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Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)... stopped
The Stop Online Piracy Act (otherwise known as "SOPA") would have been the most threatening act of legislation to the global Internet to date had it passed. Along with the PROTECT-IP ("PIPA") and OPEN acts, which ran through the Senate, these bills in singular and collectively would have threatened the very existence of the open Web as we know it.
SOPA alone would have allowed Web sites to be shuttered, no matter where they are in the world, by blocking them at server level and starving them of oxygen. Any site even to have allegedly breached copyright could be effectively shut down by the U.S. government with little oversight or process of appeal. Google-owned YouTube, for instance, could have fallen foul of the law if someone uploaded a copyright infringing video, leading to a widespread site block.
The Internet as a collective rallied around and protested in a way that had never been tested or tried before. Many major Web sites shut their doors for 12 or 24 hours during 'Black Wednesday' to protest the bill. More than 75,000 Web sites blacked out, including Wikipedia and Google. Days later, it was shelved by the U.S. House of Representatives and ultimately the geeks 'won.'
However, the White House found itself on the right side of the powerful Internet community after it said it would veto any such bill should it pass along the President's desk.
Anonymous records U.K. police/FBI call; publishes it
In February, Anonymous settled a score with anti-Anonymous police in the U.K. and the U.S., by breaching a secure conference call in which the hacking collective was discussed, along with names of alleged members who had attacked high-value infrastructure targets and companies. It was no doubt a serious embarrassment for law enforcement on both sides of the Atlantic.
Not only did they breach the cybercrime call, it was recorded and subsequently uploaded to YouTube. The call shed light on U.S. and U.K. intelligence sharing arrangements, and clearly shows that a number of law enforcement units are working together in a bid to track down those who were involved in the previous and continued hacking attacks.
CBS News' 60 Minutes covers Stuxnet
Cybercrime to cyberwarfare: from low-level criminals to high-levels of state attacking countries, government targets, and their critical national infrastructure.
CBS News "60 Minutes" detailed how the Stuxnet cyberweapon was used, and how may have been behind the cyberattack. Many pointed fingers at the U.S. working with Israel, but even to this day it remains unclear who was behind the cyberattack.
Stuxnet, one of the most famous of all cyberweapons, specifically targeted Iran's nuclear facility, among other high value plants. In attacking the facility's networks, it caused a mini-meltdown at the unit that resulted in physical damage to the nuclear centrifuges, setting the program back by many months if not years.