We are Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forgetFriday, January 20, 2012 by: Donna Hopper
Operation Megaupload is in full effect.
Shortly after the Hong Kong-based file-sharing website Megaupload.com was shut down by U.S. government officials and four of the company's executives were arrested in New Zealand Thursday, the "hacktivist" group known as Anonymous launched an online attack that effectively shut down the websites of the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice, Universal Music Group, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), EMI, and the U.S. Copyright Office.
Some of these sites remain down, while others fade in and out of functionality or are extremely slow to load.
Anonymous is protesting the Megaupload arrests and proposed U.S. House Bill 3261 Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its associated legislation, Protect IP Act (PIPA).
Megaupload was shutdown for massive for copyright infringement, and has been accused of facilitating millions of illegal downloads of music and films.
Before the site was shut down, Megaupload posted a statement saying the allegations of copyright infringement were "grotesquely overblown."
The statement continued: "The fact is that the vast majority of Mega's Internet traffic is legitimate, and we are here to stay. If the content industry would like to take advantage of our popularity, we are happy to enter into a dialogue. We have some good ideas. Please get in touch."
Free speech and digital rights advocate, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, responded to the arrests, stating: "This kind of application of international criminal procedures to Internet policy issues sets a terrifying precedent. If the United States can seize a Dutch citizen in New Zealand over a copyright claim, what is next?"
While many applaud Anonymous for taking a stand, some are criticizing the group's tactics.
Anonymous members are distributing, via chat rooms and Twitter, links that rope unwitting users into launching a distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS attack aimed at specified websites.
Once launched, the user's computer will continually ping the targeted website.
If enough users are DDoSing the same site, it will be unable to handle the traffic and essentially shut itself down
Anonymous released a statement, saying: "We Anonymous are launching our largest attack ever on government and music industry sites. Lulz. The FBI didn't think they would get away with this did they? They should have expected us."
Following the statement, the group released the personal information of MPAA CEO Chris Dodd, including his date of birth, the names of his wife and children, education history, work and personal addresses, political party affiliation and value of his properties.
The post ended with: "We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not Forgive. We do not Forget. Expect Us."
An FBI news release relating to the Megaupload shut-down and those facing charges can be viewed here.
Earlier SooToday.com coverage of this story