Anonymous takes down SOPA instigator MPAA day after international protest
By David Badash
New Civil Rights Movement
The Internet hacktivist collective Anonymous today reportedly took down the website of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), just one day after an international protest against misguided Congressional anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA. The MPAA was seen as the key supporter of those bills. The action, credited to Anonymous, was believed to be in response to the U.S. Department of Justice’s raid on file sharing service MegaUpload, and arrest of MegaUpload employees.
Anonymous also took down the web sites for the Department of Justice (DOJ), Universal Music Group, the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) and the U.S. Copyright Office website.
Just minutes after the U.S. Department of Justice repossessed the domains of Megaupload, Megavideo, Megaporn and a collection of other popular filesharing sites, the hacker collective Anonymous got to work on a few takedowns of its own.
On Thursday afternoon, Anonymous claimed credit for cyberattacks that knocked offline the websites of the
- U.S. Department of Justice,
- Recording Industry of America,
- Motion Picture Association of America and
- Universal Music Group.
The so-called denial of service attacks that overwhelmed those sites with junk traffic came less than an hour after the Justice Department announced the takedown of the Mega sites, along with the arrest of former hacker and Mega founder Kim Dotcom and six others, who are being indicted on charges of copyright infringement and money laundering.
“One thing is certain: EXPECT US!,” wrote the Anonymous-linked Anonops Twitter feed Thursday just after the Mega raid, adding a hashtag for Megaupload.
“Anonymous/Megaupload backlash update: http://RIAA.ORG is now Tango Down,” wrote the Twitter feed Anonnews less than one hour later, as other Anonymous feeds claimed credit for downing Justice.gov and Universalmusic.com.
As of this writing, the websites of the DOJ, RIAA, and Universal Music Group appear to be down, and of the MPAA and U.S. Copyright Office are up, although the U.S. Copyright Office site appears to be experiencing latency.
The L.A. Times reports:
In an indictment, the Justice Department alleged that MegaUpload was a “mega conspiracy” and a global criminal organization “whose members engaged in criminal copyright infringement and money laundering on a massive scale.”
The Justice Department said MegaUpload, which had about 150 million users, tallied up harm to copyright holders in excess of $500 million by allowing users to illegally share movies, music and other files. Prosecutors said in the indictment that the site’s operators raked in an income from it that topped $175 million.
Source: New Civil Rights Movement
Father of the web backs SOPA protests
By Nate Cochrane
Sydney Morning Herald
Tim Berners-Lee says US government plan to censor the internet violates human rights.
The father of the web has added his voice to the global chorus of outrage at US Government plans to censor the internet, saying its plans are undemocratic and violate human rights.
The US Congress is pushing ahead with contentious legislation to censor internet communications, the Stop Online Piracy Act, that is backed by five-year jail terms. Although it applies ostensibly to only US entities, Australians who host websites or do online business or rely on resources on US servers would be impacted.
The bill is currently held for “markup” next month, a review that may mean alterations in light of wide-ranging criticism.
As major websites including Wikipedia blacked out in protest overnight, the web’s creator, Sir Tim-Berners Lee, urged people to let their feelings be known to block it before it is enacted.
“It affects all the stuff on the internet working and something which would affect what you want to connect to, where you want to connect to,” Sir Tim said.
“If you’re in America then you should go and call somebody or send an email to protest against these (censorship) bills because they have not been put together to respect human rights as is appropriate in a democratic country.”
Sir Tim’s call to arms was met with rousing applause and hoots from 5000 delegates to IBM’s annual Lotusphere conference, held in the southern, state of Florida.
High-profile sites such as Wikipedia’s English-language edition, Google, Yahoo!’s Flickr photo sharing site, news aggregator Reddit and web browser Mozilla are among a growing number of digital media companies who banded together to protest the proposed changes to America’s copyright regime either blacking out entirely or carrying messages in condemnation. Google redacted its name in response to one of the biggest ever changes proposed to global copyright policing.
Critics from a broad coalition that includes most IT companies contend the bill’s wording would make any internet use potentially impossible without fear of running foul of the law that they say undermines online security while its proponents backed by Hollywood’s powerful film distributors say it is needed to stop rampant online piracy.
The bill, coupled to the related Protect IP Act (PIPA), would grant the US Government unprecedented powers to:
- Block websites thereby erasing protections afforded by internet security standards;
- Demands search engines censor their results not to point to allegedly infringing content;
- Orders payment providers not to process funds deemed to be from alleged infringers;
- Erodes internet commerce by demanding online ad companies refuse to accept ads from allegedly infringing advertisers.
Those convicted of breaking the eventual law face up to five years in jail but compliant internet service providers would be immune from prosecution.
The writer attended Lotusphere as a guest of IBM.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
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