Anonymous hacks U.S. government websites with anti-ACTA messages

Anonymous has defaced a number of U.S. trade-related websites, including the FTC, seemingly in protest over the country's signing to the controversial ACTA agreement.

Hacking collective Anonymous took down a number of U.S. government websites early this morning in continuing protests over ACTA, the controversial anti-counterfeiting trade agreement.

Websites hacked included, and the FTC's website.

Strongly worded and violent language were used, and a video was posted on each site. The attacks were simultaneously carried out across the different sites. Some of the text read:

"If ACTA is signed by all participating negotiating countries, you can rest assured that Antisec will bring a f**ing mega-uber-awesome war that rain torrential hellfire down on all enemies of free speech, privacy and internet freedom. We will systematically knock all evil corporations and governments off of our internet."

The text on the page referred back to AntiSec, or "Anti-Security", which was a movement spurred on hacking group LulzSec before it disbanded after 50 days of hacks and data dumps.

A number of Twitter accounts associated with Anonymous appeared to confirm the group's involvement with the attacks on the websites, which have now been taken offline.

ACTA, which stands for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, not only focuses on intellectual property and patents, but copyright theft and illegal file-sharing online. It was negotiated largely in secret, and contained measures that could be 'SOPA-like', and remove entire swathes from the Web.

It has since been watered down heavily, but faces continued opposition by online rights groups and privacy advocates.

ACTA has since been rejected by a number of European countries, including the Netherlands and Germany. The member of the European Parliament responsible for investigating the agreement resigned in protest. The European Parliament will vote on the agreement in June.

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