Hackers take down US government websites

Move comes after US Department of Justice closes file-sharing website, indicts owners and operators.

By REUTERS
January 20, 2012 15:34
1 minute read.
Illustrative photo

keyboard computer Internet cyber warfare 311. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)

 
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Hacking collective Anonymous shut down the Department of Justice’s website Thursday, along with those of several other organizations that support anti-piracy efforts.

Among the victims: Universal Music Group, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the US Copyright Office.

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YourAnonNews, a Twitter account affiliated with the group, said this was its biggest attack yet.

The immediate impetus for the attack was the Department of Justice’s indictment of seven owners and operators of file sharing site Megaupload. The DOJ also shut down the site.


Still, one can’t help but view this in the greater context of the public dispute over pending Congressional anti-piracy legislation.

Wednesday was a watershed day, with thousands of sites shutting down and several prominent legislators withdrawing their supports of the respective bills.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joined the naysaying chorus Thursday, asking that the Senate bill, PIPA, be shelved until "serious issues" are resolved.

Each of Anonymous' victims has been a fervent advocate of anti-piracy legislation, especially MPAA President Christopher Dodd who has sharply criticized those websites that went black.

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