Twitter Briefly Suspends Anonymous' Account After Hacker Group Targets Westboro Baptist Church

12/19/2012 01:43 pm ET | Updated Dec 19, 2012

Twitter briefly suspended the main mouthpiece belonging to the hacker collective Anonymous after the group posted personal data belonging to members of Westboro Baptist Church, the hacker group said Wednesday.

But more than an hour after its main Twitter account -- @YourAnonNews -- was shut down, Anonymous announced the account had been re-activated in a series of tweets.

The brief ordeal began shortly before noon, when the group tweeted from a different account it had set up, ‏@YANBackUp.

"#Breaking: @Twitter has suspended @YourAnonNews. #YAN #Anonymous," the tweet said.

Another tweet from the account read, "Free speech is dead."

The hacker collective had sent frequent updates about its operations from the account @YourAnonNews. A Twitter search for @YourAnonNews on Wednesday said: "Sorry, that user is suspended."

A Twitter spokesman declined to comment.

In recent days, Anonymous had targeted Westboro Baptist Church after the controversial semi-religious group announced plans to protest a Sunday night vigil in remembrance of the victims of Friday's school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

On Sunday, Anonymous posted a list of data on the file-sharing site Pastebin that it claimed belonged to Westboro members. The data including names, street addresses, phone numbers and email addresses, according to CNET. One Westboro member's Twitter account was reportedly taken over by hacker @cosmothegod, who changed the woman's Twitter background and tweeted out a petition calling for the White House to recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group.

On Wednesday, the group posted a screenshot -- which it claimed was from Twitter -- explaining that the account was suspended because it violated the Twitter's rules prohibiting users from posting individual's private information.

But by 1p.m EST, Anonymous said its account had been re-activated, and even thanked Twitter, saying the attention might help the group reach 1 million Twitter followers.

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