The Anonymous hacking group has warned Toronto officials that it will "remove [the city] from the internet" if they follow through on plans to evict protesters of the Occupy Toronto movement.
"The brave citizens of Toronto are peaceful and well mannered occupiers," a computer-generated voice said in a 90-second video posted over the weekend on YouTube. "We have already planned this, so if we see any interruptions, we will launch the operation that we have planned for a while."
A spokeswoman for Toronto Mayor Rob Ford could not be reached for comment on Monday, but Ford told reporters Monday morning that the city was taking the threat seriously and that he was confident its systems are secure. Ford hasn't said when police are expected to attempt to clear the park, other than that it figures to happen soon.
A group of Occupy supporters have been living at St. James Park since last month. The city wants to evict them because officials believe they have overstayed their welcome, but protesters say their message is long-term.
Anonymous has been a key supporter of the Occupy movements since Sept. 17, when protesters began camping at a park in Lower Manhattan. Since then, the movement has spread to scores of locations across the country and world.
The collective did take action against the city of Oakland following a violent reaction from police after they attempted to clear protesters from a park in the northern California city.
In response, members of Anonymous launched distributed denial-of-service attacks against the Oakland Police Department's website, temporarily shutting the site down, and also publicly posted information about some police officers, including their names, ranks and shift hours.
Anonymous also is believed linked to the hijacking of the website belonging to St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. That attack was motivated by the breaking up of the Occupy St. Louis encampment.