The hacker collective Anonymous has struck government websites again, this time the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the National Consumer Protection Week websites. According to the Associated Press, “both sites were replaced with a violent German-language video satirizing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA.” A pastebin page to which some of the Anonymous associated Twitter accounts are linking outlines the message that was distributed by the hackers, as well as a link to the violent video mentioned in the AP article.
The hackings were in response both to Google’s recent changes to its terms of service and, more prominently, to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which 22 of the European Union’s 27 member states signed last month in Tokyo. Pressure from Anonymous and anti-ACTA activists caused Poland to suspend the bill last week, where members of its Parliament donned Guy Fawkes masks in protest. Poland and Slovenia are now distancing themselves from the treaty.
ACTA is an international treaty aimed at curtailing copyright infringement, counterfeit and pirated goods, and other forms of intellectual property theft across multiple member states. The agreement is meant to provide a framework for member countries, which have differences in legal systems and practices, to work together cooperatively “to address the problem of infringement of intellectual property rights, including infringement taking place in the digital environment, in particular with respect to copyright or related rights, in a manner that balances the rights and interests of the relevant right holders, service providers, and users.” In light of controversy over the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, ACTA has generated a good deal of discussion and debate in the same political and activism circles. Some fear it’s too much government intrusion for a solution that they believe may not ultimately address the problem adequately anyway. Others have argued that while such legislation may be flawed, the need to protect against international stealing online does exist.
More articles on Anonymous by Liberty Chick at Breitbart.com.