Anonymous says Titstorm beats a petition

Anonymous says Titstorm beats a petition

Summary: A representative for the group claiming to be responsible for attacks on government websites to protest the Federal Government's planned internet filter, has said that they were a more affective way of voicing displeasure than "signing a petition".

TOPICS: Security

A representative for the group claiming to be responsible for attacks on government websites to protest the Federal Government's planned internet filter, has said that they were a more affective way of voicing displeasure than "signing a petition".

The group, which calls itself Anonymous, this week knocked the website of the Australian Parliament offline in a distributed denial-of-service attack that also targeted the website of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy's Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Government workers were also sent a flood of email with porn enclosed, prank phone calls and dodgy faxes, in an initiative dubbed "Operation Titstorm".

"Maybe some people think the attacks are juvenile but it makes more of a message than signing a petition as the attacks can not be ignored," the individual claiming to be a spokesperson for the group said in an email interview.

They added they did not feel the attack would completely stop the filter initiative from being cancelled. "However, even if they make the blacklist public I personally will be happy, but there are other people that will not be happy until it is completely destroyed," the spokesperson said.

They said the aim of the attack was to make governments everywhere aware that they "cannot mess with the internet and not have a backlash".

In this week's attack, the individual estimated that there were about 100 people actively participating in the protest, but because of the way Anonymous is organised, it was impossible to tell. Last night, they said, there were at least 480 people in an associated chat room discussing the attack. The parliament house website was still down this morning.

Despite their sentiments about petitions, the spokesperson said the best thing the broader Australian public could do to protest against the filter was to sign the petition of Electronic Frontiers Australia and tell government officials that they disagreed with the policy.

It's not the first time Anonymous has attacked government websites; in September last year, the group, which has achieved notoriety for its attacks against the Church of Scientology, temporarily took down several Australian government websites, including the website of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

In response to a question about whether that prior action had had any legal consequences, the spokesperson said the group had not had any reports of legal action, but as every member of Anonymous was an individual, the group had no formal membership and anyone could take part in the protest action, so news of legal action against individuals did not always spread.

Note: Delimiter does not have any specific knowledge of the identity of individual members of Anonymous. The contact was made by emailing the email address listed on Anonymous' press release earlier this week and received a reply from an individual claiming to be a spokesperson. There are obvious journalistic difficulties with verifying the spokesperson's identity; however, we believe them to be affiliated with Anonymous.

The spokesperson stressed they personally had not taken part in attacking government websites and was just acting as a spokesperson for Anonymous.

Topic: Security

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  • Anonymous terrorism

    The "Anonymous" justification that their illegal attacks are "a more effective way of voicing displeasure" is exactly the same justification used by terrorists everywhere. Sending a suicide bomber is (they think) much more persuasive than pursuing a legal forum. It is the same lazy, criminal, mentality used by a high school bully who finds it easier to cheat or steal from others rather than work and contribute something constructive. Deliberately crashing someone else's computer, whether of an individual or a government, is a use of destructive force and an admission that you are incapable of more social means of communication.
  • Not terrorism

    i guess then you are rabidly anti-green movements who prevent clear felling of forests by using low tech versions of DDOS. Chaining yourself to a bulldozer is exactly the same this - you are denying someone the use of their property.

    A strike is another form of lowtech DDOS. You deny somone the ability to continue their work as a means of protest.

    It is an effective non violent means of raising awareness about a situation.

    Comparing this to suicide bombers is astounding.
  • Anonymous terrorism??? wtf

    Likening their actions to that of suicide bombers is completely and utterly absurd. Civil disobedience, what I would call a more accurate description then what you have proposed, can at times be justified and given the undemocratic secrecy behind the filter, is so in this situation. Destructive force? Come on that's a bit of stretch.
  • Anon

    You could say the same thing related to petitions and protesting in the streets. Everyone has different beliefs and thoughts on this matter. This is a more effective way of fighting against something that just shouldn't be.

    More mind power is used in doing these said attacks, you would understand that if you research exactly how they work and how they truly stay anonymous.
  • Define terrorism!

    The actions of Anonymous may be questionable to some but, to claim they are terrorists is stupid.

    Occaisonally you have the smack the politicians over the head before they'll wake up to themselves.

    The crippling of a few high profile but otherwise low value websites is no worse than a huge protest rally blocking the streets. The impact is the same, politicians suddenly become aware of the public displeasure.

    At what point is public action appropriate? Before or after they line you up in front of a firing squad?

    You watch, if they can identify any of these anonymous organisers there will be a bit fat police raid, to which the media will have been conveniently tipped off.
  • The government wants you to label it terrorism!

    Agreed, it isn't terrorism. That's just scare mongering by the politicians.

    Take a look at all the new security measures that have been introduced:

    1. "Random" street searches for weapons.
    2. "Random" metal detector placements.
    3. Dubious airport security measures, which are unlikely to stop an terrorism.
    4. Detention powers for people of interest
    5. Internet filtering, which you won't be allowed to know of, disclose, or influence.

    How many more?
  • What are you terrified of?

    How has this action caused fear and intimidation to you?

    The irony, at least in my mind, is that the filter will actually cause fear and intimidation from the government.

    Personally I'm more terrified of a government that has the means to supress information that could criticise it in any way.
  • Not Terrorism At All

    Take your silly straw man allalogy eleshwere. Your comment is no better than when Conroy accuses those who oppose the filter as being supporters of filth.

    These acts as definately not terrorism. Terrorism incites fear and panic to undermine public confidence. These acts simply inconvenience certain specific parties and hinders their ability to communicate. It actually harms no one except the credibility of the targets.

    No private business was targeted. No social services were distrupted and it was targets at those responsible for the offending acts - unlike acts of Terrorism which tend to be indisciriminate.

    These actions require thought, planning and a degree of dedication that goes well beyond a petition. This is not a case of a single signature and then no more thought required. This is a directed, thought out and motivated resistance.

    Ghandi would be proud.
  • Good on you guys

    Good on you guys hope you keep the site down for months and what an embarrassment for the government Mr Rudd can shove his morale compass were the sun dont shine this sort of censorship/facism has no place in Australia !!!!!
  • Um, this IS cyberterrorism

    Yeah, I admit. Its cyberterrorism by definition particularly due to the use of a DDoS attack.

    Nevertheless, its justified and I commend this method of getting the message out.

    Now what people forget is that this is also a form of civil disobedience. People may argue that a DDoS attack suppresses free speech, we should also note that the free speech of the state is what is being suppressed. That's fine by me.
  • maybe...

    it is cyberterrorism, but isnt that what the government is practising with "The premeditated use of disruptive activities, or the threat thereof, against computers and/or networks, with the intention to cause harm or further social, ideological, religious, political or similar objectives"?

    I would consider the implementation of enforced or coereced filering of sites on the world wide web to fall in this category too.....
  • cyber heros

    What do you do when the government starts eroding your basic human rights in a democracy ?if you wait for voting time its often to late the legislation has been made law .. i would take a guess that most informed people would see the people implementing these attacks as holding the moral high ground.
  • Note: Delimiter does not have any specific knowledge of the identity of individual members of Anonymous.

    "There are obvious journalistic difficulties with verifying the spokesperson's identity; however, we believe them to be affiliated with Anonymous."

    If there weren't, they wouldn't be. That's the point.
  • Wow, he's right...

    The government filter does theoretically fit the definition of cyberterrorism.

    Well, that's ironic.
  • Thank you!

    I just wanted to thank those individuals for their efforts in taking a stand against this tidal-wave of utter bile from these polititians who are all serving another master(s) behind the scenes who are carving out their agenda on the weak and feeble minds of the masses.
    Parents who cannot rule thier own house and their own children should not be parents. But in this day and age we live in a world of adults suffering from imaturety at a very intrinsic level.
    And the reason that people today are this imature and incapable of dealing with life in it's simplest and purest form is no accident at all. Great pains and effort has gone into the decades used to mold the human mind into refusing to change it's own nappies and to accept more and more that the Government is our 'mind' and that by and by we will be content to serve the Government.
    Anonymous, please do not stop your efforts!
    Anonymous, make it happen!
    People of the world, WAKE UP and smell the SH*T that you swallow in greater and greater amounts each and every waking hour!
  • we never asked for this

    We never asked for this filter, why is the government so intent on controlling what we see?
    Do you think they will stop at a few porn sites?
    Next they will be "unknowingly to us" adding news sites & other information they dont want us to see into their blacklist.
    Why complain about China when Australia is planning to do the same thing.
  • anon

    many lulz were had. commence firing lazors lol
  • whatever

    we is just doing it for teh lulz
  • Titstorm

    Well it certainly seems to have grabbed some attention, mission accomplished. Titstorm!
  • web

    hey spidey how do i shot web?