Well-known hacking group Anonymous has claimed responsibility for taking down a number of Canadian government websites earlier this week.
The group used distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to send overwhelming amounts of online traffic to the sites at around 5pm on Wednesday.
Shortly after the attacks which brought websites down for approximately two hours, Anonymous posted a YouTube video in which it claimed responsibility, citing the recent passing of the C-51 anti-terrorism bill as the reason for the cyberattack.
C-51 allows Canada’s Security Intelligence Service to obtain warrants enabling agents to break the law if they believe the public is at threat from a terrorist attack. Police forces would also be able to impose longer preventative arrest terms without charging suspects. The bill has been widely criticised by human rights groups as being potentially damaging to Canadian citizens and the country’s global standing.
“We write to urge you to vote ‘No’ to Bill C-51, Canada’s proposed Anti-terrorism Act, 2015,” wrote Human Rights Watch online. “This bill would imperil fundamental rights enshrined in both Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international law. It also is unnecessary, given Canada’s already ample and sufficient powers to address violent extremism.”
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Anonymous has urged Canadian citizens to protest against the bill’s passing and continues to carry out other online attacks as part of its Operation Cyber Privacy campaign. Although, the recent DDoS attack was hugely disruptive to several government ministries, no company data is believed to have been compromised.