There are some people who believe that being without Facebook means being without themselves.

These people are, therefore, shaking at their sinews this week, fearing Saturday's potential disaster.

Perhaps you are suffering too severely from NBA withdrawal to remember that back in August a member (or not) of hacker collective Anonymous threatened to take down Facebook on Guy Fawkes Day, which happens to be Saturday.

Back then, Anonymous may (or may not) have disavowed this plan of action.

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

However, I might add to your deep-seated jitters when I tell you that the Twitter account of the anti-Facebook operation, @Op_Facebook, is very much active.

I wouldn't even dream of deciphering whether covert messages might be passed within its tweets. There is certainly no obvious mention of a November 5 takedown. But perhaps the author is just LOLing the world into a false sense of security.

There continues, though, to be a link to a statement that might, for some, clarify intentions.

It quotes Eben Moglen, a law professor at Columbia, who wrote: "We need to think deeply, and rapidly, and to good technological effect, about the consequences of what we have built and what we haven't built yet...[T]he over-centralization of network services is a crucial political vulnerability."

The author of the post then adds: "The only way to prevent other social services from doing what Facebook does, we must only use federated (decentralized, with no private authority) free networks services (which run free software, aka open source software)."

The original threat, you see, explained that Facebook was something of a heinous organization. The press release video--since taken down from YouTube by the poster--read in part: "Facebook has been selling information to government agencies and giving clandestine access to information security firms so that they can spy on people from all around the world."

Should Facebook, indeed, be left intact Saturday to ply its troubling trade, another vital repository of social information, Fox News, might not be so lucky. For Anonymous has--probably-- promised to take the Fox News site down .

Fox News' crime in the eyes of the threatmeisters is not, in fact, its very existence. It is its very specific coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests.

For those who grew up in Britain, November 5 is a day when you send fireworks into the sky in order to celebrate (I think) the fact that Guy Fawkes failed to burn down the Houses of Parliament centuries before it became its current messy self.

I know that, for many, the disappearance of Facebook and Fox News on the same day would constitute disaster unparalleled.

There will be a few, though, who will think of it as the perfect storm.

 

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