The Tech Herald

Anonymous issues ultimatum to Australian government

by Steve Ragan - Feb 11 2010, 03:52

Anonymous has issued an ultimatum to the Australian government, essentially warning them to back down on their proposed censorship plans or face continued attack.

Called Operation Titstorm, Anonymous called for the raid on the Australian government to begin at 8:00 a.m. local time February 10, and include DDoS attacks, followed by porn filled emails, fax spam, black faxes, and prank calls to government offices. The faxes, a flyer announcing the raid said, should focus on cartoon porn, female ejaculation, and small-breasted porn, which are three types of content the government wishes to censor online.

However, according to a recent ultimatum from Anonymous, the porn censorship was “…not the sole focus of our actions, rather this is the final straw in a long chain of choices that inform us that you are preparing to censor your people, that you are no longer acting in their best interest.”

“You are acting in direct opposition to the best interest of your citizens, and we intend to help them realize this, along with the rest of the globe as a message that we will not allow the internet to be censored by any group, organization, or government. We shall free your people from a country that is oppressing their right to access information; we shall be the shining beacon in the darkness that you are casting over the single most powerful tool available to humanity,” the Anonymous message to Australia added.

The message ended with a warning that until “…you have acknowledged your failures to your people, we will continue our actions to free them from your attempts to censor information.”

Attacks targeting Australia’s Parliament website, the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy website, as well as the site for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, were all successful to a degree, causing complete outages in the case of Mr. Conroy’s site, and spotty access to the others.

The idea that the attacks would be condemned by the Australian government is expected, and some reports say that they are not bothered by them at all. At the same time, another anti-censorship group is against them as well.

Stop Internet Censorship co-founder Nicholas Perkins called the attacks illegal and said, “By attempting to bring down or deface government websites, a minority of Internet users have brought negative attention to what is a very important issue for Australians. It would be much more helpful for these people to put their efforts behind legitimate action to stop this ineffective and inefficient attempt at censorship by the Australian government.”

“Parents need to be aware that any attempt to filter the Internet by Internet Service Providers will never work as well as filtering technologies that can be used within the home. Government bureaucrats and politicians should not have the right to tell parents what their children can or cannot access as it must be a decision made based on a parent’s individual values, not those of a bureaucrat.”

Perkins also noted that the money spent on a mandatory Internet filter by the Australian government would be better spent by funding additional police investigations into child pornography and child sexual abuse.

“The facts are that the list of filtered sites will not be made publicly available, and therefore is open to abuse by governments in the future that wish to censor debate on public policy in Australia,” he added.

Most of the sites targeted by Anonymous are online and functioning. The video message from Anonymous in its entirety is added below.

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