Hacker vigilante group Anonymous may have followed up its distributed denial of service attacks against Mastercard and Visa with a threat to do the same to...the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The group, allied with 4chan, prosecuted "Operation Payback" to harm the credit card companies allegedly for suspending WikiLeaks' payments. The threat to attack the online freedoms group came after EFF tweeted its opposition to DDOS attacks.

There was a problem with EFF earlier today, according to Chris Palmer, EFF's tech director.

"Defending free speech means people get to disagree with you. If #Anonymous is going to #DDoS their critics, they're not for #freespeech" - Cory Doctorow
"(W)e did experience extremely high web server load for a bit less than an hour today between roughly 11:30 - 12:30 or so. Our site become unresponsive during that time. However, the problem seems to have gone away. Although the timing of the problem roughly correlates to a threatening tweet by someone claiming to be Anonymous, it's not clear that it was an attack or perpetrated by Anonymous."

When writer and BoingBoing co-founder Cory Doctorow retweeted Anon's post on his Twitter account, and followed it with a tweet agreeing with EFF, the objectors came out of the woodwork.

An overwhelming majority of them seemed to believe that EFF, a rights group that has agitated for free speech online for years and has defended Wikileaks, is opposed to the group and allied to the credit card companies and other organizations that have dropped the whistle-blowing site.

By merely threatening a group that has done much more good than them in the service of free speech, and if indeed it is a member of that group, Anonymous compromises an already compromised stance on the companies that did desert Wikileaks. Attacking someone who disagrees with you in a way that breaks their ability to speak is the essence of online tyranny.

Unless they do not actually have a connection with the free speech principles that Wikileaks espouses, Anonymous should make it clear they will not attack critics, and Wikileaks should make it clear they do not support DDOS attacks against those who disagree with them.