Velvet Attack: Anonymous’ Poland hack stirs debate on international censorship treaty ACTA
Anonymous has struck again, this time the victim is the Polish government, targeted over its stated intent to sign The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, at a January 26th talk in Tokyo. ACTA is a proposal for a new international intellectual property and copyright protection framework. Imagine it as an international censorship superstructure that would dwarf SOPA and PIPA in ambition and scope, gradually bringing all governments together in one vast censorship orgy.
Operation ANTI-ACTA was announced on the AnonymousWiki Twitter account this past weekend, with the hackers following through on the threats Sunday.
Late last night Anonymous tweeted, “The canons are being loaded and we are commencing ATTACK!” The canons, of course, refer to the Lulz Cannon, or Low Orbit Ion Cannon, which launches DDoS attacks, a controversial but often highly effective form of digital protest in which hundreds or thousands of computers are used to bombard a site with traffic until it crashes. In this case, it very well might have helped Poland (temporarily) come to its senses.
Less than fifteen minutes later Anonymous announced “TANGO DOWN!,” as is its wont when sites have been hit with with a DDoS attack. A steady stream of hack announcements followed along with other observations such as, “The past couple of weeks have been great.
#SOPAblackout, #OpMegaupload, and now Anti-ACTA! 2012 will be the year of Anonymous.”
And if the Polish government thought Anonymous would soon suffer from A.D.D., the hacker collective tweeted, “Dear Polish government, we will continue to disrupt and interfere with your government official websites until the 26th. Do not pass ACTA.”
Another point to consider is that it seems the U.S. government, not content with stirring the shit storm of censorship and internet blacklisting here at home with SOPA and PIPA, is attempting to superimpose such reactionary tactics on the world. Call it a Plan B in case the inertia of SOPA and PIPA continues to wain as opposition grows in the activist sector and legislators take flight from the bills.
Slawomir Neumann, Civic Platform party lawmaker, described the hack as a “velvet attack,” while the Democratic Left Alliance has joined ACTA’s critics, calling on the Polish parliament to vote against the treaty.
Anonymous posted a video following the hack in which they state:
Creating legal uncertainty for Internet companies, ACTA would become a major threat to freedom of expression online and another assault against the culture of sharing on the Internet. Poland believes that they can successfully get away with passing this agreement, however this will not occur… From this point until January 26th, we will disrupt and attack Polish government websites, leaking documentations and emails. We will show the government of Poland that they can’t censor the people. To Polish government, this is your last chance…reject ACTA or face consequence from the people. Operation Anti-ACTA.”
Watch the full video below.