Hacktivist group Anonymous has threatened to "destroy" by November 5 social networking giant Facebook, which it accused of "selling" users' data to "authoritarian" governments.
In a message posted on video-sharing site YouTube, Anonymous said people who want to protect the freedom of information should "join the cause and kill facebook for the sake of your own privacy."
"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. Some of these so-called whitehat infosec firms are working for authoritarian governments, such as those of Egypt and Syria," it said.
It said everything users do "stays" on Facebook, regardless of their privacy settings, adding deleting one's account is "impossible."
The hacktivist group urged the public to "think for a while and prepare for a day that will go down in history. November 5, 2011."
"One day you will look back on this and realise what we have done here is right," it said.
A blog entry on Village Voice, however, said it was strange that a hacker group that had stolen information "as they please" now claims to want to protect privacy.
Anonymous had teamed with Lulz Security to hack several government and corporate websites earlier this year.
"Doesn't that sound strange, coming from people who routinely steal private information as they please? But this echoes the manifesto of a related group, LulzSec, whose nihilistic perspective on the state of the Internet kind of made sense," it said.
"Will Anonymous be able to successfully lay waste to Mark Zuckerberg's fortress? This is set to be the Internet showdown of the year," it added.
Anonymous' social network hacked
On the other hand, Anonymous' latest threat came in the wake of its upcoming social network AnonPlus being hacked and defaced earlier this week.
The attack on AnonPlus (anonplus.com) was supposedly in retaliation for the group's attack on Syria.
A report on The Hacker News on Tuesday afternoon said the home page of social network AnonPlus (www.anonplus.com) was replaced with a message that read "Terrorist kills."
"In response to your hacking to the website of the Syrian Ministry of Defence, the Syrian people have decided to purify the internet of [y]our pathetic website. Your website has been hacked, and here we leave you these photos showing the scale of terrorism committed by Muslim Brotherhood Organization, whose members have been killing Syrian citizens - civilians and military," read the message on a screenshot of the defaced site, posted on The Hacker News.
It added Anonymous had been "defending this (terrorist) organization" and that the defacement "is our response."
The Hacker News reported the defacement followed Anonymous' claiming responsibility for defacing the website of Syria's Ministry of Defense.
As of Tuesday afternoon, visitors to anonplus.com were redirected to another site, anonplus.bombshellz.net, which appeared to be a mirror site.
While the screenshot did not say who defaced the site, The Hacker News said the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab "credited the AnonPlus defacement to the 'Syrian Electronic Army.'"
It was the second time the group's upcoming social network was defaced.
Last July, the AnonPlus site was hacked and defaced, leaving the administrators stewing.
In the July attack, a Turkish hacker, “Akincilar," defaced the site with a tampered logo of Anonymous, with the head of a dog. The “Cyber-Warrior" logo was placed above the tampered Anonymous symbol.
AnonPlus was made public last July, amid reports that its members decided to form the new social network after being kicked out of Google’s Google+.