Five men have been arrested in connection with the recent slew of web attacks carried out by online movement Anonymous in support of WikiLeaks.
The BBC reports that the men aged 15, 16, 19, 20 and 26, were arrested at 0700 this morning in connection with offences committed under the Computer Misuse Act.
The arrests took place at residential addresses in the West Midlands, Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Surrey and London.
The five are suspected to have been involved with the “recent and ongoing” distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against the websites of a number of targets which Anonymous deems to be enemies of whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks.
"They are part of an ongoing MPS investigation into Anonymous which began last year following criminal allegations of DDoS attacks by the group against several companies,” the Metropolitan Police said.
"This investigation is being carried out in conjunction with international law enforcement agencies in Europe and the US."
The arrests have not gone unnoticed by members of the Online Living Consciousness, who are now demanding the detainees be released and have likened arresting someone for taking part in a DDoS attack to "arresting somebody for peaceful protest in their hometown".
What our underground defenders of free speech plan to do if they’re not released is currently unknown, but we imagine the Met’s website may be the next target for Anonymous’ 'Low-Orbit Ion Cannon' (LOIC).