The hacker group Anonymous took down a number of U.S. government websites early Friday in a fresh protest against the looming Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA.
According to the multiple Twitter updates by Anonymous, the sites that the infamous hacker collective claimed it had clobbered include consumer.gov, ncpw.gov, the website for information on National Consumer Protection Week 2012 and business.ftc.gov.
Anonymous Hacks U.S. Government Consumer and Trade Commission Web Sites.
At the time of reporting, the front page of ncpw.gov was showing Anonymous's own statement on the hack, carrying a German-language anti-ACTA video. (Embedded at the end)
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The statement posted by Anonymous clarified their rationale for the attack was to warn governments around the world that if ACTA is signed by all participating negotiating countries, the hacker group would launch further online attacks.
A part of Anonymous's statement reads:
Even more bothersome than your complete lack of competence in maintaining your own f*****g 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.
The statement continues:
If ACTA is signed by all participating negotiating countries, you can rest assured that Antisec will bring a f*****g 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 ACTA is an intellectual property protection agreement being negotiated by 13 countries, including the United States. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the treaty is cause for concern as it raises significant potential concerns for consumers' privacy and the free flow of information on the Internet.
The ACTA will require the Internet Service Providers to identify and remove allegedly infringing material from the Internet, EFF stated.
According to the hackers, the ACTA is more dangerous than the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, on which Congress recently deferred debate amid public furor over the bill. ACTA will further spread the contagion of stricter copyright enforcement worldwide, at the expense of our essential liberties and basic freedoms of speech, expression and privacy, Anonymous said.