Anonymous has issued a new video threat against Sony, describing the company's support of the United States' Stop Online Piracy Act as a "signed death warrant".
The two-minute clip features the following declaration, made via synthesised text-to-speech system:
"Your support of the act is a signed death warrant to Sony Company and Associates. Therefore, yet again, we have decided to destroy your network. We will dismantle your phantom from the internet. Prepare to be extinguished. Justice will be swift, and it will be for the people, whether some like it or not."
Sony isn't the only thing in Anonymous' sights, either. The video also singles out a quartet of celebrity targets:
"For their approval to SOPA [sic], we have also declared that our fury be brought upon the following persons: Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift."
SOPA aims to allow copyright holders and the Department of Justice to seek injunctions against any site hosting unlicensed content, resulting in the permanent closure of the offender. Under the current draft of the legislation, which currently sits before the House Judiciary Committee, private companies would also be able to sue ISPs for hosting illegal content.
Anonymous isn't a hierarchical organisation; it's a free-form collection of activists. This being the case, it's impossible to predict how widespread or severe any proposed action might be. It's not like there's a leader who decides what the group does next, though it's certainly true that many will follow where others lead.
It's no surprise to see Anonymous members taking an aggressive stance over SOPA. What's harder to predict is what direct action they might take. PlayStation Lifestyle claims that users on Anonymous chat channels have expressed a desire to attack Sony executives, rather than taking action that might annoy general PSN users. Last year's PSN hack didn't win many PS3 owners over to the Anonymous cause, though the "group" never assumed direct responsibility for the attack.