The Internet hacktivist group Anonymous is calling for protests against author and civil liberties advocate Glenn Greenwald because of his relationship with eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
In a release posted to Pastebin, the secretive activist group is calling for members to attend and disrupt scheduled book signings where Greenwald will be promoting his new book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State.
The point of contention between Greenwald and the group stems from his relationship with First Look founder and eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar.
eBay purchased PayPal in 2002.
Representing the “PayPal 14,” — a group charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act after they attempted to disrupt PayPal’s operations in retaliation for PayPal’s refusal to process donations to WikiLeaks — Anonymous stated that the 14 are “struggling to raise more than $80,000 in court-ordered restitution” that must be paid to eBay/PayPal.
Anonymous claims that, while the 14 face jail and fines, Greenwald and Omidyar have been cashing in on the “digital information war.”
“Greenwald and Pierre occasionally express tepid ‘support’ for the PayPal14. But where’s the $80,000? That’s lunch money to Greenwald or Pierre. For the PayPal14, it’s a crushing financial burden,” they wrote. “Pierre, according to Forbes, rakes in $7.8 billion per year while the PayPal14 struggle to stay afloat. Pierre started off First Look, Greenwald’s news media outlet, with $50 million in funding — tens of millions more than $80,000.”
Anonymous is also complaining that Greenwald and Omidyar are watering down the “hacktivist movement” by not publishing all of Edward Snowden’s documents, or heavily redacting them, thereby keeping “aggressive, non-celebrity journalists from finding answers and pro-freedom hackers from building better defenses.”
Anonymous members are instructed to attend Greenwald’s book signings to protest, record their activities, hand out fliers, and explain the relationship between the author and his financial benefactor.
The Twitter account for WikiLeaks also backed the campaign, though they suggested that only PayPal — and not Greenwald — should be targeted.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) May 12, 2014
Omidyar has previously called for leniency for the PayPal 14, saying they should have been cited for a misdemeanor instead of facing felony charges.
Raw Story has requested a statement from Glenn Greenwald.