Anonymous Shuts Down Corporate and Government Websites Worldwide … The Timing Couldn’t Be Worse

Anonymous Shuts Down MPAA, RIAA, FBI, DOJ and Copyright Office

Anonymous launched one of the largest hacking attacks in history today.

Gizmodo reports that – in response to the Feds’ shutting down of the extremely popular file-sharing site MegaUpload – Anonymous has shut down the sites of the main corporate copyright enforcers, including:

  • Motion Picture Association of America
  • Recording Industry Association of America
  • Universal Music
  • EMI

Anonymous has also shut down the main U.S. governmental copyright enforcers, including:

  • U.S. Copyright Office
  • Department of Justice
  • FBI

Plus foreign agencies, including:

  • French copyright authority HADOPI

Given yesterday’s success in forcing so many congress members to back off of SOPA and PIPA, the timing could not be worse.

As free speech champion Michael Rivero argued after Anonymous took down DOJ’s website today:

In aligning with the pirates and attacking the DOJ, anonymous has handed the US government more justification for draconian controls on the internet.

I would not be quite so upset if this had occurred after Congress passed a draconian web censorship bill such as SOPA. But the fact that this is happening only 24 hours after the web’s successful protest concerns me greatly.

The Atlantic’s Dashiell Bennett hits the nail on the head:

The shutdown [of Megaupload] inadvertently proved that the U.S. government already has all the power it needs to take down its copyright villains, even those that aren’t based in the United States. No SOPA or PIPA required.

Of course, no government is ever satisfied with “just enough” power, which is why opponents lashed out at the regime that already exists. But rather than forcing Congress to back off, the shutdown of government and corporate websites is likely to anger and re-energize those anti-piracy zealots who think the web needs to be brought under control. Instead of surrendering in fear or even taking a more measured approach, they are more likely to double down on new legislation and harsher penalties meant to corral those who thumb their nose at the government.

Had Anonymous not gone on a rampage yesterday, the absurdity of the claims that SOPA and PIPA are needed – and perhaps the absurdity of the shutdown of Megaupload – would have gotten widespread attention.  Instead,  the denial-of-service attacks will likely lead to even harsher crack-downs in the name of fighting a cyberwar.

Disclaimer: I have never used, and so may be underestimating its importance. I also don’t know what percentage of their usage is legitimate free speech, as opposed to piracy.

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  • Thereby handing the US a justification for a crackdown on the internet, and proving to the less-insightful that anonymous was siding with the cyber-criminals all along (as well as Cass Sunstein).

    • Billy

      The Anonymous of today are completely different from the ones who were going after Scientology back in the day. I used to hang out in their IRC channels but got wise as soon as the ‘revolution’ kicked off in Egypt last Jan.

      From day one they already had separate channels for OpLibya, OpIran, OpSyria etc etc as well as Oplulz which turned into ‘Lulzsec’

      The vast majority of the clowns in the echo chamber on twitter, facebook, irc etc, are completely clueless drones who exhibit borderline cultist behavior.

      But the ‘leaders’ (yes they do exist) know exactly what they are doing.

      • evolion

        The government is and has been overstepping it’s bounds, at least anon. is doing something about it while the rest of us just sit here in an emerging police state.

    • M. Paiser

      ……………..and just what is it that gets you to believe that the gov’t isn’t the “hacker”, especially in this current situation?

  • michael

    I agree that Anonymous is acting retarded and really hurting more than helping. Now politicians have a new spin… “THE EVIL HACKERS”

    megaupload generally complied very quickly with DMCA notices, thus proving that it worked.

  • Paul

    This and the Megaupload shutdown smells like the beginning of a major, organized pushback. We now know that disinformation is the new normal in the arena of politics.

  • In the battle we have with our corporate society, we win the skirmishes, only to lose the important battles. I used to belong to the National Writer’s Union, but I lost heart in what they were doing once I realized that whenever they won a case against a corporate publisher in favor of a writer, within weeks, laws would be changed to make it harder for other writers who might find themselves in the same position against a corporation. And, as the corporations treat writers and the work they produce, they treat all other workers.

    I am uncertain what I think of the group Anonymous. When I first read that they had managed to shut down so many corporate websites, I cheered. Those barons richly deserve that and more. But these attacks will do no more good than wasp stings would to an elephant. They’ll anger it considerably, but they won’t really hurt it. And an angry elephant is not pretty – especially when you cannot get away from it.

    What would work? Going into business for ourselves and forming our own cooperatives within the communities where we live and work? We have to stop working in competition with each other and we have to stop working in isolation from each other. Our survival depends on it.

  • Proud Socialist

    Dear Michael:

    I can concur on the potential effect arising from the timing. Yet there is another matter which does not bode well for the state. For the future I suspect that more and more stable, solid citizens are going to support such actions by virtue of the increasing erosion of the perceived legitimacy of the institutions and processes of state. What happens when such persons begin to side AGAINST the state because it is perceived more and more as a foreign political power?

    It is a damning, damning indictment when the rank and file of a nation turns its collective back on the state. And frankly, I have to say that the emissaries of the state have no one to blame but themselves. The astonishing thing is that this hasn’t already happened. For what conceivable reason should the state be served, supported, feared, respected, obeyed or — above all — believed?

    Proud Socialist

    • RanDomino

      Fuck the State.

    • evolion

      here, here!

  • Anon

    Megaupload was a widely used website for legal and illegal content. It’s closure is a heavy blow to the internet and was felt by many many people.

    It is the first domino, and it’s very likely the reason “Anonymous” acted. I would argue that Anonymous, due to the very nature of the group, is a non-existent group that anyone can claim to be part of.

    I think that if these attacks are used as an excuse to pass regulations people should seriously question who was really behind these attacks. Cyber false-flag, anyone?

    • Wooten Berston


  • kenneth

    i believe sopa and pipa will pass. politics in the U.S. is nothing but corrupt. those wanting to railroad this stuff through are making it a rider on a bill to protect children online. anyone voting against it will be accused of supporting child porn or protecting online “predators”. this is how they play. this is why we can’t get common sense from washington. special interest lobbyists and dirty tactics, not our freedom or rights. this just in; you are not capable of being trusted to decide for yourself what you look at, read, listen to or think. they know better than we do what is best for us.
    Al Franken is for this attack on our freedom. this is the same clown that went through the trouble to right a book against bush, cheney; “lying liars and the lies they tell” or something like that… – every time obama opened his mouth, his teleprompter fed it lies and Mr. Al Franken has remained silent about that. So these people are double standard scum. let’s recall them now.

    • evolion

      at least anon. is doing something in retaliation, someone has to signal to the rest of the world that we are not going to lay down and become mind controlled slaves.

      obama has either lied or misled us about almost everything he said he was going to do, until now, …now he’s telling us exactly what he wants to do – take total control of the government

  • Jay Rowland

    False Flag worked for the 9/11 plotters why not Sopa and Pipa

    • RyAN

      I agree. This reeks of false flag.

      I seem to remember MegaUpload was backed by some pretty big names in the media world. So, why in the world would Anon care so much that one file host was taken down?? Especially at such a crucial time?

      • RanDomino

        There were 5600 people using LOIC. If you don’t know what that is, you have no idea what you’re talking about and should stop spreading idiotic rumors.

  • Chris Saccoccia

    Listen VERY carefully… “Anonymous” is nothing but an FBI/CIA psy op. Yes there are members of “anonymous” who are not part of this and are genuinely trying to do their part. But if you think a huge group of computer hackers couldnt’ and wouldn’t be watched, infiltrated and then “managed” by these alphabet agencies, feeding ideas to “useful idiots” who follow through on the plans and help push the Establishment’s “cyber war” agenda. Any so called “movement” that gets it’s own CNN docudrama episode about it, you KNOW it’s part of the establishment, because they wouldn’t want you knowing about anybody who REALLY challenges the government. Just look at the TIMING of this so called attack. … the EXACT thing the establishment needs to tighten the noose on the internet.

    This is just another group co-opted being “manged” to off convenient attacks that only further freedom crushing agendas… Anonymous is a FRAUD. Just like OWS, just like Obama… just like Romney.

    Wake up.

    • Billy

      Spot on

    • RanDomino

      You are an idiot.

    • evolion

      yeah the government is all about false flag, but hasn’t anon. been making threats for a long time now?

  • MouthNews

    Hats off to hacktivists. The Internet Strikes Back. In a world where govts just keep on pushing their malicious agendas, Anons no longer ready to play nice. Let’s be clear Megaupload is not about downloading MP3s. The real less insightful see it otherwise. You are witnessing history, the World War Web is just beginning. Anonymous are the net’s immune system.

  • Alyson

    I think you should consider this attack by “Anonymous” was intended to justify draconian measures.

    The timing is too convenient. How did a loose group like Anon manage to organize such a massive attack in one day? Answer it didnt. This stinks of an intelligence agency working on behalf of the corporatist elite who are desperate to censor the internet and stop us from outing them in their schemes.

    Total false flag. It stinks of CIA.

    • RanDomino

      You are an idiot.

      How does a website attract so many crackpots? Damn.

  • Peter Sherinian

    Where in the hell does the united states government and the congress think it has the right to control the internet it’s called the world wide web not the united states web how arrogant are these people. It’s time at some other government stuff to united states government toldem where the hell to go and I shove it up there proverbial nostril.

  • PJ London

    Hey Chris Saccoccia,

    You are absolutely right. Any hacker (or Corporate Software Contractor) can call himself “Anonynous”, just as anyone with a bomb can call themselves Al Qaeda.

    If they have an agenda, hijack another groups’ name to make themselves more powerful.

  • Oddly, my site ( got hit today and my internet access was pulled for a couple of hours so we couldn’t trade. And so was one of my biggest suppliers who is based in Germany and the Royal Mint in England too!

    Now if I was the suspicious, cynical type…

  • ubigkidder

    so using your tortured logic, there is no effective way to protest this latest outrage. that’s pathetic. maybe the Americans of 1776 shouldn’t have declared independence, after all, it might have ticked off the brits. defying authority, diminishing authority, mocking authority are always good practices. go grow a pair.

  • harmony

    I’m beginning to wonder if ANONYMOUS is part of the propaganda to set in motion a lot of things. Makes you wonder if they are part of the 1% to cause havoc to set new world rules into place.

    • RanDomino

      It’s not. Don’t be dumb.

  • Benjamin

    The timing couldn’t be BETTER. This is a war, and anything that can intimidate or agitate an opponent in war should be done. Let the government shut down the internet and then we’ll have a better chance of putting all their heads on pikes. The protests in Egypt didn’t get serious until the internet was shut down.

    And Mr. Washington, articles like this make you seem like a phony who if you had been around in 1776 would have written something like
    “Bostonians Dump Tea into Harbor, timing couldn’t be worse as it gives King George the perfect excuse to crack down”

    Sorry, nothing is accomplished by letters to Senators or wikipedia going down for a day, only confrontational actions matter.

  • DumDum

    Calling Anonymous a CIA assest is just plain Conspiracy Theory. Why do people always jump on the bandwagon when it does not go their way, they dont have all the facts, they do not agree with the action or whatever. Maybe Anonymous just wanted to do their bit in the SOPA “strike” Hell…., This does not mean they are CIA, For gods sake….. calm down!!!!!

    And… btw…. considering Hackers as being naive or stupid makes you stupid!!!!!!

  • The Senate vote was postponed on PIPA due to the protests. That is one silver lining.

  • Joe Q. Public

    Does anyone else think that ‘Anonymous’ is just another creation of the US Gov’t to help them meet their goals and objectives? You just know that this ‘anonymous’ group is yet another black ops psy op! I can’t believe that the masses can’t see this? Welcome to Oceania…next stop Dachau…

    • RanDomino

      Unfortunately it looks like a lot of other crazy morons agree with you.

  • karen

    perhaps the government shut them down themselves to malign anonymous???

    • RanDomino

      No. Don’t be dumb.

  • Enonesoch

    They shouldn’t have shut down Megaupload

  • Anthony

    Great… now they have reason to control the internet….

    Anyone else think that the gov may have been behind this anonymous thing from the get go?

    a la 9-11?

    • RanDomino

      Get out of the basement every once in a while.

  • Wyatt

    Anonymous, Huh??? Sounds like another name for Government wanting to make their case. Don’t mean to sound so conspiratorcal, but then again, sometimes the truth is elusive.

  • Terry Ranchero

    Does anyone really think that an organization which exerts worldwide influence attacking credit card companies and military data banks is without an agenda? Is their agenda consistent with their message? More importantly what has been the result (benefit) of these actions.

    It is in the questions that we will find the answers.

  • amspirnational

    truth to tell there are always the extreme “hyperconspiratologists” with whom the elite’s supermen always win, and there are those who have a more realistic view of conspiracies, which occasionally are in fact invented and/or self-defeating in nature.

  • U can just track my IP adresses anyway

    I wonder if Megaupload was shut down knowing Anonymous would strike back. We’ve all heard of conspiracy theories where The Government knows of an impending danger, even to the point of setting it up themselves, but does nothing because the end result will give them the ability to do whatever the hell they want to do for whatever cause.

  • Howard T. Lewis III

    Dear FBI and Hollywood movie industry and Brittany Spears’ manager.
    I do not believe in a right of people to download unpublished music and video entertainment without the artists’ permission. I only have 2 Jurassic Park movies and all of Bruce Lee’s stuff, all in 10 minute segments. I bought the entire Bruce Lee collection of VCR tapes and the entire set of Jurassic Park DVDs. All well worth the price. If you want to throw Anonymous in prison, go ahead. I have been trying to get Anonymous recruits to behave and raise hell and nail criminals openly in the court of public opinion and in the courts of law. It would be a shame to hide the nation’s corruption behind a wall of bootlegged N’SYNC videos or Lady Gag.

  • george henry

    maybe now the government will think twice before attacking another of our freedoms lets get Obama out of power before he gets what he want and that’s to turn America into a dictatorship.

  • washingtons blog, servant of the elite, ball-licking liar extraordinaire, censored by all, facts for none

    this site censored my comment because I dared offer FACTS that contradict the entire premise of this rag story. BEWARE

  • Francois T

    Whatever Anonymous does pale in comparison to the ever increasing appetite of the government to grab more and more power AND exercise it very aggressively.

    First of, the US gov shut down MegaUpload without any due process of law; simple accusations in written indictments were sufficient to shut down the site(s), freeze all assets and arrest people.

    Glenn Greenwald has a good take on this story here:

  • Father Marker

    For those complaining about lack of avenues to protest what the US is doing they should do what is happening in Europe and start a Pirate Party in the US. It seems that the Europeans care more about their freedom than the folks in the US do at this stage.

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  • Anonymous

    We are anonymous

    • Anonymous2

      I am personally for anonymous and think that in my opinion that the goverment needs to know that they cant take away freedom or they will turn us into China or Russia and the US wont work that way