GovLaunch: Anonymous takes on Government Websites

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    Corey McCarren

    NextGov reported Thursday (1/19/2012) that Anonymous, an online group of “hacktivists”, performed a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the Justice Departments website (, temporarily disabling it. Anonymous also performed these attacks, which disable websites by overloading them with traffic, on media industry websites. They now hope to take down the website for the White House. The DDoS attacks are in protest to the government shutdown of, a website which streams often copyrighted material uploaded by users.

    A message by the collective Anonymous proclaimed:

    “Many members of Congress have just changed their stance on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA. The raid on Megaupload Thursday proved that the feds don’t need SOPA or its sister legislation, PIPA, in order to pose a blow to the Web.”

    Officials at the Justice Department proclaim that websites such as cost copyright holders millions. However, some, such as Anonymous, wish for the Internet to be a place of little government intervention.

    Should government be allowed to limit the semi-anarchic nature of the Internet? Are groups, such as Anonymous, justified in their attacks in protest of SOPA and PIPA?

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