Anonymous Takes Down Government Websites in Anti-ACTA Protest

The Anonymous movement has struck again, this time taking down government websites in a protest against the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

The announcement of the hacks came from the AnonymousIRC twitter account, where regular links are posted regarding the hacktivist's activities. In the early hours of this morning links began appearing to government websites NCPW.gov, business.ftc.gov and consumer.gov, along with the statement "PWND ROOT'D and RM'D." Those clicking through to the links would be shown a lengthy Anonymous posting instead of the usual content.

At the time of writing these sites are inaccessible, suggesting that perhaps they were taken down to prevent people viewing the message. Fortunately for those us researching the hacks, AnonymousIRC provides a link to a mirror of the original message.

Beginning with a parody video of how ACTA would influence daily life, the document proper starts with a large ascii image reading "AntiSec" which has become the calling card of the organisation. It then lists the websites that had been targeted, followed by links to Anonymous hangouts like their Tor accessible "AntiSec Embassy."

However the real meat of the posting is the open letter to the governments of the world. It reads: "Guess what? We're back for round 2. Well, with the doomsday clock ticking down on Internet freedom, Antisec has leapt into action. Again. Holy déjà vu hack Batman! Expect us yet?"

Trash talking the white hat community and government employee's ability to seemingly do nothing to stop the hacks perpetrated by Anonymous, has been a major point for the AntiSec movement. Why is it so easy? At no point do the anons claim to be hackers of world renowned ability, simply that website and data server security is usually so poor.

This is highlighted in the following paragraph, along with a stern warning: "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."

The following sentences promise that if ACTA is signed by participating countries, "Antisec will bring a fucking mega-uber-awesome war that will rain torrential hellfire down on all enemies of free speech, privacy and internet freedom." The movement also promises to knock every ACTA supporting corporation's website offline.

What follows is an appeal to internet users of the world to oppose ACTA and the reasons why this is important. If you agree, there are a few things you can do.