Anonymous Hacks U.S. Government Web Sites in Protest of ACTA

Anonymous has continued their assault of U.S. government web sites in protest of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), as the group has reportedly hacked business.ftc.gov, consumer.gov, the National Consumer Protection Week official site, and several others.

VentureBeat reports that the group compromised the web sites and then posted anti-ACTA statements as well as a PSA video.

Anonymous posted the following statement on the attacked sites:

“Even more bothersome than your complete lack of competence in maintaining your own fucking websites and serving the citizens you are supposed to be protecting, is the US federal government’s support of ACTA. You really want to empower copyright holders to demand that users who violate IP rights (with no legal process) have their Internet connections terminated? You really want to allow a country with an oppressive Internet censorship regime to demand under the treaty that an ISP in another country remove site content? Well, we have a critical warning for you, and we suggest you read the next few paragraphs very, very closely.”

“If ACTA is signed by all participating negotiating countries, you can rest assured that Antisec will bring a fucking mega-uber-awesome war that rain torrential hellfire down on all enemies of free speech, privacy and internet freedom. We will systematically knock all evil corporations and governments off of our internet.”

The affected government web sites have remained offline this morning.


Analysis: For those of you who aren’t familiar with the trade agreement, ACTA is an international treaty aimed at giving countries the ability to stop copyright infringement and other forms of intellectual property theft — a standard framework so that all countries around the world can charge and prosecute digital piracy. Essentially, it is the demon half-brother of SOPA and PIPA and has been greeted by opposition and protest by many Europeans and Americans.

This is generally because it does absolutely nothing to directly address or stop the one thing it’s supposed to be in place for, and that is piracy. The fact most government officials have signed the agreement in secrecy just goes to show they’re completely aware of how utterly terrible this bill is and what the public’s reaction would be.

However, I don’t necessarily support what Anonymous are doing, but that’s more to due with how, at times, their ideas of “taking it to the big man” can have more consequences to the average person than the company or association they’re actually targeting. Just look at the PSN debacle last year, which was more inconvenient to everybody else rather than a big lesson to Sony. I can understand why someone would be in support of their actions, especially when it comes to an issue as big as censoring the Internet, but the way they try to get their point across is questionable, to say the least.

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Nathan Wood

About Nathan Wood

When he picked up a controller on that fateful day at the age of 6, Nathan had no idea how quickly it would captivate him. Enjoying a wide range of games, he is up for anything as long as it is of good quality, interesting or laughably bad. When not playing or writing about video games, he enjoys music, film, basketball and art. He is currently completing his last year of his IB diploma before mastering the great land known only as: University.