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Linda Thomas
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Westboro Baptist Church had promised to picket the Wednesday funerals of Sandy Hook school shooting victims. Police, firefighters and citizens from as far away as New York City and Massachusetts traveled to Newtown, Connecticut, to shield the funerals from the protest.(Jaimie Cura photo)

Anonymous versus Westboro, hactivists claim they won

In a battle of two controversial groups, Anonymous claims victory over Westboro Baptist Church as members of the Kansas-based church traveled to Connecticut to protest the funerals of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre.

Westboro members have demonstrated at funerals of U.S. service members and said they wanted to be in Newtown, Connecticut "to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment."

Anonymous was in full force with a live stream broadcast Wednesday. They took over Twitter accounts, which is easy for them, but as an added touch Anonymous also took over the DVR in the home of the Westboro spokesperson and recorded gay porn to her machine.

Some of the hacking allegedly came from a 15-year-old known as Cosmo the God.

Cosmo was behind taking down websites for NASDAQ and the CIA this year. He was arrested in June, as part of a multi-state FBI sting and was recently sentenced to probation until his 21st birthday, during which time he is prohibited from using the Internet without supervision and prior consent.

Clearly, the account takeovers in the past few days violate his probation. His online presence today is, not surprisingly, gone.

For awhile, Twitter also felt Anonymous was violating their terms of service. Twitter suspended one of the primary accounts associated with @YourAnonNews as well as the account of Westboro Baptist Church spokeswoman Shirley Phelps-Roper, which had been taken over by Anonymous.

A Twitter spokesman wouldn't comment on a specific account, but says suspensions are generally for posting an individual's private information such as a private e-mail address, physical address, telephone number, and financial documents.

The Anonymous account was later restored and emerged with over 100,000 new followers and a new message for Westboro.

"You were in our crosshairs last year, didn't you learn from your mistakes and bad judgements?"

Will this stop Westboro Baptist Church in the long run? Unknown, but on Wednesday Anonymous won.

Westboro was not able to make it to the funeral locations. Good Samaritans, who were following the Anonymous Twitterfeed, systematically prevented Westboro members from getting close to the funerals.

Westboro has reportedly left Connecticut.

By LINDA THOMAS

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About Linda
Linda is the morning news anchor and features reporter for KIRO Radio. This is her local news blog, with an emphasis on social media, technology, Northwest companies, education, parenting, and anything else that grabs her attention.

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